Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Star Trek "The Mission Continues" Contest

WHAT: Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot and Charitybuzz partner to offer Star Trek fans a once-in-a-lifetime oppurtunity to meet director J.J. Abrams and the cast of "Star Trek Into Darkness" at the film's Los Angeles premiere.  Proceeds will benefit "The Mission Continues."

Charitybuzz, the leading destination for online charity auctions, will host the bidding for a four-pack of VIP tickets to attend the “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” premiere in Los Angeles. The winners will walk the red carpet, meet director J.J. Abrams and the cast, and attend the premiere after-party. Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot will match the winning bid, up to $25,000. Proceeds will benefit The Mission Continues and its work to empower post-9/11 veterans on their new missions here at home.

WHEN: TUESDAY, MAY 14TH, 2013
Bidding is open now through Thursday, May 9th at www.Charitybuzz.Com/StarTrek


ABOUT “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”
In the wake of a shocking act of terror from within their own organization, the crew of The Enterprise is called back home to Earth. In defiance of regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice. As the heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” opens nationwide May 17th, 2013.

“STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” is written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof and directed by J.J. Abrams. Abrams is producing with Bryan Burk through Bad Robot Productions, along with Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci. Jeffrey Chernov and Skydance Productions’ David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Paul Schwake are the executive producers.

ABOUT CHARITYBUZZ.COM
Charitybuzz raises funds for nonprofits around the globe through online auctions with the world’s most recognizable celebrities and brands. Featuring access to acclaimed actors and musicians, business and political leaders, sports stars, luxury travel, couture fashion, rare memorabilia and more, Charitybuzz brings its online community of bidders exclusive opportunities to live their dreams and make a difference. Since launching, Charitybuzz has raised more than $75 million for charity. To learn more, visit www.Charitybuzz.com, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Charitybuzz or follow us on Twitter at @Charitybuzz.

ABOUT THE MISSION CONTINUES
Mission Continues is a community service organization that helps post-9/11 veterans transition from the military to leadership roles at home. The Mission Continues benefits veterans and communities in equal measure. The organization sponsors veterans’ enrollment in a 6-month service and leadership program. These veterans dedicate themselves to serving in their community, volunteering for at least 20 hours a week in community organizations to address issues like homelessness, illiteracy and unemployment. The Mission Continues provides the tools, the direction, and a living stipend to these veterans, while the veterans deploy their experience, their skills, and their desire against our communities' most pressing problems. Since its inception, The Mission Continues has awarded more than 600 fellowships and engaged thousands of volunteers at more than 350 community organizations. For more information, please visit www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter: @missioncontinue

Happy B'day, Jane Campion: Holy Smoke

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 173 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Holy Smoke! (1999)
Running time: 115 minutes (1 hour, 55 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexuality and language
DIRECTOR: Jane Campion
WRITERS: Anna Campion and Jane Campion
PRODUCER: Jan Chapman
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dion Beebe (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Veronika Jenet
COMPOSER: Angelo Badalamenti

DRAMA/COMEDY

Starring: Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel, Julie Hamilton, Sophie Lee, Dan Wyllie, Paul Goddard, Tim Robertson, and Pam Grier

The subject of this movie review is Holy Smoke!, a 1999 Australian comedy-drama from director Jane Campion. The film stars Kate Winslet as an Australian tourist who falls in with an Indian guru and Harvey Keitel as a macho American deprogrammer hired to free her from that new spirituality.

Jane Campion won an Academy Award in 1994 in the category original screenplay for her 1993 film, The Piano. Whereas both the characters and the story were well written in that internationally acclaimed film, the same cannot be said of Ms. Campion’s Holy Smoke, which is not nearly as rich a film as The Piano.

When a young woman (Kate Winslet) falls under the influence of a charismatic guru and joins his ashram, her parents hire PJ Waters (Harvey Kietel, who also starred in Ms. Campion’s The Piano), an “exiter,” a counselor who specializes in deprogramming people taken in by cults. PJ, however, finds the young woman, Ruth Barron, to be not only iron-willed and intelligent, but also very sexy. Ruth engages PJ is an intense battle of wills and sexual politics that begs the question – who will win?

Ms. Winslet is nothing short of stunning in Holy Smoke, and the continual growth of her acting talent is a revelation. It’s hard to take your eyes off her, and she is so beautiful. Ms. Winslet is not one of those tiresome and too thin anorexia stars, but a big boned, baby-got-back-and-front, full figured, blond goddess. The combination of her acting prowess and raw sexuality will distract from a dull movie, and Holy Smoke, while not quite awful, needed this Meryl Streep with a body.

The film is just too up and down. It is at times funny and engaging, but at other times too dry and pointless. The other characters are quite interesting, but the screenwriters ignore them in favor of a drawn out battle between Ruth and PJ. That’s a shame because many of the other characters, including Ruth’s parents and PJ’s partner played by Pam Grier, seem to have interesting backstories. The film limps to the finish line with a tired battle of the sexes. Thankfully, a sentimental dénouement saves the film from being completely below average.

5 of 10
C+

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 MTV Movie Awards Spread the Love

Ooops, we forgot to post the results of the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.  We found this at the MTV website - the winners with a summary of why they won:

2013 MTV Movie Award Winners:

Movie Of The Year:
Marvel's The Avengers
Directed by Joss Whedon

An epic ensemble of superheroes, including Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, join forces to stop villainous Loki from subjugating the world.

Best Musical Moment Winner:
Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean and Hana Mae Lee
Pitch Perfect
Directed by Jason Moore

The Barden Bellas break outside of their comfort zones and step up their performance with an a capella cover of "No Diggity."

MTV Generation Award:
Jamie Foxx

Each year, the MTV Movie Awards recognizes an esteemed actor with an honorary Golden Popcorn for the Generation Award. The distinction is given to an artist who has shown us a variety of impressive roles, a personal and professional flair and of course, an awesome level of talent.

Best Villain Winner:
Tom Hiddleston
Marvel's The Avengers
Directed by Joss Whedon

Tom Hiddleston's Loki is an evil mastermind out to destroy planet earth with a swift stomp of his iron-heeled boot.

Best Shirtless Performance Winner:
Taylor Lautner
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
Directed by Bill Condon

Taylor Lautner left Team Jacob drooling into their popcorn buckets with his silver screen stripdown in 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.

Breakthrough Performance Winner:
Rebel Wilson
Pitch Perfect
Directed by Jason Moore

The Aussie export kept the outrageous a capella adventure down to earth as Fat Amy, a girl whose confidence and personal pizazz provided some of our favorite LOL moments of the movie.

Comedic Genius Award:
Will Ferrell

Throughout his long and illustrious career, Ferrell continues to keep things super fresh. He pushes boundaries with his creative characters and keeps us guessing with his witty one-liners. Best of all, he shows no signs of slowing down.

Best Kiss Winner:
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper
Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O. Russell

Cooper and Lawrence had us believing there was no room for romance in Pat and Tiffany's mutual misfortunes. But, after a steamy dance routine in a swanky hotel, the pair finds love in a hopeless place.

MTV Trailblazer Award:
Emma Watson

The MTV Trailblazer Award returns for a second year to highlight a phenomenal young talent in the biz. The award is given to an actor who, despite their age, has managed to inspire others with a diverse portfolio of work and a transcendent reputation in the public eye.

Best Fight Winner:
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner
Marvel's The Avengers
Directed by Joss Whedon

Downey Jr., Evans, Ruffalo, Hemsworth, Johansson and Renner team up as a fully-assembled superhero clique to save the world from a Manhattan-bound nuclear missile.

Best WTF Moment Winner:
Jamie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson
Django Unchained
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

In an excruciating sequence, Foxx's Django blasts servile head-servant Stephen, played by Jackson, and sets the Candieland mansion ablaze with the strike of a match.

