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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
1981 Version of "Halloween II" a Worthy Sequel
Halloween II (1981)
Running time: 92 minutes (1 hour, 32 minutes)
MPAA - R
DIRECTOR: Rick Rosenthal
WRITERS/PRODUCERS: John Carpenter and Debra Hill
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Cundey
EDITORS: Mark Goldblatt and Skip Schoolnik
COMPOSERS: John Carpenter and Alan Howarth
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Dick Warlock, Leo Rossi, Gloria Gifford, Tawny Moyer, Ana Alicia, and Ford Rainey
Halloween II, the sequel to the highly influential 1978 horror film, Halloween, picks up right where the original ended. In fact, Halloween II begins with footage from the first film that finds high school babysitter, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and psychiatrist-with-a-gun, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), fighting off masked killer, Michael Myers.
Loomis shot Myers six times at the end of the first film, but Myers walked away from what should have been kill shots. After that recap (with some new footage mixed in), Laurie is hauled off to the local hospital, but Myers tracks her across town and enters the hospital, where he begins to kill off the hospital staff so that no one can be in his way when he moves in to kill Laurie. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is running into his own problems, as Michael’s murder spree from the first film has the entire state in an uproar, with the blame placed squarely on Loomis’ shoulders. Dr. Loomis also learns a hidden secret, which reveals that Laurie was Michael’s main target all along. Can he get to the hospital in time?
Although the screen credits for Halloween II list John Carpenter, who directed the first film, as strictly a co-writer and co-producer for the second film, Carpenter thought Halloween II director, Rick Rosenthal, had delivered a sequel that was too tame. Carpenter did three days of re-shoots for Halloween II and added the new scenes into the footage Rosenthal shot in order to make the final version of the sequel bloodier, and Halloween II certainly is. The body counts exceeds 10 (whereas there were only four onscreen killings in the first film), and the sequel certainly reflects the gory nature of 1980’s slasher films like the Friday the 13th franchise, although the original Halloween, which almost single-handed gave birth to the 80’s slasher craze, does not have an abnormally high body count.
Despite the bodies piling up, Halloween II has a superbly chilling atmosphere that will have goose flesh raised and the viewer cowering in his seat. The hospital, operating on a nighttime skeleton crew, is all dark rooms and shadowy corridors, which is perfect for the spooky sequences of Myers slowing stalking the hallways, his slow footsteps bringing him from one scene of bloody mayhem to the next. Rosenthal, who would later direct the 2002 installment of this franchise, Halloween: Resurrection, should probably get credit for creating this frightful ambiance. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance give good performances, in particularly Pleasance, who gives Dr. Loomis a droll sense of humor and a matter of fact attitude about his quest to stop Myers. However, this flick’s true stars are the darkened exteriors and interiors and the murderous wraith that stalks them. Halloween II may be inferior to the original film, but it’s not inferior by a whole lot.
7 of 10
Friday, June 02, 2006
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
"The Howling" Still Has Bite
The Howling (1981)
Running time: 91 minutes (1 hour, 31 minutes)
MPAA – R
DIRECTOR: Joe Dante
WRITERS: John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless (from the novel by Gary Brandner)
PRODUCER: Daniel H. Blatt, Jack Conrad, Michael Finnell, and Steven A. Lane
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jim Hora
EDITOR: Mark Goldblatt and Joe Dante
COMPOSER: Pino Donaggio
Starring: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Margie Impert, Noble Willingham, James Murtaugh, Jim McKrell, Kenneth Tobey, Don McLeod, and Dick Miller
The subject of this movie review is The Howling, a 1981 werewolf movie from director Joe Dante. The film is loosely based on Gary Brandner’s 1977 novel of the same name. The film starred real-life husband and wife Dee Wallace and Christopher Stone, who were married from 1980 to Christopher Stone’s death in 1995.
One of the few great werewolf movies of the last quarter of the 20th Century is The Hollowing. Directed by Joe Dante, the film is part tongue-in-cheek and part tribute to B-movie horror, but to describe the film as merely cheeky or cheesy would be a disservice to a film that features some really great scary movie atmosphere and some fantastic monster makeup effects.
After a traumatic experience with a serial killer, TV news reporter, Karen White (Dee Wallace) and her husband, Bill Neill (Christopher Stone), move temporarily to a rustic California resort called The Colony, at the behest of the resort’s founder, Dr. George Waggner, who is Karen’s therapist. Once at the colony, both Karen and Bill dislike the kooky yokels. However, Bill starts to blend in after a comely and brazen young woman puts some moves on him. Karen is upset by this attention Bill is getting, but she is more worried by what she hears at night, right outside her window – the howling. Meanwhile, Karen’s colleagues, Terry Fisher (Belinda Balaski) and Christopher (Dennis Dugan), are getting closer to making a shocking connection between the serial killer who attacked Karen and The Colony.
The Howling for all its humorous edge is also quite intense. In fact, Dante directs the shrewdly and tightly (co-written script by John Sayles) in a straight fashion and with a straight face. Considering the subject matter, the viewer may take The Howling as a howler or as a riveting horror flick. It works quite well either way, plus, the film’s sexual edge is quite effective. The women in this film are by far the most interesting players. Dee Wallace and Belinda Balaski’s primary mode is either breathless wonder or wild-eye terror, and they do it so well.
The Howling’s best aspect is the monster costumes and special makeup effects; the werewolf transformation scenes are fascinating and mesmeric, each one a unique, mind-bending, imaginative showcase of the immense talents of Rob Bottin. Unfortunately for Bottin, his work was overshadowed by his mentor, Rick Baker, who won an Oscar for his make up work in 1981’s other werewolf movie, An American Werewolf in London. Bottin’s work, Dante’s directing, and the Sayles/Winkless script make this a must-see for horror movie fans.
8 of 10
April 6, 2005
Monday, October 29, 2012
"Ringu" a Gooseflesh Generator
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japanese
Running time: 96 minutes (1 hour, 36 minutes)
Not rated by the MPAA
DIRECTOR: Hideo Nakata
WRITER: Hiroshi Takahashi (from the novel by Kôji Suzuki)
PRODUCERS: Takashige Ichise, Shin'ya Kawai, and Takenori Sentô
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jun'ichirô Hayashi
EDITOR: Nobuyuki Takahashi
COMPOSER: Kenji Kawai
HORROR/MYSTERY with elements of a thriller
Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Otaka, and Katsumi Muramatsu
The subject of this movie review is the 1998 Japanese horror film, Ring, which is better known under the title, Ringu. The film is directed by Hideo Nakata and is based upon Ring, a 1991 novel by Kôji Suzuki. Ringu was released in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2000.
In this film, there is an urban legend in Japan that if you watch a peculiar videotape, you will die a week later. After watching a mysterious videotape, a group of teenagers die gruesome deaths. One of the teenagers was the niece of reporter Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima), who had been trailing the urban legend of the cursed videotape for her newspaper. But her niece’s death troubles her and makes her believe that there may be some validity to the story. She tracks the tape to a mountain resort and watches it, and immediately after gets a phone call promising death in seven days. Reiko panics and fears for her life, so she calls on the help of her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama (Hiroyuki Sanada), who may actually already know something about the strange girl on the tape. Time becomes of the utmost purpose when the divorced couple’s young son, Yoichi (Rikiya Otaka), watches the tape, so they must uncover the secret of breaking the tape’s curse to save all their lives.
Ringu was the subject of a 2002 remake from DreamWorks Pictures called The Ring. Both films are based upon Kôji Suzuki novel, Ring (the first in a horror trilogy). Both films are similar, although Ringu is not as oblique as The Ring. Director Hideo Nakata drenches his films in deep and penetrating shadows, and haunting reflections suddenly appear dreamily in reflective surfaces when you least (but should) expect it. Even the daylight is filled with a sense of the haunted and the foreboding, and the most benign everyday sounds, such as a phone ringing, hints at evil. Nakata, more than Gore Verbinski did in his remake, creates the overwhelming suggestion that around every corner and just over one’s shoulder is doom and gruesome death.
Nakata’s best feat, however, may be in that he surrounds the cast with a sense of normal, everyday life. There is the illusion that everything is normal, and that what goes on every day happens this very day. But just beneath the normalcy is another real world of horror and creeping evil. That’s the scariest kind of horror of all.
8 of 10
Sunday, October 28, 2012
"28 Weeks Later" Surpasses First Film
28 Weeks Later (2007)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK/Spain
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong violence and gore, language, and some sexuality/nudity
DIRECTOR: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
WRITERS: Enrique López Lavigne, Rowan Joffe, and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo & Jesús Olmo
PRODUCERS: Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Enrique López-Lavigne
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Enrique Chediak (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Chris Gill
COMPOSER: John Murphy
Starring: Catherine McCormack, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Rose Byrne, and Idris Elba
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British horror film and sequel to the 2002 film, 28 Days Later… (released in the U.S. in 2003). Danny Boyle and Alex Garland, the director and writer of the original film, respectively, are this movie’s two executive producers.
While watching the British post-apocalyptic horror flick, 28 Weeks Later, one can’t help but understand that this brilliantly imagined film is speaking directly to its audience, here and now. The messages are writ large across the screen – everything from the foolishness of military occupations as a stopgap against the inevitable to the horrors that the careless manipulation of the environment can bring. It’s as if director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and his screenwriters made a gumbo out of the mental horrors of Edgar Allen Poe, George Romero, and George W. Bush.
28 Weeks Later opens six months after the events depicted in the first movie. American military forces have secured District One, an isolated section of London, where the survivors of the rage virus outbreak can repopulate and start again. Not everything goes as planned. The rage virus continues to live and is waiting to be spread again and finds its carrier in an English nuclear family.
What I like about 28 Weeks Later is that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is unapologetic in composing a brutally gory horror flick. 28 Days Later… started off as a right vicious cheesy horror flick; then, it bogged own in a morality play/test of wills between a mad military type and desperate peaceniks. Both sides were wrong, and their little message theatre cooled off the infection-fed fever that was 28 Days Later… the first half. 28 Days Later… might make you think the horror genre and message movie couldn’t really go together.
Silly rabbit, great horror speaks to our deepest fears and anxieties – past, present, and future. Like George Romero, whose Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies influenced 28 Days Later…, Fresnadillo understands that a horror movie can essentially be a message movie without every trying to be obviously socio-political. The filmmakers can do this by creating scenes in which characters argue and debate their circumstances both in an intimate and in a larger context).
28 Weeks Later is swift, vicious, and smart. The script is grimly imaginative in creating deadly peril for its cast, and never letting the audience off the hook. Both biting and timely, the film says that the “rage” infection ain’t going away (which means a seemingly endless supply of infected/zombies) because the very structure of our society – a collective that can be both parasitic and symbiotic – is the perfect moist nesting ground for the disease.
Six months after the rage virus annihilated the British Isles, the U.S. Army declares that they have won and that rebuilding can begin. The blindness of the American forces to the reality of their environment mirrors current realities. Maybe, some of these fictional military types believe that being part of a hyper-power: with all its fire power, know-how, and cutting-edge technology, means that they can shape reality, but death on two, swift, rage-infected legs says otherwise.
8 of 10
Saturday, October 13, 2012
"28 Days Later" Just Short of Being Great
28 Days Later (2002)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
(U.S. release: June 2003)
Running time: 113 minutes (1 hour, 53 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong violence and gore, language and nudity
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
WRITER: Alex Garland
PRODUCER: Andrew Macdonald
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Anthony Dod Mantle
EDITOR: Chris Gill
COMPOSER: John Murphy
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley, and Christopher Eccleston
What if the Danny Boyle, the director of the sublime Trainspotting and The Beach (hey, I really like that movie), decided to make a zombie movie? If you’re like me, you were excited the first time you heard about this project. Well, we got it…sort of. Released in the United Kingdom in 2002, 28 Days Later was a big hit, but we had to wait until the summer of 2003 before Americans saw it. It’s not quite the zombie gore fest that I expected, but it’s a very creepy post-apocalyptic drama.
A group of do-gooder animal rights activists (the road to Hell…) break into an animal research facility with a lab full of monkeys that are, a captured scientist tells them, “infected with rage.” An infected monkey attacks one of the activists and unleashes an epidemic that destroys the U.K. Whenever a human is exposed to even one drop of blood or saliva from the infected, he becomes locked into a permanent state of murderous rage. In 28 days, Great Britain is a dead civilization.
On the 28th day, bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes from a coma he suffered after a car hit him and finds himself in a completely empty hospital. Not long after that he runs into group of infected humans, now murderous “zombies.” These “rage” creatures aren’t like the traditional foot-shuffling zombies we’ve come to love, especially in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and its sequels. They’ll chase a healthy human down with the speed of a track star and the single-minded zeal of a crackhead. Jim meets a handful of survivors including tough girl Selena (Naomi Harris) and father-daughter team Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and Hannah (Megan Burns). Jim and a few of the survivors eventually end up at a military compound where they discover that their most desperate struggle for survival might not be against the ghouls.
28 Days Later taps into two of post-9/11 biggest worries, the threat of terrorism and lethal contagion. Arriving in America on the heels of the SARS scare, the film has dreary and sort of dreadful sense of realism. I found the “rage” disease and the speedy, raspy, blood-vomited monsters a bit farfetched (but still scary), so the entire horror genre angle of the film was mildly retarded; it simply just didn’t have the blow-to-the-gut immediacy and terror of something like Day of the Dead. The scariest thing about this film is the idea of how much harm humanity can do itself. The most potent violence in this film is simple man vs. man bloodletting, be it from sudden bloodlust or from cold, calculated murder.
If the characters appear thin, it’s because of the weight of their troubles. The audience is more focused on the both the film’s setting and concept than the characters. Besides, in a horror movie, characters of depth are largely a waste since the sole reason of characters in horror movies is to be acted upon violently. Still, I like what I saw. Brendan Gleeson always brings a strong dramatic presence to any film in which he appears. He’s the solid, archetypical father figure struggling to save his charges from the chaos of a mad world. I like Cillian Murphy’s gangly Jim, but it’s a bit hard to buy him as a hero. However, he works as a believable everyman who shows up out of the blue; at least one of that kind survives every the apocalypse in a post-apocalypse film. I really dug Naomi Harris’s Selena; she’s a warrior and the best genre heroine since The Matrix’s Trinity.
It would have been simpler just to make a cool-looking MTV-style zombie movie, but Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland went and got all-artful on us. In the film, the threat of a sudden and bloody-vicious zombie attack is a quite palatable fear that you can feel in your soul, but genre considerations apparently had to give way to a bit of social commentary. The film speaks with a lot of hopelessness concerning the state of human affairs with just enough of hopeful resolution to make it a Hollywood ending. I have mixed feelings about this film, mostly because I didn’t get what I wanted.
Still, I can’t get the ominous and grainy images of 28 Days Later out of my head. Boyle shot the film on digital video reportedly for budgetary reasons; if this is true (others say the choice was artistic), it is a happy accident for sure. The “docu-realism” look of the film will make it a memorable movie about the end of the world, as we know it.
6 of 10
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1 Debuts on Neon Alley
First Installment Of Anime Feature Film Trilogy About A Young Medieval Mercenary Premieres On New 24-Hour Anime Channel
Don’t miss the visceral clash of arms and armor as VIZ Media premieres BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC I – THE EGG OF THE KING exclusively on Neon Alley this Sunday, October 28th at 8:00pm EST / 5:00pm PST. The highly anticipated anime film repeats at 12:00am EST / 8:00pm PST, and will air again throughout the week.
Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s new 24-hour anime channel featuring the world’s best titles (dubbed in English and uncut). For a limited time only, the subscription-based service is offering a one-week free trial, available for fans who sign up at NeonAlley.com.