Best Male Performance Winner:
Bradley Cooper
Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O. Russell

Bradley Cooper charms as Pat, a bi-polar man living with his parents who befriends a beautiful-but-equally-disturbed neighbor named Tiffany.

Best Female Performance:
Jennifer Lawrence
Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O. Russell

As Tiffany, a troubled young woman who forms a friendship with bi-polar Pat, Jennifer Lawrence is bewitchingly beautiful and intensely relatable.

Best Scared-As-S**t Performance:
Suraj Sharma
Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee

Sharma shines as 16-year-old Pi, whose life is changed forever when a startled zebra jumps into his lifeboat, forcing the pair overboard during a powerful storm.

Best On-Screen Duo:
Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane
Ted
Directed by Seth MacFarlane

The destructive pair encourages each other when it comes to just about everything unethical, and yet, you can't help but admire the unique understanding between John (Wahlberg) and his crude, rude and lewd little bear, Ted (MacFarlane).

Best Hero:
Bilbo
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Directed by Peter Jackson

Bilbo Baggins, The Shire's furry-footed hole dwelling hero, uses common sense and courage to take on Gollum in a tale of bravery on an unexpected journey.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy B'day, Mary McDonnell: Passion Fish

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 11 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Passion Fish (1992)
Running time: 135 minutes (2 hours, 15 minutes)
MPAA – R
EDITOR/WRITER/DIRECTOR: John Sayles
PRODUCERS: Sarah Green and Maggie Renzi
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roger Deakins
COMPOSER: Mason Daring
Academy Award nominee

DRAMA

Starring: Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, David Strathairn, Lenore Banks, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Nora Dunn, Angela Bassett, Mary Portser, and Will Mahoney

The subject of this movie review is Passion Fish, a 1992 drama from writer-director John Sayles. The film tells the story of a paralyzed soap opera actress and the bond she forms with one of her nurses.

Some would decry that Passion Fish, like most John Sayles films (Matewan, Eight Men Out), lacks precisely that: passion. The truth is that John Sayles films eschew the emotional histrionics that so many filmmakers mistake for emotional honesty. Plus, many directors (American directors are afflicted with this curse) probably think that you have to turn of the intensity to capture the attentions of a jaded audience. Besides, the word “passion” is not a lone adjective in the title, but half of a whole that describes the film’s central theme.

Mary-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell, Dances with Wolves), a popular soap opera actress, is left paralyzed and wheel chair bound after a car accident. She returns to her Louisiana childhood home where she runs through a succession of nurses until she meets the fiery Chantelle (Alfre Woodard, Grand Canyon), who is running from her own debilitating sickness. Together, they traverse the narrow road and rough terrain of healing, because, in the end, they are alike and really need each other. In the meantime, they also both find new male friends and companions. Mary attaches to an old-fashioned Cajun (Sayles veteran David Strathairn, City of Hope) and Chantelle to a black Cowboy (Vondie Curtin-Hall, Die Hard 2).

Sayles directs this film with deliberate slowness, a languid pace that mirrors Passion Fish’s sultry and humid setting. He gives his cast a chance to slip into the skins of their roles, and there is a pay off – believable performances and characters that feel right in their environments. His script is full of his sharp wit and his lush and rich dialogue, for which he has deft ear.

The performances are excellent. Although Ms. McDonnell alone earned an Academy Award nomination for performance, Ms. Woodard turns in an exemplary performance as Chantelle, desperately fighting her addiction and desperate to reclaim her child. As a duo, they subtly draw us into their lives, and we can’t help but leave a part of ourselves with them as they chose to remain together – forever or for as long as it takes them to heal.

I can’t stress enough how Sayles builds this movie on good acting and a strong story. For those who like strong characters with which one can identify, this movie has them. Passion Fish is truly a fine film for audiences looking for mature subject matter, and is another delight in the beautiful filmography of a great American independent filmmaker, John Sayles.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
1993 Academy Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Mary McDonnell) and “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” (John Sayles)

1993 Golden Globes, USA: 2 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Mary McDonnell) and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Alfre Woodard)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New "Star Trek Into Darkness" Scotty Poster

Remembering Mario Bava: I Vampiri

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 109 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux


I Vampiri (1956) – B&W
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Italy
Running time: 78 minutes (1 hour, 18 minutes)
DIRECTOR: Mario Bava with Riccardo Freda
WRITERS: J.V. Rhemo; from a story by Piero Regnoli and Riccardo Freda
PRODUCERS: Luigi Carpentieri, Ermanno Donati, and Piero Donati
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mario Bava
EDITOR: Roberto Cinquini
COMPOSERS: Franco Mannino and Roman Vlad

HORROR with elements of drama

Starring: Dario Michaelis, Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo D’Angelo, Wandisa Guida, Angelo Galassi, Renato Tontini, Charles Fawcett, Gisella Mancinotti, Miranda Campa, Antoine Balpêtré, and Paul Muller

The subject of this movie review is I Vampiri (The Vampires), a 1956 Italian horror film. The film is apparently the first sound era Italian horror film, as the genre had been banned in the 1930s and 40s.

Although Riccardo Freda, working under the name “Robert Hampton,” is credited with directing the Italian horror film, I Vampiri, the movie was actually finished by cinematographer Mario Bava after Freda quit the production. I Vampiri has been was first released in the United States as The Devil’s Commandment (1956) and later as Lust of the Vampire (1963).

After a series of young women are found dead with the blood drained from their bodies, the citizens of Paris are calling these the “Vampire Murders.” Inspector Chantal (Carlo D’Angelo) and the French police aren’t the only ones investigating the murders. Pierre Lantin (Dario Michaelis) is a curious journalist determined to solve the murders, but he finds his investigation distracted by the lovely Giselle (Gianna Maria Canale), the niece of Margheita, the Duchess du Grand, who was obsessed with Lantin’s late father.

What Lantin doesn’t know is that back at the Duchess’ castle, mad scientist, Dr. Julien du Grand (Antoine Balpêtré), is draining young women of their blood. When Lorrette Robert (Wandisa Guida), a beautiful student, turns up missing, Lantin follows his suspicions to the Duchess and to the horrifying secret deep in the heart of her castle.

By no means a great film, I Vampiri is a nice introduction to Mario Bava’s ornate style of Gothic horror films. This moody curiosity, which features beautiful dream-like photography and splendid production values, is strangely mesmerizing. Somewhat over the top and yet strangely mannered and staid, I Vampiri is a unique movie treat.

6 of 10
B

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: "Identity" Almost Great

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 61 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Identity (2003)
Running time: 90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong violence and language
DIRECTOR: James Mangold
WRITER: Michael Cooney
PRODUCER: Cathy Konrad
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Phedon Papamichael
EDITOR: David Brenner
COMPOSER: Alan Silvestri

HORROR/MYSTER/THRILLER with elements of crime drama

Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, Rebecca De Mornay, John C. McGinley, John Hawkes, Jake Busey, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Bret Loehr

The subject of this movie review is Identity, a 2003 mystery thriller and psychological horror film from director James Mangold. The film is set at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rainstorm. There, ten strangers are stranded and being killed off one by one. It’s actually a very good film until the end.

I often think that suspense thrillers and horror movies don’t have to be great, just effective, although there are great suspense and horror films. The plot and story may be familiar (it usually is), but the execution should make us forget that we’ve seen this before. We should be too busy jumping in our seats or making sure we locked all our doors and windows before the sun went down and we started watching a scary movie. Thus, while What Lies Beneath isn’t a great film, say like Psycho, it’s very well executed and does what it’s supposed to do: make us jump in our seats and feel something akin to the fear that the characters in the story feel. That is what Identity does.

Director James Mangold burst onto the film scene with the heartwarming and heart-wrenching drama Heavy, and entered the big time with Copland, wherein which he drew a very good performance from Sylvester Stallone. Identity is his first film that tackles the suspense/horror genre, and it’s a mighty good first leap.