Combining a foreboding medieval European-inspired setting with fantasy and exquisitely detailed swordsmanship, BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC I – THE EGG OF THE KING follows lone mercenary, Guts, as he travels a land where a hundred-year-old war is taking place. His ferocity and ability to kill enemies attracts the attention of Griffith, leader of the mercenary group “The Band of the Hawk,” and Guts is recruited to the unit. Thanks to their continued victories on the battlefield, the bond between Guts and Griffith deepens, but despite all their success, Guts begins to question his reasons for fighting for Griffith’s dream. Unknown to Guts, this unyielding dream is about to bestow a horrible fate on them both.
BERSERK: THE Golden Age Arc film trilogy was produced in Japan by Studio 4ºC and is based on the bestselling medieval dark fantasy manga (graphic novel) series created by Kentaro Miura.
For more information on the BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC film trilogy, please visit the official Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/BerserkFilm.
For more information on Neon Alley and to register for updates, please visit NeonAlley.com.
Robert Zemeckis Retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image
On the occasion of his latest film, Paramount Pictures’s Flight, which Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has said “Flight is Zemeckis at his most emotionally open and thematically provocative,” the prolific filmmaker will be joined by the film’s screenwriter John Gatins, and stars Denzel Washington and John Goodman for a special Q&A on Monday, October 29 as part of the Museum of the Moving Image’s four-film retrospective of Zemeckis’s work, taking place October 28 through November 4, 2012.
“As dazzling as his films can be, they are also marked by a mastery of cinematic language, and surprising emotional depth,” said Chief Curator David Schwartz. “His latest film, Flight, is both an action thriller and an intense and deeply moving character study with a bracing, audacious performance by Denzel Washington.”
The special screening of Flight, will take place at The Ziegfeld and is by invitation only. Museum members may reserve tickets by calling 718 777 6800. To learn about Museum membership and to join, go online to http://movingimage.us/support/membership or call 718 777 6877.
The other films in the retrospective—Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, and Cast Away—will screen at the Museum. Tickets for these screenings are included with Museum admission, which is free for Museum members.
Press Contact: Tomoko Kawamoto, firstname.lastname@example.org / 718 777 6830
SCHEDULE FOR ‘ROBERT ZEMECKIS,’ OCTOBER 28–NOVEMBER 4, 2012
Unless otherwise noted, film screenings take place in the Main Theater and in the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street), Astoria, and are included with Museum admission.
All films directed by Robert Zemeckis.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1:00 P.M.
1994, 142 mins. With Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field. The slow-witted Forrest Gump floats through his life—and a tumultuous period in American history—somehow showing up as a bit player in one iconic moment after another. One of the most acclaimed and successful films of the past 20 years, and the focus of intense critical debate, Forrest Gump is both a technical marvel and a compelling blend of comedy and drama. Screenplay by Eric Roth. Based on the Novel by Winston Groom.
SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING FOR MUSEUM MEMBERS:
With a Q&A with Robert Zemeckis, Denzel Washington, John Goodman, and John Gatins At the Ziegfeld, 141 West 54 Street, Manhattan
MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 6:30 P.M.
2012, 135 mins. With Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Tamara Tunie, Nadine Velazquez, Peter Gerety, Garcelle Beauvais, Melissa Leo. In Zemeckis’s action-packed and powerful mystery thriller, Academy Award®-winner Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly everyone on board. After the crash, Whip is hailed as a hero, but as more is learned, questions arise as to who or what was at fault and what really happened on that plane. A Q&A with Zemeckis, Washington, John Goodman, and screenwriter John Gatins follows the screening.
Back to the Future
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 6:30 P.M.
1985, 116 mins. With Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson. In this rollicking time-travel story about a 1980s teenager who travels back to the 1950s, where he must arrange his parents’ meeting, director Robert Zemeckis perfectly balances science fiction, spectacle, comedy, action, and emotional depth.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 4:00 P.M.
2000, 143 mins. With Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt. An executive for Federal Express survives a plane crash and winds up on a remote Pacific island, where he must learn how to survive. Hanks’s tour de force performance captures the grueling physical journey as well as the complex emotional transformation. As with Zemeckis’s best films, this is a cinematic triumph that is as deeply moving as it is entertaining. Written by William Broyles, Jr.
Museum of the Moving Image (movingimage.us) advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In January 2011, the Museum reopened after a major expansion and renovation that nearly doubled its size. Accessible, innovative, and forward-looking, the Museum presents exhibitions, education programs, significant moving-image works, and interpretive programs, and maintains a collection of moving-image related artifacts.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed Monday except for holiday openings
Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are included with Museum admission.
Museum Admission: $12.00 for adults (18+); $9.00 for senior citizens and for students (13+) with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets for special screenings and events may be purchased in advance by phone at 718 777 6800 or online.
Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website: movingimage.us
Membership: 718 777 6877, email@example.com
The Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, please visit movingimage.us.
Wesley Snipes' "Gallowwalkers" Finally Arrives
Movie star Wesley Snipes will be released into the wild, wild west to fight the undead and blast his way into Film4’s FrightFest 2012 Saturday, October 27th with the World Premiere of his latest film.
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Movie star Wesley Snipes is making headlines with his long-awaited and highly-anticipated return to the big screen with the World Premiere of the cowboy wild west- zombie mash-up: Gallowwalkers. Snipes stars as the mysterious gunslinger Aman, who carries a curse. The curse: all those who die by his hand shall return to hunt him. Snipes is forced to blast his way through the old west, while the scores of undead ferociously track him to the bitter end. The film’s slogan is “Live by the gun. Die by the gun. Come back for more.”
The fans of the star and fans of the wild west and horror genres have been long-awaiting the film’s release. Shrouds of mystery and rumor surrounded the film following Wesley’s legal complications and headlines of the last several years. However, with Wesley’s release imminent (scheduled for the summer of 2013), the film remained “never having been seen” and its release strategy is still a tightly keep secret.
The films’ Producers said in a statement Friday: “We support Wesley fully in his film career and look forward to his return next summer. We are beyond thrilled to announce Wesley’s return in the World Premiere of Gallowwalkers. We couldn’t be more excited for the road ahead.” Gallowwalkers is set to World Premiere at the Vue West End in London’s Leicester Square, Saturdaym October 27th 2012 at 9pm.
Shot in the dusty sands of the Namibian desert, Gallowwalkers was produced and executive produced by Jack Bowyer (under his production shingle Jack Bowyer Productions), Executive Produced by Roger Grad, Ken Ross and Directed by Andrew Goth.
ABOUT JACK BOWYER PRODUCTIONS
Jack Bowyer Productions is a UK-based production company. Principal Jack Bowyer founded the company in 2007. JB is a prolific producer of independent film; they recently received a Nomination for “Best International Film” at Raindance for their latest film DARK HEARTS starring X-men topper Lucas Till.
ABOUT BOUNDLESS PICTURES
Founded in 2008 by Courtney Lauren Penn and Brandon Burrows, Boundless Pictures is a New York City, Los Angeles and Greenwich, Connecticut-based production company that develops, co-finances and produces independent film. They have produced alongside Jack Bowyer on Gallowwalkers and Dark Hearts.
ABOUT FILM4 FRIGHTFEST
FILM4 FrightFest is the UK’s premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. The festival, in its 13th year, attracts thousands of genre fans to the heart of London’s West End. The festival has previously screened Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil, Scary Movie 2, Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia, George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, among countless others.
"The Mummy" Always Worth Unwrapping
The Mummy (1999)
Running time: 125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for pervasive adventure violence and some partial nudity
DIRECTOR: Stephen Sommers
WRITERS: Stephen Sommers, from a screenstory by Lloyd Fonvielle, Kevin Jarre, and Stephen Somers
PRODUCERS: Sean Daniel and James Jacks
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adrian Biddle (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Bob Ducsay
COMPOSER: Jerry Goldsmith
Academy Award nominee
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J O’Connor, Oded Fehr, Jonathan Hyde, Erick Avari, Bernard Fox, Stephen Dunham, Corey Johnson, Tuc Watkins, Aharon Ipalé, and Patricia Velasquez
The subject of this movie review is The Mummy, a 1999 fantasy/adventure film from director Stephen Sommers. The film is a loose remake of the 1932 film, The Mummy, starring the great Boris Karloff, and is also the first of a three-film set.