Through the vagaries of coincidence, ten strangers are stranded at an isolated hotel during a nasty storm. As they begin to know each other, they discover that someone, either one of them or an unknown person, is killing them off one by one. As the most likely suspects are knocked off, the survivors are further confused when the bodies of the dead begin to disappear.

Writer Michael Cooney, the mastermind behind the Jack Frost films, creates what you could call a typical, professional Hollywood script, especially for a suspense film. The story has the usual clues and subtle tricks that you have to catch in order to learn the identity of the “bad guy.” It has the usual “bumps in the night,” an isolated setting for the story, the duplicitous characters, and enough false positives to scare off any pro football team. This is very good, if not spectacular work.

The strength of the film is in its cast and in its director. John Cusack is, as ever, very good as the leading man, and especially good in this case, as the smart guy trying to figure things out. Ray Liotta continues to shine in whatever roles he takes; everyone just seems to take him for granted. Mangold makes Identity part Alfred Hitchcock and a little slasher film. He’s subtle, even when the story seems to go over the top, as he takes advantage of Cooney’s suspense thriller settings: the lonely stretch of highway, the isolated motel, the overbearing and claustrophobic rainstorm, and the characters who come in all colors: shady, sneaky, weird, mental, dangerous, dishonest, weak, and angry. Mangold lets the cast run wild with these characters. He simply and quietly follows them, his camera greedily drinking what he’s carefully staged. It seems like zany and scary fun done with abandon, and while it is, Mangold knew what he was doing. He knew the buttons to push, and he knows where to take the story, every inch of the way, every scene in its place to give us the same sense of panic, fear, and growing desperation that his characters feel.

I had hoped that Identity would be fun and it was – good, spooky fun. When the story reveals its big secret, it does knock the steam out of the film, ruining the fun…almost. With the grace and athletic skill of a Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady, the film gets back on its feet for an ending that at least slaps you in the face if it doesn’t exactly bunch you in the stomach. Early in the film is a clue as to the killer’s identity. I ignored it, because a later scene corrected what seemed like a mistake when one character wrongly accuses another. That later scene was wrong and was a trick to throw us off. So pay attention to every step you take on this creepy trip.

6 of 10
B

Marvel Unleashes "Iron Man 3" Products

Marvel Launches a Full “Armory” of Products Inspired by Marvel’s Iron Man 3

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Marvel Entertainment in conjunction with Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has unveiled the newest film-inspired product collection based on the highly anticipated Marvel’s Iron Man 3 releasing in theaters May 3, 2013. This armor and suit-inspired assortment features apparel, collectibles, lifestyle products, action figures, toys and role play products that capture the unique customization and dynamic personality of one of Marvel’s favorite Super Heroes, Iron Man.

“This innovative product assortment reflects the technological savvy and classic design of Iron Man coupled with the ingenuity and individuality of Tony Stark,” said Paul Gitter, senior vice president of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products. “From radio controlled flying figures and customizable action figures, to deluxe costumes and role play items, we have developed an extensive collection of products that will allow fans of all ages to create their very own Super Hero adventure.”

Additionally, Marvel Press, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has released several titles in print and eBook form in support of the feature film, including Iron Man 3 Movie Storybook and Suits of Armor storybook by Tomas Palacios. Readers can also experience the action-packed adventure of Iron Man through mini-games, authentic animated artwork and interactive activities in the free Iron Man: Armored Avenger App, available on iTunes.

Opening in theaters May 3, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at this enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black.

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 collection of products is available now at national retailers, specialty stores, Marvel.com, Disney Store locations nationwide and DisneyStore.com.

MARVEL’S IRON MAN 3 PRODUCT ASSORTMENT*

*For a further list of products, please see our fact sheet at http://bit.ly/IM3ProductFactSheet

•Innovative Technology Products:

◦Iron Man 3 RealD 3D Eyewear (MSRP $10.00): RealD’s patented technology enables an incomparable, premium 3D viewing experience. CDM has developed a limited edition line of collectible RealD 3D eyewear for Marvel’s Iron Man 3.

◦Iron Man 3 Levitator Lamp (MSRP $150.00): Recreating the high-flying power of Iron Man’s suit right in front of your eyes, the Iron Man 3 armor levitates in mid-air and rotates 360 degrees on a lamp base that also emits a ceiling projection.

◦Iron Man 3 3D LightFX Wall Light (MSRP $29.99): The Iron Man 3 3D LightFX Wall Light mounts to the wall and is cordless and battery operated; the innovative fixture is true to size and uses LED lights to bring the adventure of Iron Man to life.

◦Iron Man 3 iHome Electronics (MSRP $14.99 - $29.99): This exclusive collection includes noise isolating earphones, headphones, rechargeable character speakers and a dual alarm clock speaker system, all with cool character styling.

•Toys and Role Play:

◦Iron Man 3 Assemblers Action Figure Assortment by Hasbro (MSRP $9.99 each): Each figure in the buildable Assemblers Action Figure line features an Interchangeable Armor System, allowing one figure to create more than 25 armor combinations and allowing armor to be switched out to create hundreds of combinations.

◦Iron Man 3 ARC FX Role Play products by Hasbro (MSRP $24.99): The ARC FX MISSION MASK features dual missile launchers with ARC FX glowing visor lights and targeting beam light effect; the MOTORIZED ARC FX GAUNTLET features rapid-fire blasting action with NERF foam discs.

◦RC Flying Iron Man by EB Brands (MSRP $80.00): A full 19” long, the RC Iron Man banks, soars, dives and climbs, just like the extreme Super Hero, Iron Man; a unique, patented steering mechanism gives kids greater control and a super tight turning radius.

◦LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man 3 Construction Sets (MSRP $12.99 - $39.99): Kids can team up with Iron Man in his upgraded Mark 42 armor to battle villains with the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man 3 construction sets, each featuring a key scene and iconic characters from the highly anticipated new film.

•Lifestyle Products:

◦Under Armour Alter Ego Performance Shirts (MSRP $49.99 – Boys, $59.99 – Adult): Featuring the iconic Iron Man character design, Under Armour Alter Ego is the baselayer built for heroic performance.

◦Iron Man 3 Adult Hooded Fleece by Mad Engine (MSRP $59.50 - $63.50): Bring the powerful, strong, all-new suits of armor and their sleek designs featured in Marvel’s Iron Man 3 to your wardrobe with these adult hooded fleece.

◦Iron Man Threadless Tees (MSRP $18.50 - $23.50): Threadless challenged artists from all over the world to design t-shirts inspired by Marvel’s metal-clad Super Hero, resulting in 22 unique Iron Man tees in the collection.

•Collectibles:

◦Iron Man 3 POP! Bobble Head by Funko (MSRP $9.99): Iron Man is given a fun, and funky, stylized look as a collectible POP! style Iron Man 3 bobble head vinyl figure.

◦Iron Man 3 Micro Muggs by Hasbro (MSRP $1.99 each): The most epic Iron Man movie yet gets Hasbro’s smallest, coolest Iron Man collectibles. There are 24 unique armors across, each 1.75 inches, and two waves to collect.

•Disney Store:

◦Iron Man 3 Deluxe Costume for Boys (MSRP $59.95): Your junior Super Hero can suit-up for action in this deluxe padded armor inspired by Tony Stark's latest design for Marvel’s Iron Man 3.

◦Iron Man 3 Swim Collection for Boys (MSRP $7.50 - $19.50): He'll enjoy heroic days at the beach or pool in this Iron Man Swim Collection; prepare him for his aquatic adventures with Iron Man Swim Trunks, Rash Guard, Flip Flops and Beach Towel.

To download images of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 product collection, please visit http://bit.ly/IM3ProductImages (this link is case sensitive).