In 1923, Richard “Rick” O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) a French Foreign Legion soldier, leads a librarian, Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan (Rachel Weisz), and her wayward brother, Jonathan (John Hannah,) to the legendary ancient Egyptian City of the Dead, Hamunaptra, on a treasure hunt/archeological dig. Pursued by a group of American adventurers and assorted ruffians, our heroes become part of bungling gang that resurrects Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), a cursed Egyptian priest out to wreak havoc on the world. When Imhotep sees Evie for the first time, he decides to use her as the human sacrifice to free his love mummified lover, Anck–Su–Namum (Patricia Velazquez), from the Underworld.
Part of Universal Pictures plan to remake its classic “Universal Monster” movies as high tech updates, The Mummy, the new version of the 1932 classic, shocked Universal with its 40 million dollar opening weekend (tests and previews screenings had suggest about 25 million). With its combinations of eye-popping effects, occasional chills, and good action sequences, The Mummy (which received an Oscar nomination for “Best Sound”) is an excellent example of a movie as great entertainment – cinematic fast food that delivers on audience expectations.
Director Stephen Sommers had directed two Disney films, Tom and Huck and the live action version of The Jungle Book and the funky 1998 sci-fi/horror B-movie, Deep Rising. They may have been indications of his skill to weave effective entertainment, but the Mummy is the big payoff.
The hyped up action scenes deliver every time; not one of them is awkward or off of pace. From the opening battle scene at the ruins of Hamunaptra to the fight aboard the boat, from the giant wall of sand with the imprint of Imhotep’s face to the final fight scene, it’s the perfect movie with which to sit back and enjoy.
There is a fine cast of supporting characters. Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay, leader of the Medjai, a group that watches over Imhotep’s tomb, is handsome, dashing, and mysterious. Kevin J O’Connor’s Beni Gabor is the perfect comic relief (a nice bookend to John Hannah’s Jonathan), but he also makes a nasty villain. It’s quite entertaining to watch the three Americans: Mr. Henderson (Stephen Dunham), Mr. Daniels (Corey Johnson), and Mr. Burns (Tuc Watkins) in their cat and mouse game with Imhotep as the Mummy absorbs their “organs and fluids” to regenerate his own body.
The Mummy is also a fun and spooky horror show with enough scary scenes to match the action. What reminds of Raiders of the Lost Ark is the quite moments of character and intimacy between Rick and Evie. Sommers can’t make Fraser and Ms. Weisz as convincing as Steven Spielberg made Harrison Ford and Karen Allen, but it’s good enough. No one here seems to pretend to greatness, but they seemed determined to please the studio and their potential audience with a hit film and they did.
Here, the issues are commerce and craft rather than art, and the craftsmanship is so good that we may very well return to this gem time and again. As goofy and throw away as it might all seem to be, The Mummy is fun stuff, pure cinematic magic.
7 of 10
2000 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Sound” (Leslie Shatz, Chris Carpenter, Rick Kline, and Chris Munro)
2000 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects” (John Andrew Berton Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Ben Snow, and Chris Corbould)
Friday, October 26, 2012
"The Mummy Returns" with the Same Old Fun
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Running time: 130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for adventure action and violence
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Stephen Sommers
PRODUCERS: Sean Daniel and James Jacks
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adrian Biddle
EDITOR: Ray Bushey III, Bob Ducsay, and Kelly Matsumoto
COMPOSER: Alan Silvestri
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, The Rock, Freddie Boath, Patricia Velasquez, and Shaun Parkes
The subject of this movie reviews is The Mummy Returns, a 2001 adventure and fantasy film from director Stephen Sommers. It is a direct sequel to the 1999 film, The Mummy.
It is 1933, ten years after the events of the 1999 film, The Mummy. The British Museum Curator (Alun Armstrong) has shipped the mummified body of the first film’s villain, Lord Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), to England. He and his partner, Meela Nais, a girl who is the reincarnated body of Imhotep’s ancient love, Anck-su-namun (Patricia Velazquez) have plans to resurrect the Mummy to conquer the world. They’ve set their sights on the army of Anubis; combined with Imhotep’s power and Anubis’s forces, they can rule the world. However, the army belongs to the Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), who Imhotep must defeat to control Anubis monstrous legions.
Standing in the way of the Mummy, his conspirators, and the Scorpion King, is the gang from the first movie. American adventurer Richard “Rick” O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) is married to Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan-O’Connell (Rachel Weisz). The have a 9 year old son Alexander “Alex” O’Connell (Freddie Boath), and Evie’s brother John Carnahan (John Hannah) is still around and up to no good. When the villains attack the O’Connell’s palatial London estate and Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) arrives in time for the home invasion, the gang is all set to return to the sands of Egypt to save the world from the forces of darkness. And there is some weird reincarnation and avatar plot elements to boot added to the mixture.
Directed by Stephen Sommers, the director and co-writer of the first film, The Mummy Returns is more of a fantasy/adventure with elements of horror than its predecessor, which was equal parts horror, fantasy, and adventure. The first winked and nodded at Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Returns is Raiders-lite, much more sugar coated than Raiders or The Mummy.
The effects are not so much dazzling as they are neat. In the first film, Imhotep raised a gigantic wall of sand with his visage on the face of the sand wall; in this film, he does the same trick with a wall of water. Both are impressive, but the second one seems more paint by number, simply because it’s done to repeat the sand trick of the first film. It’s one of many SFX shots meant to up the ante of the first movie. In the jaded world of popcorn cinema, the audience has seen so much that the makers of bam-socko movies have to always top what’s come before.
The acting is over the top, but quite functional; they know what they’re supposed to do and no actor lets his artistic ego get in the way of making thoughtless fun. And this movie is indeed fun, if not a little too long. The Mummy Returns careens madly across the screen like a ball in a pinball machine. Whereas the first was more coherent and a little scarier, this one is a thrill ride designed to have the feel of video game or a cat and mouse chase.
Sommers does his job quite well; like his cast, he doesn’t intrude artistically on the need for mindless entertainment. His gift is his ability to steer this bucking bronco of a movie. I don’t know if he can use the camera with any panache or creative skill, but he can make an above average, sit-back-and-be-entertained film that is neither too dumb nor too smart, to leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth, or any after taste for that matter – a good home video rental.
5 of 10
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Third Time Not Quite the Charm with "The Mummy: Dragon Emperor"
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
Running time: 112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for adventure action and violence
DIRECTOR: Rob Cohen
WRITERS: Alfred Gough and Miles Millar
PRODUCERS: Sean Daniel, Bob Ducsay, James Jacks, and Stephen Sommers
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Simon Duggan
EDITOR: Kelly Matsumoto and Joel Negron
COMPOSER: Randy Edelman
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Luke Ford, Isabella Leong, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Russell Wong, Liam Cunningham, Jessey Meng, and David Calder
The subject of this movie review is The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, a 2008 fantasy adventure film from director Rob Cohen. It is a sequel to The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001) and is based upon John L. Balderston’s 1932 screenplay and Stephen Sommers’ 2001 screenplay. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor moves from the Egyptian setting of the first two films to China, and is set some 13 years after the events depicted in The Mummy Returns.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens in ancient China and tells the story of Han (Jet Li), a brutal and tyrannical warlord. He unites the various kingdoms of China to form a single empire, and he also orders the construction of the Great Wall of China. Han becomes the Dragon Emperor, a master of the five elements (fire, water, earth, metal, and wood). His quest for immortality leads to the downfall of him and his empire.
In 1946, Alexander Rupert “Alex” O’Connell (Luke Ford) discovers The Dragon Emperor’s tomb in the Ningxia Province of China. His parents, Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn Carnahan O’Connell (Maria Bello), aren’t exactly pleased to find their son engaged in the kind of archeology that got them into so much trouble in Egypt. The family doesn’t have much time to fight, though. The rogue General Yang (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) has hatched a conspiracy to resurrect the Dragon Emperor.