About Marvel’s Iron Man 3
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at this enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world’s largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into consumers' homes with products they can enjoy year-round. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around seven strategic brand priorities: Disney Baby & Classic Characters, Disney Media Networks & Games, Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Disney Fairies, Disney Live Action Film, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world's largest publisher of children's books, magazines, and digital products and also includes an English language learning business, consisting of over 40 Disney English learning centers across China and a supplemental learning book program. DPW's growing library of digital products includes best-selling eBook titles and original apps that leverage Disney content in innovative ways. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe and Japan with more than 350 stores worldwide and is known for providing consumers with high-quality, unique products. Disney's official shopping portals online are www.DisneyStore.com and www.DisneyStore.co.uk. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com or follow us at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, www.Facebook.com/DisneyLiving and www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: "Pawn" a Game of Changes

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 29 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux


Pawn (2013)
Running time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
MPAA – R for violence, language and brief drug content
DIRECTOR: David A. Armstrong
WRITER: Jay Anthony White
PRODUCERS: Michael Becker, Michael Chiklis, Brad Luff, and Jeff Most
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Keith Dunkerley (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Jordan Goldman and Danny Saphire
COMPOSER: Jacob Yoffee

CRIME/DRAMA/THRILLER

Starring: Michael Chiklis, Common, Marton Csokas, Sean Faris, Stephen Lang, Ray Liotta, Nikki Reed, Max Beesley, Jonathan Bennett, Forest Whitaker, Jessica Szohr, Ronald Guttman, Jordan Belfi, and Cameron Denny

Pawn is a 2013 crime thriller and drama. The independent film focuses on a petty robbery that turns into a tense hostage situation after three gunmen hold up a diner.

Pawn is mostly set in Be Brite Diner, an all-night diner (apparently located somewhere in Connecticut). Will Tompkins (Forest Whitaker), a police officer, walks in on a robbery in progress at the diner. Derrick (Michael Chiklis) and his crew, Billy (Max Beesley) and Nigel (Cameron Denny), want the contents of the diner’s safe.

Police and SWAT surround Be Brite. Nicholas “Nick” Davenport (Sean Faris), a recently paroled felon, finds himself caught in the middle, while his pregnant wife, Amanda (Nikki Reed), finds herself facing the “Man in the Suit” (Ray Liotta). Jeff Porter (Common), the hostage negotiator, isn’t sure whom he can trust… on either side of the situation. The big question is not only what happens next, but also what happened just before the robbery began? One extremely intense hostage situation is about to start taking some shocking twists.

The director of Pawn, David A. Armstrong, was the cinematographer on the Saw horror films, from the original to Saw VI. Like the Saw franchise, Pawn is filled with twists and turns and with the kinds of characters that always make twists and turns against their fellow characters. The film also has a non-linear narrative intended to make the viewer chase plots and subplots from one revelation to another. I never got tired of it because these revelations were sometimes delightful clarifications or like amusing sleights-of-hand. Pawn is determined to make you admit that you don’t know what you don’t know, and what you might actually know comes with an exception.

Pawn’s glaring problem is its low-budget and relatively short runtime. Pawn really looks like a movie made on the cheap. While there is nothing that the viewer can do about that (and nor are the film’s finances my business), Pawn, as written by Jay Anthony White, is an ambitious crime film, told across a sprawling landscape of characters, conflicts, and motivations. As director, it seems as if Armstrong is forced to keep the characters, plot, and setting confined to what amounts to a film production box, while Pawn wants to be wide open and loud, with some big action scenes.

Still, Armstrong turns in an engaging crime thriller and character drama in Pawn, with the help of some good performances. Common, the rapper and actor, has big, expressive eyes, and I love the way he uses them to convey being surprised and confused and especially to suggest his mistrust of some of the other characters. Pawn is also a reunion, of sorts, of Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker, who shared the small screen on the acclaimed television series, “The Shield.” When Chiklis and Whitaker’s characters are in proximity to one another, there is indeed some edgy tension and suspense, but there isn’t really that much of them together.

Pawn may not be a great crime film, but it is certainly a surprisingly compelling movie and is really fun to watch. Every time a character makes a move in this film, he changes this chess game of crooks that is the heart of Pawn. And Pawn is certainly a game of crooks and crime worth watching.

6 of 10
B

Monday, April 22, 2013


Monday, April 22, 2013

"Best" Named Best Short Film for Sundance London 2013

BEST Wins Sundance London Short Film Competition

Film by William Oldroyd to screen at Sundance London

Best, a five-minute film from Surrey filmmaker William Oldroyd, was announced today as the winner of the Short Film Competition for the second Sundance London film and music festival, 25-28 April at The O2. The film will screen as part of the official Short Film Programme at the festival, and Oldroyd will receive a three-night stay at The Langham, London as well as additional prizes.

The Short Film Competition was organized by a small team of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication students, in collaboration with Sundance London organizers, including Sundance Institute, which annually hosts the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A. To correspond with Sundance London’s location at The O2 in Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time, short film entries focused on the concept of time: ‘The Time is Now; a story that is about being immediate and in the moment.’ Submissions between three and five minutes in length were accepted.

The winning entry was selected by two juries on either side of the Atlantic. The first included: Kate Kinninmont, Women in Film and Television; Chris Collins, BFI Film Fund; Freddie Gaffney, Ravensbourne; Dave Calhoun, Time Out; and director / screenwriter Kat Lo. A second jury, organized by Sundance Institute, included: John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival; Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival; and filmmakers Francesca Gregorini and Roger Ross Williams.

In Best, with one man’s wedding moments away, he and his best friend confront their future.

Oldroyd said: “I am privileged to have my short film presented in my home city as part of this year's festival. There is no better champion of international, emerging film makers than Sundance Institute, and I am grateful for their endorsement and support. I'm really looking forward to meeting the other participants and glad that Best will now get a wider, more diverse audience.”

Groth said: “The other jurors and I were delighted to find in Best a succinct yet moving story that so cleverly exemplifies the tagline ‘The Time is Now.’ Terrifically framed images as well as stellar performances bring to life a story that impressively manages to be tender, raw, visceral and heartbreaking in under five minutes.”

In addition to Best, finalists for the competition were: Double Take, by Sam Hodges; Fill Me In, by Sebastian Thiel; Kickoff, by Zoran Trajkovic / Pet Genius Productions; Outsiders, by William Wirrow; and What’s Past is Present, by Jason Robbins. All finalist films, including Best, are available for immediate viewing at http://competition.sundance-london.com/films/2013/

Extranjero, a short film from Daniel Lumb and Crinan Campbell, was the winner of last year’s Short Film Competition at the first-ever Sundance London.

Tickets for all Sundance London films, panels and music performances are now on sale at www.sundance-london.com. Music performers include Peaches, Gregg Allman and John Paul White of The Civil Wars, and British Sea Power. The film programme, made up of 21 feature films and nine short films, includes the International, European or UK premieres of films from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, including several award winners.

For more information visit www.sundance-london.com or follow @SundancefestUK on Twitter

Review: "Malibu’s Most Wanted" Still Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 76 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003)
Running time: 86 minutes (1 hour, 26 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sexual humor, language and violence
DIRECTOR: John Whitesell
WRITERS: Fax Bahr, Adam Small, Jamie Kennedy, and Nick Swardson
PRODUCERS: Fax Bahr, Mike Karz, and Adam Small
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin
EDITOR: Cara Silverman
COMPOSER: John Van Tongeren

COMEDY

Starring: Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Blair Underwood, Damien Dante Wayans, Ryan O’Neal, Bo Derek, Jeffrey Tambor, and Snoop Dogg (voice)

The subject of this movie review is Malibu’s Most Wanted, a 2003 comedy co-written by and starring Jamie Kennedy. The film focuses on the character “B-Rad,” which Kennedy initially used in his stand-up comedy act and later featured on his hidden camera television series, “JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.”

Brad Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) is B-Rad, a white Jewish boy from Malibu who is a wannabe rap star and “acts like he’s from the ‘hood.” The problem is that his father Bill (Ryan O’Neal) is a California gubernatorial candidate, and B-Rad’s thuggish behavior might cost him the election.

Tom Gibbons (Blair Underwood), his father’s campaign manager, hires two actors to scare the black out of B-Rad. If Julliard-trained Sean (Taye Diggs) and Pasadena Playhouse thespian P.J. (Anthony Anderson) can convince B-Rad that they’re carjackers, they just might put the white back in Brad’s act. However, B-Rad ain’t having it; before long he’s in love with Sean and P.J.’s accomplice Shondra (Regina Hall), an ambitious young woman with business dreams.

First, let me say that Malibu’s Most Wanted is simply hilarious. I laughed as much as I did at any other recent film including Bringing Down the House. Malibu Most Wanted, like the latter film, involves a traditionally, but especially of late, touchy subject: the portrayal of African-American (or just plain black folks) and black culture in Hollywood films. The film allegedly pokes fun at white kids who embrace hip hop culture, but who also embrace it with such relish that they try to “act black.”

However, the film makes a point of differentiating between poseurs and whites who are really into that chocolate flava. A friend of mine called white poseurs, “Negro lite” – all the style and coolness without the persecution of being black. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing wrong with white people embracing hip hop culture or black language, style, fashion, attitude, and lifestyle. People of different backgrounds and cultures cross pollinate; the Romans certainly enjoyed copying the Greeks.

Some people seem to think that it was beneath African-American actors to participate in movies like Malibu's Most Wanted and Brining Down the House. Black actors just go where the work is. Lord knows that Taye Diggs, handsome, talented, and possessing a deft comic touch, should be a leading man fighting off producers who constantly beat at his door to have him be the star of their next film. That’s not happening. And Anthony Anderson is no less funny than Seann William Scott (American Pie and Dude, Where’s My Car?), so he should also have many comic vehicles coming his way, shouldn’t he?

Regina Hall is sexy and beautiful, capable of being more than just the black girl with an attitude. After seeing her in Malibu's Most Wanted, I left the theatre wondering why I haven’t seen more of her; then, I pass by a poster for the overexposed Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and a Ho. Oh, nothing on Reese. I love her, and all things being equal, Regina came into the world with the exact same chance for opportunity as Reese, right? So they go where the work is. Besides, I love the subtle, sly, and wink-wink/nudge-nudge performances by Diggs, Anderson, and Blair Underwood.

Jamie Kennedy, his writers and the director, John Whitesell (a veteran director of various episodes of many television programs) do a good job with what could have been a one-note joke that dies quickly. The script is pedestrian in a number of ways, but especially in the story’s resolution. B-Rad justifies himself and his interest in hip hop, connects with the black folk, and makes up with his dad, but there are also lots of nice touches. Hell, he even gets the black woman, which I thought the filmmakers would avoid like the plague. Even the predictable material has a nice, funny spin on it. The main point of this movie is to be funny, and it’s damn funny. Its secondary nature is to make a lot of good points, and despite Malibu Most Wanted’s often tactless script, it does that, too. When all is said and done, Malibu’s Most Wanted is funny, and in the long term, it’ll be an important work in the canon of films about black culture.

How many people notice that for all the parody of hip hop that is done in this film, B-Rad is absolutely and honestly in love with hip hop? For all the whining that many people do about how “black culture” is ignored, they should notice the adoration, even when it is disguised as a sow’s ear.

6 of 10
B

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Only God Forgives" Due July 19, 2013


Radius/TMC PRESENTS

ONLY GOD FORGIVES

An official selection of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

A film by Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm

IN THEATERS JULY 19th

Ryan Gosling and the director of DRIVE, Nicolas Winding Refn, are back with this visionary Bangkok-set thriller. Julien (Gosling) is a drug kingpin tasked with avenging his brother's death, but a mysterious, unhinged policeman is following his every move.

What's neon without a little flicker?

Follow @RadiusTWC to see an animated version of the poster.

#OnlyGodForgives
#WannaFight

Check out the redband trailer on Yahoo! Movies: http://movies.yahoo.com/trailers/red-band/?cache=clear




Review: "Bulletproof Monk" Not a Misfire

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 54 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Bulletproof Monk (2003)
Running time: 104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence, language and some sexual content
DIRECTOR: Paul Hunter
WRITERS: Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris (based upon the Flypaper Press comic book)
PRODUCERS: Terence Chang, Charles Roven, Douglas Segal, and John Woo
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stefan Czapsky (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Robert K. Lambert
COMPOSER: Eric Serra

MARTIAL ARTS/ACTION with elements of adventure, fantasy, and sci-fi

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie King, Karel Roden, and Victoria Smurfit

The subject of this movie review is Bulletproof Monk, a 2003 martial arts and fantasy film starring Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott. The film is a loose adaptation of a three-issue comic book miniseries published in the late 1990s.

After I first saw trailers and television commercials for Bulletproof Monk, I was sure that the movie was going to be a giant turkey bomb. The fights looked like cheesy, Matrix, bullet time, rip-offs, and the idea of a kung-fu mentor looking for a “chosen one” rang all too familiar. Worst of all, the film had Chow Yun-Fat spouting instant pudding Far East mystical mumbo-jumbo. The ads turned out to be quite misleading (in fact, those responsible shouldn’t necessarily lose their jobs if this film flops because of poor ads, but they should, at least, get demerits from their bosses), and the film is quite good, although the film still has one of those chosen one characters and lots of mystical quasi-Buddhist wisdom dialogue that even fortune cookie makers wouldn’t touch.

Somewhere in Tibet is an ancient scroll wherein is written the secrets to great power. Every sixty years, a new monk is chosen via prophetic signs to protect the scroll. In 1943, the Monk with No Name (Chow Yun Fat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) takes responsibility for the scroll. 60 years later, the monk is in New York running from Strucker (Karel Roden), a sadistic Nazi holdover from the Forties who wants the secrets of the scroll. His granddaughter Nina (Victoria Smurfit) now leads the chase to capture the Monk with No Name. During one of those chases, the monk meets Kar (Seann William Scott), a young pickpocket who just so happens to possesses some formidable martial arts skills. Of course, the relationship between the two begins as an edgy one, but soon it’s sometimes difficult to tell who is the mentor and who is the “mentee.”

Director Paul Hunter, known for his music videos, shows great ability in creating a sustained rhythmic style in Bulletproof Monk. The material is old hat; Hunter just makes the film exciting and energetic. He creates a sense of drama, suspense, mystery, and intrigue through the flow of the film. He even stages the mystical and philosophical musings so that they seem interesting and move the story forward. Rather than just being the standard dialogue you’d hear in a martial arts flick, the wit and wisdom of the monk actually serves the story.

The acting is good. Fat has never seemed more comfortable and relaxed in an English language film than he does here. He’s the coolest silent, stoic hero since Clint Eastwood, and the camera loves him. There’s just something heroic and, well, mystical about his visage when it appears on a giant movie screen, and like Eastwood, his best work needs to be seen in a theatre. Seann William Scott, forever burdened with the Stifler character from the American Pie films, proves himself to be a screen idol in the mold of Keanu Reeves. Like Reeves, the camera loves Scott; he has a naïve and goofy, but charming look that can sell him as a part time rogue, but a rogue destined to be a hero. His performance and his character’s transformation really remind me of both Reeves performance and of the character Neo’s transformation in The Matrix.

Bulletproof Monk is pure fun and very entertaining. You don’t have to check your brain at the door because the film isn’t that simpleminded. There’s chemistry between the leads that is actually heartwarming and inspiring. The evolution of the teacher/pupil relationship here is one that rings true. They are the center of the story, and when their dynamic works and the fight scenes are good, then, the movie is probably good.