Now, Rick, Evey, and Alex, with Evey’s brother, Jonathan Carnahan (John Hannah), reluctantly following, must stop the Dragon Emperor from gaining immortality. Their allies include the mysterious mother-daughter tandem of Zi Yuan (Michelle Yeoh) and Lin (Isabella Leong) and also the drunken pilot, Mad Dog Maguire (Liam Cunningham). Can this group stop the Dragon Emperor and his Terracotta Army?
I am a big fan of Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy films, but I had only a passing interest in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor when it was first released back in 2008. I wanted the franchise to stick with its Egyptian themes, not move to China. I have watched bit and pieces of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor on television, but was not really interested in seeing the entire movie. I finally rented a copy so that I could watch it in its entirety in order to review it, and I only want to review it so that I can post it as a set with the first two films.
That said, I enjoyed The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. It’s ridiculous and frivolous and played entirely for fun, which is a bit different from the first film. The Mummy, for all its Raiders of the Lost Ark leanings, was something of a horror movie. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is more like The Mummy Returns – a family affair. This is a fantasy adventure about a cast of characters that are family in one form or another, and this is for family viewing even with the profanity, mild sexual innuendo, and gunplay.
Yes, I did have problems with Maria Bello playing Evelyn Carnahan O’Connell. After all, my “Evey” is still Rachel Weisz. I eventually stopped thinking about the change, watched the movie, and accepted Bello, who is a good actress. I have watched The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, in parts or whole, countless times, and the first film is one of my all-time favorite movies. I won’t take The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor to heart in that manner. It is harmless entertainment, and because it is a way to see favorite characters again, it’s worth seeing… now and again.
5 of 10
Sunday, October 21, 2012
"Burning Love" Returns to Yahoo! Screen
Breakout Series is Produced by Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital, Abominable Pictures, Ken Marino and Erica Oyama
Los Angeles, CA (October 25, 2012) Paramount’s Insurge Pictures and Yahoo! today announced that Burning Love, the popular comedy series that spoofs reality dating shows, will return for two more hilarious seasons on Yahoo! Screen (http://screen.yahoo.com) in 2013.
“At Yahoo!, we program based on insights about what our users want to watch,” said Erin McPherson, VP and Head of Video at Yahoo!. “We knew we found a hit with Burning Love given the caliber of the talent and the subject matter—and it was proven shortly after the launch with all the binge viewing that took place. We’re excited to offer two more seasons of it to our audience.”
“The success of Burning Love is a testament to the unparalleled creative team that delivered a truly hilarious series and set a new bar for original digital entertainment,” said Amy Powell, President of Insurge Pictures and EVP of Interactive Theatrical Marketing for Paramount Pictures. “Yahoo! did a tremendous job of getting the series in front of their audience, and we are thrilled to be working with them to bring the next two seasons to fans.”
The first season of Burning Love (www.BurningLove.com) launched June 4th domestically on Yahoo! Screen to critical acclaim. The series media called ‘ridiculously awesome’ (Buzz Sugar), and ‘a hilarious parody series’ (Entertainment Weekly), followed fireman Mark Orlando (Ken Marino) in his search for the perfect woman to marry or at least be engaged. Burning Love featured an impressive line up of comedic actors from film and television including Marino, Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Michael Ian Black, Ken Jeong, Adam Scott, Abigail Spencer, Natasha Leggero, June Diane Raphael, Noureen DeWulf, Janet Varney, Kerri Kenney Silver, Paul Scheer, Beth Dover, and many more.
"We are very excited to keep Burning Love on the fire -- get ready for it to get hotter and hotter till it scalds your comedy taste buds off," commented Stiller.
The next two installments of Burning Love will also be written by Erica Oyama (Childrens’ Hospital) and directed by Ken Marino and feature some returning cast including Ken Marino, June Diane Raphael and Natasha Leggero as well as new characters in their quest to find true love.
Season 2 follows Julie (June Diane Raphael), who failed to capture Mark Orlando’s heart in Season 1 of Burning Love, as she searches for love in a group of guys who are hopefully all there for the right reasons.
Season 3 Burning Down The House reunites our favorite rejected guys and girls as they return to the Burning Love mansion to compete for a hefty prize and for each other's affection.
Burning Love is executive produced by Red Hour’s Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein, Abominable Pictures’ Jonathan Stern, Ken Marino and Erica Oyama’s Dancing Workfriend with Paramount’s Insurge Pictures distributing the project.
Ben Stiller and Red Hour Films have an extensive history creating top tier comedy in film and television as well as for digital platforms, including Tropic Thunder, Zoolander, Dodgeball, Stiller and Meara for Yahoo!, and now Burning Love. Jon Stern’s Abominable Pictures has an impressive track record for creating successful comedy television and digital series including Childrens’ Hospital and NTSF: SD: SUV.
For more information on Burning Love visit www.BurningLove.com or follow Mark Orlando on Twitter at @BurningLoveMark or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BurningLoveShow.
Yahoo! sets the bar for best-in-class original video programming. With its recently launched video destination, Yahoo! Screen (http://screen.yahoo.com), the development of women’s, men’s and comedy slates, and collaborations with world-class storytellers, creative partners and original voices, Yahoo! continues to build on its leadership position in video and to provide consumers and advertisers with the best premium content online.
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, ParamountVantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, ParamountHome Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
Yahoo! is focused on creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep more than half a billion people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. Yahoo!'s unique combination of Science + Art + Scale connects advertisers to the consumers who build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com).
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Andy Serkis Has Film Rights to Orwell's "Animal Farm"
Performance Capture Studio Founded by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish Secures Rights to “The Bone Season” and “Animal Farm”
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--London-based performance capture studio The Imaginarium has secured the film rights to the highly anticipated book series, The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon as well as the film rights to adapt George Orwell’s seminal novel Animal Farm, it was announced today by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish, founders of The Imaginarium.
“The dystopian world created by Samantha in The Bone Season series offers a fantastic setting for a truly extraordinary and thrilling narrative,” said Serkis. “We are honoured that she chose to collaborate with us in the adaptation of her work.”
“Samantha has created a compelling and unique world and a gripping story crafted to span a series of novels. The Bone Season offers the opportunity to create a dynamic franchise with global appeal,” adds Cavendish.
Scheduled for publication on August 20, 2013, by Bloomsbury, The Bone Season was acquired during the London Book Fair in a pre-emptive bid by the publisher.
“Samantha Shannon is an extraordinarily talented writer. The Bone Season is a startling combination of a unique literary voice, a fully conceived, terrifying parallel world and a narrative pace that grips like a vice,” said Alexandra Pringle, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief.
“I am thrilled to be working with The Imaginarium,” said Shannon. “Their name had me from the start: a place devoted to imagination. There is a strong, visual sensibility to my writing process and I am very excited by the creative possibilities for how The Bone Season could translate from page to screen. I am confident that all the members of the Imaginarium team are as passionate about the book as I am, and I look forward to working with them to make this project a reality.”
In addition to The Bone Season, The Imaginarium has negotiated the rights for a feature film adaptation of George Orwell’s classic tale, Animal Farm.
“Both The Bone Season and Animal Farm are perfectly suited to The Imaginarium,” said Cavendish. “With Animal Farm, we will reinvent this iconic story for a new generation, using the unique storytelling techniques offered by performance capture. The acquisition of these two projects marks an exciting time for all us at The Imaginarium.”
Serkis and Cavendish will serve as producers on The Bone Season; Serkis will direct and act in Animal Farm and produce along with Cavendish.
The Imaginarium is represented by CAA and Larry Taube, Principle LA Entertainment; publishing and films rights for The Bone Season and Ms. Shannon were handled by David Godwin Associates, UK (DGA, Ltd.).
“We are delighted to officially announce our involvement in bringing this classic yet controversial fable to life, hopefully allowing it to resonate for our times with a combination of a fresh perspective, real emotional heart, a great deal of humor and satire,” said Serkis. “By utilizing performance capture, a deeply talented and committed cast of actors will be able to explore and fully inhabit Orwell's fairy tale world where ‘some animals are more equal than others.’”