Bulletproof Monk does have some shaky moments, and sometimes, the characters don’t always ring true. The villains are such stock characters that the actors precariously balance appearing both pathetic and dangerous, although Ms. Smurfit plays her part with absolute relish. Still, Bulletproof Monk is a good action film with some excellent fight scenes in the spirit of The Matrix, and the soundtrack is also pretty cool.

Though I do wonder why, after centuries of having Asian protectors, the protectors of the scroll all of a sudden have to be white people. Would predominately white audiences accept Jet Li as King Arthur?

6 of 10
B

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Iron Man 3" Kicks Off Capetown Film Fest

ADVANCE SCREENING OF MARVEL’S “IRON MAN 3” WILL KICK OFF THE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY CAPETOWN FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORED BY TNT’s FALLING SKIES AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE ON APRIL 30TH

Screening Offers Festival Goers a Sneak Preview of Marvel’s Highly Anticipated Iron Man 3

Entertainment Weekly announced that a complimentary advance screening of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” will kick off the EW CapeTown Film Festival (CapeTown) at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 30. The inaugural film festival, co-presented by Entertainment Weekly and American Cinematheque, and sponsored by TNT’s Falling Skies, will host a screening of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” before the film opens in theaters on May 3. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with Kevin Feige, producer of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” and Marvel Studios’ President.

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Twitter: @SidGrauman
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/egyptiantheatre

Tumblr: http://amcinematheque.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, April 30
8:00pm Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” Complimentary Fan Appreciation Screening
Special guest: Kevin Feige

Remembering Don Siegel: Dirty Harry

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 126 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux


Dirty Harry (1971)
Running time: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
MPAA – R
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Don Siegel
WRITERS: Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink and Dean Reisner, from a story by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bruce Surtees
EDITOR: Carl Pingitore
COMPOSER: Lalo Schifrin

DRAMA/CRIME/THRILLER

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon, Andy Robinson, John Larch, and John Mitchum

The subject of this movie review is Dirty Harry, a 1971 crime film from director Don Siegel. The film stars Clint Eastwood in what would become a signature role for him, that of San Francisco Police Department Inspector Harry Callahan A.K.A. “Dirty Harry.” Dirty Harry would yield four sequels, beginning with 1973’s Magnum Force. Writers Jo Heims contributed to the story and John Milius contributed to the screenplay, but respectively did not receive screen credits.

After a decade of political assassinations, the Vietnam War/conflict, social upheaval, rising crime rates, etc., perhaps America was ready for Dirty Harry, the police thriller starring Clint Eastwood in his seminal role as Inspector Harry Callahan, also known as “Dirty Harry.” Harry is a tough-talking, streetwise, pop-a-cap-first homicide detective who is a far-right wet dream. In this first film in the (thus far) five-part “Dirty Harry” series, Inspector Callahan must learn the identity of a rooftop sniper known as the Scorpio Killer (Andy Robinson), who has killed two people. Scorpio eventually buries a young woman alive and threatens to let her suffocate if the city of San Francisco doesn’t pay him a $200,000 ransom. Harry is determined to nail the killer – even if he has to break some police rules and violate some inconvenient Constitutional rights.

The film plays loosely and sloppily with police procedures and what are the rights of criminal suspects and the accused, doing what most films do – change real life facts for dramatic impact. The screenwriters (and for all I know the director and star) go to ludicrous extremes to show that murderers can get away with murder if an aggressive cop doesn’t get a warrant or read some criminal “his rights.” When Clint Eastwood says the word “rights,” it’s like he has fecal matter on his sneaky tongue. Less than a decade later, presidential candidate and later President Ronald Reagan (via his speechwriters and puppet masters) would play up the idea that criminals had more rights than victims to good effect, as the U.S. public just sits back and watches the country increasingly become a police state.

As for the film, it’s neither a good police procedural nor an effective right wing political screed simply because the script is garbage in spite of its good central concept. The characters (with such well-thought out monikers as The Mayor and The Chief) are wispy, and Harry, except for a few revealing moments, is little more than a cipher. In fact, it is Andy Robinson’s intense, passionate, and crazy performance as Scorpio that gives life to the cop/suspect dynamic. Eastwood handles his half of the cop/villain conflict with his signature acting style for this film – a snarl and half-whispered lines delivered through bad teeth – lines that usually end with the word “punk.” Don Siegel’s direction doesn’t help much; the first half of the film is a listless detective film, while the second half struggles drunkenly to be a good police thriller, which it occasionally is.

Although Eastwood’s best work as an actor is in westerns, a genre for which he seems tailor made, Dirty Harry is the role for which many film fans still fondly remember him. However, this first Dirty Harry film is little more than a cultural curiosity and a sign of its times. Except for a few moments that stand out as exceptional, Dirty Harry is a famous, but mediocre film.

4 of 10
C

NOTES:
2012 National Film Preservation Board, USA: National Film Registry


Friday, April 19, 2013

New "Star Trek Into Darkness" Kirk Poster - April 16 2013






































IN SELECT THEATERS IN IMAX 3D MAY 15th


IN THEATERS EVERYHWERE MAY 17th

WWW.STARTREKMOVIE.COM

#StarTrek #IntoDarkness

In the wake of a shocking act of terror from within their own organization, the crew of The Enterprise is called back home to Earth. In defiance of regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

"High School of the Dead" Arrives on Neon Alley

VIZ MEDIA PARTNERS WITH SENTAI FILMWORKS TO PREMIERE HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD ON NEON ALLEY

This Friday, Hordes Of Flesh-Eating Zombies Descend Upon North America’s 24-Hour Console-Based Anime Channel For PS3 And Playstation® Network, And Xbox 360® And Xbox Live®

San Francisco, CA, April 18, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, partners with Sentai Filmworks to unleash a frightening new world of the living dead as it premieres the zombie action of HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD on Neon Alley this Friday, April 19th. Episode 1 (English dubbed) of the high-octane anime action series will debut in High Definition at 10PM EST / 7PM PST, replaying at 2AM EST / 11PM PST, and will air again throughout the week. New episodes will premiere every Friday. Check the Neon Alley program guide or NeonAlley.com for more information and additional airtimes.

Based on the ultra-violent manga (graphic novel) originally created by Daisuke Sato, directed by Tetsuro Araki (Death Note, Black Lagoon) and produced by the internationally famed studio MADHOUSE (Death Note, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D-Bloodlust, Wicked City) HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD (rated TV-MA) is distributed in North America by Sentai Filmworks and combines hordes of flesh-eating zombies with state of the art animation to deliver one of the most action packed anime series ever!

A deadly new disease is ravaging the world, turning the populace into mindless zombies and the number of infected victims is skyrocketing by the second. As their fellow classmates and teachers succumb to the infection around them, a small group of students at Fujimi High School must fight for their lives after surviving the initial outbreak. It’s up to Takashi Komuro to unite the group of weary survivors and try to escape the horrors that surround them. In this new world of the living dead...will they escape?

“We’re thrilled to welcome Sentai Filmworks as a content partner for our innovative anime content delivery service, Neon Alley,” says Brian Ige, VIZ Media Vice President, Animation. “HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD is the newest anime series to join Neon Alley’s expansive schedule for Spring 2013, and fans won’t want to miss this action-packed tale of survival when it debuts Friday!”

“HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD is a riveting story that combines plenty of visceral action with compelling, multi-faceted characters and some sexy fan service,” says David Del Rio, VP of Licensing, Sentai Filmworks. “We look forward to the series finding a brand new audience of avid fans on Neon Alley and to viewers joining Takashi Komuro and his cohorts as they face a stark and dangerous world.”

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s 24-hour, subscription-based anime channel available for the PS3 game console and Playstation® Network, and Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The platform features the world’s best titles (dubbed in English and uncut), presented in HD (when available), for a low monthly subscription rate of $6.99, and a limited time only, a one-week free trial is available to all fans that sign up at NeonAlley.com.

Neon Alley’s schedule includes a dynamic mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, including new debuts this season of weekly exclusive episodes of ACCEL WORLD, FATE/ZERO and ZETMAN. Fans also can catch other favorite blockbuster anime series from the beginning, including BLUE EXORCIST, DEATH NOTE, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, ONE PIECE, TIGER & BUNNY, VAMPIRE KNIGHT and more.

Neon Alley is specially designed to be studio agnostic, featuring titles from other anime producers and content distributors, including Aniplex, FUNimation, NTV, Taiseng, and Anime News Network. Members can also share real-time thoughts and status updates using social media technology from Tout (Tout.com), some of which will air on the network.

More information on Neon Alley is available at NeonAlley.com.

Additional information on Sentai Filmworks HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD is available at: http://www.sentai-filmworks.com.


About Sentai Filmworks
Sentai Filmworks celebrates its 5th Anniversary as one of the fastest-growing anime companies in North America, producing hit series like Persona 4, Girls und Panzer, Devil Survivor 2, Bodacious Space Pirates, Majestic Prince and High School of the Dead as well as high profile theatrical films such as Grave of the Fireflies, K-ON! and Appleseed. Sentai Filmworks’ programs are distributed through Ingram Entertainment, Diamond Comic Distributors, Section23Films and Waxworks through retailers Amazon, Best Buy, Fry’s, FYE, Hastings, Sam Goody, Suncoast, The Right Stuf, Wal-Mart and other good and fine stores.

Digital product offerings may be found at Amazon, Anime Network, Crunchyroll, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, PlayStation Network, Rovi, Vudu, XBOX Marketplace and YouTube.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.


New "Star Trek Into Darkness" John Harrison Poster April 15 2013





































IN SELECT THEATERS IN IMAX 3D MAY 15th


IN THEATERS EVERYHWERE MAY 17th

WWW.STARTREKMOVIE.COM

#StarTrek #IntoDarkness

In the wake of a shocking act of terror from within their own organization, the crew of The Enterprise is called back home to Earth. In defiance of regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Neon Alley Launches New Season - Spring 2013

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES AN EXCITING SPRING SEASON OF HOT NEW ANIME PROGRAMMING ON NEON ALLEY

Innovative 24/7 Anime Channel To Premiere ACCEL WORLD, BLEACH, FATE/ZERO and ZETMAN, With New Seasons of Favorite Hits Also Debuting

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has unveiled its new spring programming line-up for Neon Alley with 7 exciting premieres for the innovative anime channel available for the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® as well as for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network.

Set to premiere on Friday, April 19th will be ACCEL WORLD, FATE/ZERO, and the Season 2 opening episode of LAGRANGE – THE FLOWER OF RIN-NE. Saturday, April 20th offers the Neon Alley debut of BLEACH Season 1, as well as the exclusive English dub premiere of new NARUTO SHIPPUDEN episodes, the start of Season 2 of NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, and the launch of the intense action series, ZETMAN. Check NeonAlley.com for specific airtimes in your geographical area.

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s 24-hour, console-based anime channel that features a variety of the world’s best titles (dubbed in English and uncut) and presented in HD (when available) for a low monthly subscription rate of only $6.99. For a limited time only, the service is also offering a one-week free trial available to all fans that sign up at NeonAlley.com.

“The new schedule of spring anime premieres is the most exciting we’ve launched on Neon Alley,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager, Animation Marketing. “From continuing action anime favorites like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, and NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, to brand new series such as ZETMAN, ACCEL WORLD, the highly acclaimed FATE/ZERO, and the addition of one of the most popular anime of all time, BLEACH, there will be plenty of reasons to tune into Neon Alley this month. We look forward to lots of North American anime fans experiencing this exciting way to enjoy some of the best in animated entertainment from Japan!”

ACCEL WORLD • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Friday April 19th

The year is 2046. Haruyuki Arita is a young boy who finds himself on the lowest social rungs of his school. Ashamed of his miserable life, Haruyuki can only cope by indulging in virtual games. But that all changes when Kuroyukihime, the most popular girl in school, introduces him to a mysterious program called Brain Burst and a virtual reality called the Accel World. Please watch the sneak peek at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhPZdp1OLFM.

FATE/ZERO • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Friday April 19th

FATE/ZERO is based on a popular Japanese light novel, written by Gen Urobuchi and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. This is the story that goes back to zero, back to the beginning. The ultimate battle royal, in which seven Masters vying for control of the miracle-granting Holy Grail summon seven Servants and fight until only one remains... The Holy Grail War! Catch the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql_bWLNPIjo.

LAGRANGE – THE FLOWER OF RIN-NE, SEASON 2 • Rated “TV-MA” • Premieres Friday April 19th

Thousands of years ago, mankind was at the height of its glory, an advanced civilization extending into the far reaches of space. To defend against its galactic enemies, mankind developed giant humanoid robots called “Vox,” never anticipating that the powerful robots would lead to the destruction of their own civilization. Fearing their infinite power, the Space Federation known as Polyhedron hid away the existence of the Vox and Earth itself from the rest of the galaxy. Now, the Vox are a mere legend, and in Kamogawa, Japan, robots are the furthest thing from Madoka Kyono’s mind. She’s an energetic high school girl who just wants to help people in need. But Earth is under threat once more, and when a mysterious girl named Lan asks Madoka to pilot a resurrected Vox robot, her life will never be the same!

BLEACH • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th

Catch the epic supernatural action series based on the smash hit manga series by Tite Kubo from the very beginning! For as long as he can remember, 15 year-old Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts. But when he suddenly meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper from the Soul Society who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, his life will change forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling – to protect the living and the dead from evil at all costs!

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN (Latest Episodes) • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th

Catch the latest action-packed NARUTO SHIPPUDEN adventures beginning with Episode 188! Naruto Uzumaki is back! After a long training journey with the Legendary Sannin, Jiraiya, Naruto has returned older, a little bit wiser, and a lot stronger! Sakura's been studying under another of the Sannin, Tsunade, and is now an accomplished medical ninja with a few new battle skills of her own. To show off their new skills, Naruto and Sakura team up to take on their old master, Kakashi. While the three battle it out, the Village Hidden in the Sand is infiltrated by the Akatsuki, who are after Naruto's old rival and the newest Kazekage of the Sand – Gaara!

NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, SEASON 2 • Rated “TV-14” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th

Rikuo Nura looks like your typical junior high student, but in reality, he is a quarter yokai and is the grandson of Nurarihyon, the leader of all yokai! As the Third Heir to the Nura Clan, Rikuo has successfully brought an end to the territory conflict against the Shikoku yokai. Now, Rikuo must face his most powerful enemies yet—the Hagoromo-Gitsune and her Kyoto yokai! With her absolute power and charisma, the Hagoromo-Gitsune is taking the ancient capital of Kyoto by storm in a quest to fulfill her four-hundred-year-old wish. Joined by the Oshu-Tono Family yokai and the Keikain Clan Onmyoji, Rikuo and his Nura Clan will take on the Hagoromo-Gitsune for an epic showdown!

ZETMAN • Rated “TV-MA” • Premieres Saturday, April 20th

“ZET” is the one who is entrusted with the future of mankind. “ALPHAS” are the ones searching for the meaning of true justice. They will be the ones who will change the world. Is it coincidence or fate that brings these two heroes together? Soon, the two will learn what fate has in mind for them…

Neon Alley’s schedule includes a dynamic mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime. Other current shows include TIGER & BUNNY, BLUE EXORCIST, DEATH NOTE, NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, ONE PIECE, INUYASHA, KEKKAISHI, BUSO RENKIN, and VAMPIRE KNIGHT.