ABOUT THE IMAGINARIUM STUDIOS
Established in 2011 by actor/director Andy Serkis and producer Jonathan Cavendish, The Imaginarium harnesses the power of performance capture to fuel a new generation of storytelling in film, television and videogames. The Imaginarium’s central London studio base acts as magnet to the international film community as well as providing a development and production base for writers, filmmakers and creative visionaries from all over the world. www.theimaginariumstudios.com
ABOUT THE BONE SEASON
The Bone Season begins in 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of London. Paige is a clairvoyant, and in this future world, clairvoyance is forbidden and Paige is committing high treason. Attacked, kidnapped, and transported to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for two hundred years, she meets Warden, a Rephaite with dark honey skin and heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He is the single most beautiful and frightening thing she has ever laid eyes on — and he will become her keeper.
ABOUT SAMANTHA SHANNON
Born in 1991, Samantha Shannon was raised in West London, where she started her first novel at the age of fifteen. She is currently studying for a degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season is the first in a projected series of seven novels.
ABOUT ANIMAL FARM
First published in 1945, George Orwell’s allegorical tale Animal Farm has been hailed by TIME magazine as one of the best 100 English-language novels (1923-2005), is currently listed at number 31 on the Modern Library List of the 20th Century’s best novels and was awarded a retrospective Hugo Award in 1996.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Actor Ray Park-Darth Maul at Wizard World Austin
Ray Park Of 'Star Wars: Episode I' Added To Wizard World Austin Comic Con Lineup This Weekend
Popular Guest Portrayed “Darth Maul”; Joins Sir Patrick Stewart, WWE® Superstar CM Punk®, Eliza Duskhu, Michael Rooker, 'Star Trek: TNG' Reunion At Austin Convention Center
NEW YORK and AUSTIN, Texas, October 23, 2012 – Ray Park, who portrayed “Darth Maul” in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, has been added to the roster of celebrities attending Wizard World Austin Comic Con, Friday through Sunday at Austin Convention Center. He will join stars like Sir Patrick Stewart, WWE® Superstar CM Punk®, Eliza Dushku and Michael Rooker at the event.
A hugely popular Wizard World guest, Park will attend all three days. He will sign autographs, meet fans, pose for photo ops and conduct an interactive Q&A.
Park got his start as an actor and a stuntman in minor roles during 1997’s Mortal Kombat Annihilation. From there, Park was soon cast as “Darth Maul,” his most popular role to date. His turn as a Star Wars villain was embraced by fans for his chilling visual look and Park’s ferocious performance that redefined the sith for the modern audience.
Park has gone on to star or appear in several hit films, including director Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, Fanboys and X-Men. Park has also been a regular in the popular NBC series “Heroes” and has a key role in the upcoming blockbuster G.I. Joe: Retaliation with Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Adrianne Palicki, due for March 2013 release.
Austin Comic Con will also feature the reunion of eight cast members of “Star Trek” The Next Generation.” Other stars scheduled to appear at Wizard World Austin Comic Con this weekend include Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “90210”), The Boondock Saints trio of David Della Rocco, Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (“Jersey Shore”).
The lineup of superstar comic creators in Austin is also impressive, with Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Eisner winner Bernie Wrightson (“Swamp Thing,” “House of Mystery”), Kaare Andrews (“Astonishing X-Men,” “Iron Man”), Humberto Ramos (“The Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Impulse”) and Mike McKone (“Avengers,” “Green Lantern”) at the top of the deep list.
Wizard World Austin Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Show hours are Friday, Oct. 26, noon-8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For more on the 2012 Wizard World Austin Comic Con, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-tx.html.
About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.
The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.
Review: "Army of Darkness" Never Loses its Charm (Happy B'day Sam Raimi)
Army of Darkness (1993)
Running time: 87 minutes (1 hour, 27 minutes)
MPAA – R
DIRECTOR: Sam Raimi
WRITERS: Ivan Raimi and Sam Raimi
PRODUCER: Robert Tapert
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Pope
EDITOR: Bob Murawski
COMPOSER: Joseph LoDuca
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Bridget Fonda, and Ted Raimi
The subject of this movie review is Army of Darkness, a 1992 comic horror film from director Sam Raimi. The film, which was released in the United States in February 1993, is the third and final film in The Evil Dead trilogy.
Bruce Campbell reprised the role of Ash, the demon-besieged hero he portrayed in director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, in the 1993 film, Army of Darkness, Raimi’s (kind of) sequel to Evil Dead 2. This time Ash is the head store clerk in the housewares department at S-Mart. As the film opens, Ash narrates the back story of how he and his girlfriend were vacationing in a secluded cabin when all hell (literally) breaks loose. Eventually, demonic time warp sucks Ash and his ’73 Oldsmobile into a vortex that transports them to Dark Ages England, and here the fun begins. To go back to his own time, Ash has to find the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead), an ancient tome bound in human flesh and inked in blood, but Ash doesn’t properly recite an important incantation that goes with the book. This error awakens legions of undead beasts and an army of skeletons, and led by Ash’s diabolical twin, Evil Ash, this army of darkness marches against a small castle and its inhabitants, and only Ash can save them. Will he?
Raimi’s Army of Darkness is a delightful and hilarious sword-and-sorcery mini-epic – a kind of lighted hearted and much smaller version of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy released eight years before LOTR saw the light of day. Bruce Campbell’s Ash is a charming rogue brought together by Campbell’s occasionally hammy acting and his exuberant love of being of in movies; the man never disappoints because he buys into the film fantasy as much as actors way more talented than him.
Sam Raimi was obviously a talent with a knack for filmmaking, as seen in his early low-budget films. Although the Spider-Man film franchise would make him an A-list director, Army of Darkness showed that Raimi loved making movies and always made the best of what he had. I doubt any director other than Raimi (even Spielberg) could, in 1993, make an army of stop-motion skeletons look funny and cool rather than be an embarrassment on the screen, but this was Raimi passing on his joy of making fun fantasy movies to the audience.
For all its hokiness and in spite of its old-fashioned special effects, Army of Darkness is a very good film. Its cheesy looks belie a joyful heart, and I wished more genre filmmakers would deliver movies made by the “seat of their pants” that look like this. Army of Darkness is Saturday matinee gold – pure and simple.
7 of 10
Monday, October 22, 2012
Review: "Madagascar 3" is DreamWorks Animation's Best to Date
TRASH IN MY EYE No. 79 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
Running time: 93 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild crude humor
DIRECTORS: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon
WRITERS: Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach
PRODUCERS: Mireille Soria and Mark Swift
EDITOR: Nick Fletcher
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer
Starring: (voices) Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, John DiMaggio, Paz Vega, Frank Welker and Vinnie Jones
The subject of this movie review is Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, a 2012 3D computer-animated film from DreamWorks Animation. It is the third movie in the Madagascar film series, following Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on the run in Europe and hiding with a traveling circus, which needs their help.
Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) was the king of New York City’s Central Park Zoo. A series of bizarre incidents found Alex and his friends: Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), as well as four crafty Penguins: Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Private (Christopher Knights), and Rico (John DiMaggio), stranded on the exotic island of Madagascar. They make new friends, the Madagascar lemurs: King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), and Mort (Andy Richter).
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman headed to Monaco, Monte Carlo in search of the penguins and their two chimpanzee companions, Mason and Phil. What they find is trouble in the form of Captain Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand) of Monaco Animal Control. On the run from DuBois and her cohorts, Alex and company find a safe haven with Zaragoza Circus. The circus, which has seen better days, needs some help, but its animal denizens are suspicious of the newcomers. Alex sets out to reinvent the circus, a miracle that just may get him and his friends home – finally!