Neon Alley is specially designed to be studio agnostic, featuring titles from other anime producers and content distributors, including Aniplex, FUNimation, NTV, Taiseng, and Anime News Network. Members can also share real-time thoughts and status updates using social media technology from Tout (Tout.com), some of which will air on the network.

For more information on Neon Alley, please visit www.NeonAlley.com.


About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

News Corp. Announces 21st Century Fox

News Corporation Announces 21st Century Fox as New Name for Independent Media and Entertainment Company

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced that 21st Century Fox will be the new name of the independent media and entertainment company created by the proposed separation of its businesses. The name, which will be effective with the separation, draws on the Company’s creative heritage, while also speaking to the future as well as the innovation that defines its portfolio of businesses. 21st Century Fox replaces the previously announced name Fox Group.

Reaching more than a billion people in 100 local languages every day, the proposed 21st Century Fox will be home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic Channels, Fox Pan American Sports, MundoFox and STAR; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and Shine Group. The proposed Company will also provide premium content to millions of subscribers through its pay-television services in Europe and Asia, including Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia and its equity interests in BSkyB and Tata Sky.

Rupert Murdoch, who will serve as Chairman and CEO of the proposed 21st Century Fox, commented on the Company’s new name:

“Over the years, we have built a global portfolio of companies that has consistently defied conventional wisdom, and succeeded where others have failed because we are driven by a steadfast belief in great ideas, the power of imagination and the desire to thrill and engage audiences with enduring stories and experiences. 21st Century Fox is a name that draws upon the rich creative heritage of our film studio, while also speaking to the innovation and dynamism that define all of our global media and entertainment businesses and will guide us into the future.”

Chase Carey, the future company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, “Together, as 21st Century Fox, we will have the global footprint and creative bench that give us a competitive edge across more than 50 countries. We believe that the 21st Century Fox name captures the power of our legacy as well as the vast opportunities for our consumers, businesses and investors as we look forward.”

News Corporation Separation
On June 28, 2012, News Corporation announced its intent to pursue the separation of its business into two separate independent companies, one of which will hold the Company’s global media and entertainment businesses and the other which will hold the businesses comprising News Corporation’s newspapers, information services and integrated marketing services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia. In addition to final approval from the Board of Directors and stockholder approval of certain amendments to the Company’s Restated Certificate of Incorporation, the completion of the separation will be subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, opinions from tax counsel and favorable rulings from certain tax jurisdictions regarding the tax-free nature of the transaction to the Company and to its stockholders, further due diligence as appropriate, the execution of certain agreements relating to the distribution, and the filing and effectiveness of appropriate filings with the SEC. There can be no assurances given that the separation of the Company's businesses as described will occur.


About News Corporation
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2012 of approximately US$63 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$34 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance, including its expectations with respect to the proposed transaction. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory factors. In addition, actual plans, actions and results relating to the proposed transaction may differ materially from current expectations as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: unanticipated developments that delay or negatively impact the proposed transaction; changes in market conditions; disruption to business operations as a result of the proposed transaction; the inability to retain key personnel; and the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. More detailed information about these and other factors that could affect future results is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed as anticipated or at all. The "forward-looking statements" included in this document are made only as of the date of this document and we do not have any obligation to publicly update any "forward-looking statements" to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.

Participants in the Solicitation
The Company and its executive officers and directors may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of News Corporation in connection with the proposed transaction, if pursued. Information about the executive officers and directors of News Corporation and their ownership of News Corporation common stock is set forth in the Schedule 14A preliminary proxy statement for News Corporation's special meeting, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 4, 2013.

Review: "Dragon" is Martial Arty

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 28 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux


Dragon (2011)
Wu xia – original title
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: China/Hong Kong; Language: Mandarin
Running time: 98 minutes; (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – R for violence
DIRECTOR: Peter Chan
WRITER: Oi Wah Lam
PRODUCERS: Peter Chan and Jojo Yuet-Chun Hui
CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Yiu-Fai Lai (D.o.P.) and Jake Pollock (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Derek Hui
COMPOSERS: Kwong Wing Chan, Peter Kam, and Chatchai Pongprapaphan

MARTIAL ARTS/ACTION/DRAMA/HISTORICAL

Starring: Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Wei Tang, Jimmy Wang Yu, Zheng Wei, Li Jiamin, Kara Hui, Li Xiaoran, Yu Kang, and Wan To-shing

Wu Xia is a 2011 Hong Kong martial arts film and historical drama from director Peter Chan. The film stars Donnie Yen as a sinful man who is leading a new life until his former master and a determined detective begin hunting him. Yen is also the film’s “action director.” Wu Xia, which was originally just under two-hours long, was edited down to 98 minutes and released in the United States as Dragon, late last year (2012).

Dragon is set in 1917 and takes place mostly at Liu Village on the border of Yunnan on the southwest edge of China. Liu Jin-Xi (Donnie Yen) is a village craftsman and papermaker who lives with his wife, Yu (Wei Tang), and his sons, the older Fangzheng (Zheng Wei) and the younger Xiaotian (Li Jiamin). Jin-Xi’s quiet life is irrevocably shattered by the arrival of two gangsters who attempt to rob the local general store.

Jin-Xi stops them, but one of the criminals is the notorious Yan Dongsheng (Yu Kang). Xu Bai-jiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a detective sent to investigate the case, is shocked that a local village craftsman could single-handedly stop two hardened criminals, especially Dongsheng, an escaped convict and trained killer. Bai-jiu suspects that Jin-Xi is actually a martial arts master and perhaps, a member of one of the region’s most vicious gangs, the 72 Devils. The detective doggedly pursues the shy villager, but he is unaware that his investigation has drawn the attention of China’s criminal underworld.

For fans of martial arts films, Dragon has many spectacular fights scenes, and some of them are spectacular because they look so odd. But it is all good and also stimulating for lovers of martial arts battles in movies. Sometimes, I found my mind being bended by what I saw, to the point that my imagination seemed inspired by the fighting.

There is, however, an art house sensibility to director Peter Chan’s film, as if Chan refused to allow Dragon to be only fists, fingers, feet, and elbows of fury. Chan takes Oi Wah Lam’s superbly layered script and turns the film into a rumination on nature vs. nurture, the character of the law, and the vigor and influence of human emotions. Chan structures the story in order to ask a few questions. If blood always leaves a trail that one can trace back to a man’s past, then, is that man a slave to the dictates of his blood relations? Is it by tradition, genetics, or both? Is the execution of law more important than acts of humanity? Can man control or alter his emotions?

There is also a mythological strain in Dragon. For its universal father versus son conflict, Dragon offers a sire whose voice and exclamations can rouse thunder, so it is not a stretch to think of the final battle as a brawl between Odin-All-Father and Thor-Son. In fact, this may be the sire-vs.-the-fruit-of-his-loins clash with the most at stake since Darth Vader fought Luke Skywalker over the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi (1983).

Dragon has many excellent performances, but Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro are the standouts. As Liu Jin-xi, Yen is a force of nature; physically, he is brilliant – his face capable of assuming and conveying myriad emotions and thoughts. His performance is all outwards, and not internal, so he confronts the viewers and makes them engage with the character he is playing. Kaneshiro as Bai-jiu offers a performance that is more interior. His performance sends out intriguing bits of information about the implacable detective in a way that makes the character as charming as an old friend.

As the director of the film’s action, Yen makes Dragon exhilarating and mesmerizing martial arts entertainment. As the director, Peter Chan tickles the brain, as he tackles dynamic human themes and conflicts. By any name, Dragon or Wu Xia is a dragon, a fire-breathing beast that is too smart to be just another Chinese fight movie.

9 of 10
A

Monday, April 15, 2013