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film in the Madagascar franchise. I’d planned on seeing it in a theatre, but I wasn’t really that enthused about it. I rented Madagascar 3 on DVD, and gave the copy to my mother. After watching it, she wanted to know if she could keep the disc to watch it a second time. She rarely watches films a second time, so I knew something was up. After watching the first few minutes of the film, I knew that it was going to be good. By the time the action explodes in the Hotel De Paris sequence, I knew that this movie was going to be something special, and it is. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film DreamWorks Animation has produced to date – even better than the exceptional Kung Fu Panda movies. What’s the difference between Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and the earlier Madagascar films and most other DreamWorks’ cartoons? The difference is the writing/storytelling.
I’ve come across commentary that describes DreamWorks as the tech guys of computer animation and Pixar Animation Studios as the art of storytelling guys. There is some truth to that. DreamWorks is producing computer-animated films in which the quality of the animation in terms of movement of characters and objects is improving by sky-high leaps and bounds. The stories in Pixar’s films have heart and the characters almost seem like real people, as seen in the Toy Story films, Wall-E, and Up. These films captivate adults as much as they capture the imagination of children.
Europe’s Most Wanted has heart. The earlier Madagascar films relied on the personality quirks and the motivation and conflicts of the characters, but the plots and action weren’t as interesting or as funny as the characters. In fact, whenever the characters fell flat in the first two films, the plots could not rise to the level where the characters had been. The first film was interesting, and the second was not quite as good, but had its moments.
Europe’s Most Wanted has one great moment after another; the narrative is entrancing, and the action is exhilarating. This allows the characters, main and supporting, to shine, as excellent performers usually do when they have top-notch material. Of course, the animation is great, some of the best ever; it’s DreamWorks Animation, after all.
This movie also adds three fine new characters: Gia the Italian jaguar (Jessica Chastain), Vitaly the Russian tiger (Bryan Cranston), and Stefano the Italian sea lion (Martin Short). All three of the actors playing these characters give superb voice-acting performances. They help make Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted better than the earlier films – a lavish spectacle of animation brilliance. This story about the meaning of home and friendship is one of the great animated films in recent memory. I want to watch it again.
9 of 10
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Disney's "The Wild" is Mild, Cute Kid Stuff
The Wild (2006) – computer animation
Running time: 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
MPAA – G
DIRECTOR: Steve “Spaz” Williams
WRITERS: Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, and Mark Gibson & Philip Halprin; from a story by Mark Gibson and Philip Halprin
PRODUCERS: Beau Flynn and Clint Goldman
EDITORS: Scott Balcerek and Steven L. Wagner
COMPOSER: Alan Silvestri
ANIMATION/COMEDY/ACTION and ADVENTURE/DRAMA/FAMILY
Starring: (voices) Kiefer Sutherland, James Belushi, Eddie Izzard, Janeane Garofalo, William Shatner, Richard Kind, Greg Cipes, and Patrick Warburton
The subject of this movie review is The Wild, a 2006 computer-animated film. It was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and was produced by the now-defunct, Canadian computer animation company, C.O.R.E. Feature Animation (a part of C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures). The film is of note for its similarities to DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar (2005).
When his son, Ryan (Greg Cipes), an sullen pre-teen lion cub, is mistakenly shipped out of the country, Samson (Kiefer Sutherland), the star lion at the New York Zoo, chases the ship across the ocean with his friends: Benny (Jim Belushi), a savvy and streetwise squirrel; Bridget (Janeane Garofalo), an independent-minded giraffe; Larry (Richard Kind), a dim-witted anaconda; and Nigel (Eddie Izzard), a smart aleck koala in toe. They eventually trek the ship to an island with a highly active volcano. Here, Samson and his friends are confronted by something new to them – a dark foreboding jungle – the wild.
Disney apparently had been preparing for the day that their relationship with Pixar Animation Studios, the makers of such computer animated smash hits as the Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles, among others, might end. However, Disney and Pixar announced their merger a few months ago (as of this writing), but before the happy nuptials, Disney had produced two computer animated feature films independently of their esteemed partners at Pixar. The first, Chicken Little, debuted early last fall. Mid-April 2005 sees the arrival of the second film, The Wild.
The Wild has some high quality computer animation, not Pixar quality, but as good films such as Blue Sky Animation’s (Fox) Ice Age and PDI’s (DreamWorks) Shark Tale. The opening scenes – a fantasy/dream sequence – are electric and alive. The texture and fur on the animals, especially on Samson, Benny, and Nigel is superb. When the narrative reaches “the wild,” the movie comes alive in a world of diverse, vibrant, and rich colors. The characters move with fluidity and grace, and the action sequences are as good as Pixar’s work up to Monster’s Inc.
On the other hand, the script is dust bowl dry and sandpaper scratchy, from the beginning until the heroes reach “the wild.” By then, it would almost be too late to save the movie, except the film’s action and the array of creatures during the last third of the story reach a fever pitch. Most non-Pixar computer animated features generally fail in the story department, and this one barely gets an average grade. In fact, The Wild is embarrassingly (for Disney) similar to DreamWorks late spring 2005 hit, Madagascar. Both films have a lion in an identity crisis as the lead character. Both films also have New York Zoo creatures suddenly tossed back into their jungle (or “wild”) habitats after a forced Atlantic Ocean voyage.
As nice as the film looks, the voice acting is not so nice a listening experience. Kiefer Sutherland’s distinctive voice is lost in a poor character. In fact, Samson is often just the straight guy to Jim Belushi’s Benny, a good character well played by Belushi. Eddie Izzard’s unique vocal style, which works best when he’s on stage doing standup comedy, is neutered as the voice behind a cartoon character. Izzard’s performance here is a good example of why it is not always a good idea to get well-known screen and TV actors to do voice over work for animation. Sometimes a big movie star’s voice and acting style just doesn’t work without the face, so the studios would do better hiring actors who specialize in doing voiceover work for animation.
Overall, The Wild is a B-movie computer animated feature because of story and character, but its technical quality is noteworthy. I’d like to see director Steve “Spaz” Williams and his crew give it another shot, but like the makers of Chicken Little, there may be no place for them at the new Disney, now that Pixar will be calling the cartoon shots for the famed movie studio long into the foreseeable future.
5 of 10
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Saturday, October 20, 2012
"Cloud Atlas" Soundtrack CD Due November 6 2012
Featuring Original Music by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music will release the Cloud Atlas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at all digital retailers on October 23, with a physical CD release to follow on November 6. The original music was composed by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil. Tykwer also shares screenwriting and directing credits with filmmakers Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, in bringing David Mitchell’s best-selling novel to the big screen in the October 26th release Cloud Atlas.
Music is a central part of the Cloud Atlas story, particularly in one sequence of the film’s narrative involving a young composer who struggles to complete his life’s work, entitled The Cloud Atlas Sextet. This musical theme then recurs throughout the film and helps to connect multiple threads of action together as a single story moving through time.
“It’s an ever-present melody from a simple string line to a riff in a 1970s rock piece, to a jazz sextet playing in the background at the Cavendish party. We needed something beautiful and malleable enough to take us through five centuries,” said Tykwer. “There are lots of subjective voices in the story, and we were searching for one voice that could encompass them all, to form a beautiful choir.”
Because of this the three composers began working on the music before a single frame of film was shot.
“He prefers this to using temporary music by other composers,” Heil explained. “It allows him to use the temp score without worrying about what will take its place. As the film takes shape in post-production, we see what’s missing or needs changing and re-record the final.”
In the powerful and inspiring epic Cloud Atlas, drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a single story that unfolds in multiple timelines over the span of 500 years. Characters meet and reunite from one life to the next. Born and reborn. As the consequences of their actions and choices impact one another through the past, the present and the distant future, one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
Everything is connected.
Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) and Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) lead a stellar international cast that also includes Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent (Iris), Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David and David Gyasi, with Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) and Hugh Grant. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time. Cloud Atlas is produced by Grant Hill, Stefan Arndt, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski, with executive producers Philip Lee, Uwe Schott and Wilson Qui.
The Cloud Atlas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on WaterTower Music will be available digitally on October 23, and as a physical CD November 6, 2012.
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Tom Tykwer is one of Germany’s most exciting filmmakers and a triple threat (writer, director, composer). In 1999, he made his international breakthrough with the adrenaline-fueled Run Lola Run, which, as well as directing, he also wrote and co-composed with Klimek and Heil. The film was both a commercial and critical success, going on to become the most successful German film of that year. He followed this with The Princess and the Warrior, and then with his first English-language film, Heaven. In 2006, Tykwer co-wrote and directed Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. His next film was the sleek thriller The International. Most recently he completed the German language film 3 (Drei).
Reinhold Heil was born in a small town in West Germany and trained to become a classical pianist. While studying at the Berlin Music Academy, Heil became Nina Hagen’s keyboardist, co-writer, and co-producer and for the next few years honed his craft in what became the legendary Nina Hagen Band. After Hagen left the group, the remaining band members formed Spliff, one of Germany’s most successful rock bands of the 1980s.
Born in Australia, Johnny Klimek paid his dues in a series of gritty pub bands before migrating to Berlin to form the ’80s pop ensemble “The Other Ones” with his siblings. He segued into the club music scene on his own in the ’90s, and, out of the latter emerged his creative marriages to both Heil and Tykwer.
Among Klimek and Heil’s credits are Killer Elite, the TV series Awake, One Hour Photo, the acclaimed TV series Deadwood, and the theme song for Without a Trace. Up next for the duo is I, Frankenstein, starring Bill Nighy and Aaron Eckhart, slated for release in February.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Morgan Freeman Quite Good (of course) in "Along Came a Spider"
Along Came a Spider (2001)
Running time: 104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPAA – R for violence and language
DIRECTOR: Lee Tamahori
WRITER: Marc Moss (based upon the novel by James Patterson)
PRODUCERS: David Brown and Joe Wizan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew F. Leonetti
EDITOR: Neil Travis
COMPOSER: Jerry Goldsmith
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boreem, Anton Yelchin, Kimberly Hawthorne, Jay O. Sanders, Billy Burke, Penelope Ann Miller, Anna Maria Hosford, and Michael Moriarty
The subject of this movie review is Along Came a Spider, a 2001 crime thriller and police procedural directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross. The film is adapted from James Patterson’s 1993 novel, Along Came a Spider, which was the first Alex Cross novel. However, the second Cross novel, Kiss the Girls (1995), was the first to be filmed, in 1997 and also starring Freeman.
When a teacher at a private school kidnaps a Congressman’s daughter right under the Secret Service’s nose, Detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) must find the child. The clever kidnapper, named Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott), sucks Alex into the case to make a name for himself. Alex must be sharp as ever in the game against an insane opponent though he still grieves for his partner who was recently killed during a stake out.
Along Came a Spider is a follow-up of sorts to Kiss the Girls, a previous film adaptation of a James Patterson novel, which also featured the Alex Cross, an African-American, Washington D.C. detective and profiler. While the latter film was slow and clunky, Along Came a Spider is brisk and breezy, and maybe a little too much of that at times, but a better effort than its predecessor. It certainly doesn’t seem like one of those numerous Silence of the Lambs copycats.
Director Tamahori (Once Were Warriors) chases Cross around the Washington locales, but the locales are window dressings behind the mind and presence of Cross. Freeman is of course, brilliant and convincing as Cross. Freeman plays him as sensitive, brave, earthy, and a rough neck when he has to be. Freeman, alone as the best American actor before Kevin Spacey exploded, is worth the price of admission, and Tamahori knows this. Tamahori is good, and he realizes how to capture on film the tension and detail of Patterson’s giant novels. Adapting a Patterson police procedural is difficult, but Tamahori and writer Marc Moss distill the novel’s spirit into Cross. The audience then has to read the story through Cross via his actions and personality. A lesser actor would be lost in converting the text of the novel into film; Freeman is up to the task and is the storyteller as much as, or perhaps more so than, Tamahori and Moss.
Although mostly driven by Cross’s character, Spider allows Soneji some good moments of his own. Cross’s tag along partner, Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter) slyly dominates quite a bit of the film with her ambiguous and plastic facial expressions. The victim, Megan Rose (Mike Boreem), has an endearing personality. As Rose, Ms. Boreem is the rare child thespian, an actor and not a pretender. She convinces that she is as smart, as brave, and as spunky as the character is supposed to be.
While on the surface Along Came a Spider is a by the numbers hunt and chase story in which the quarry is one of those mad genius criminals, it is a tour de force of Freeman’s screen presence. Not high art in and of itself, it is good Hollywood product. The art is in Freeman’s talent, and worth repeated viewings just for the man.
6 of 10
2002 Image Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Morgan Freeman)
Thursday, October 18, 2012
2012 Gotham Awards Nominations Announced
Nominees are selected by groups of distinguished film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films determine the final Gotham Award recipients.
Today, (Thursday, October 18, 2012), the IFP announced the nominees for the 22nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. The Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, November 26, 2012 at Cipriani Wall Street. Actors Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon, director David O. Russell, and Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll will each be presented with a career tribute. Twenty-one writers and programmers participated in the 2012 nomination process, considering 211 eligible submissions for six competitive categories.
22nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards:
Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Ginger Sledge, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer, Matt Williams, David McFadzean, Judd Payne, Dete Meserve, producers (Millennium Entertainment)
The Loneliest Planet
Julia Loktev, director; Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Helge Albers, Marie Therese Guirgis, producers (Sundance Selects)
Paul Thomas Anderson, director; Joanne Sellar, Daniel Lupi, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, producers (The Weinstein Company)
Middle of Nowhere
Ava DuVernay, director; Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, producers (AFFRM and Participant Media)
Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Focus Features)
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors; Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Craig Atkinson, producers (Loki Films)
How to Survive a Plague
David France, director; Howard Gertler, David France, producers (Sundance Selects)
Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present
Matthew Akers, director; Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff, producers (HBO Documentary Films and Music Box Films)
Rodney Ascher, director; Tim Kirk, producer (IFC Midnight)
The Waiting Room
Peter Nicks, director; Peter Nicks, Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch, producers (International Film Circuit)
Best Ensemble Performance
Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey (Millennium Entertainment)
Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban (Focus Features)
Safety Not Guaranteed
Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere, Kristen Bell, Jeff Garlin, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Film District)
Silver Linings Playbook
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher (The Weinstein Company)
Your Sister’s Sister
Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt, Mark Duplass (IFC Films)
Breakthrough DirectorZal Batmanglij for Sound of My Voice (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky for Francine (Factory 25 and The Film Sales Company)
Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin for Now, Forager (Argot Pictures)
Antonio Méndez Esparza for Aquí y Allá (Here and There) (Torch Films)
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mike Birbiglia in Sleepwalk with Me (IFC Films)
Emayatzy Corinealdi in Middle of Nowhere (AFFRM and Participant Media)
Thure Lindhardt in Keep the Lights On (Music Box Films)
Melanie Lynskey in Hello, I Must Be Going (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
David Zellner, director; Nathan Zellner, Producer
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Terence Nance, director; Terence Nance, Andrew Corkin, James Bartlett, producers
Alex Karpovsky, director; Alex Karpovsky, Michael Bowes, producers
Sun Don’t Shine
Amy Seimetz, director; Kim Sherman, Amy Seimetz, producers
Tiger Tail in Blue
Frank V. Ross, director; Adam Donaghey, Drew Durepos, producers
The Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers "Live the Dream" grant is a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film.
The nominees are:
Leah Meyerhoff, director, I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS
Stacie Passon, director, CONCUSSION
Visra Vichit Vadakan, KARAOKE GIRL
The 3rd Annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award will be voted on by an independent film community of 230,000 film fans worldwide. To be eligible, a U.S. film must have won an audience award at one of the top 50 U.S. or Canadian film festivals from November 2011 through October 2012. Voting begins today at http://gotham.ifp.org/audience_award for the 31 films on the eligibility list. The nominees will be announced November 5th, and the winner will be revealed at the Gotham Awards ceremony.
The recipient of the “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” award is determined by the editorial staff of Filmmaker Magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). All of these nominees will also be screened for the public at MoMA from November 16-19, 2012.
For more information: www.ifp.org