Showing posts with label Sam Worthington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sam Worthington. Show all posts

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Review: "AVATAR: The Way of Water" is Indeed Too Long, But it is Never Boring

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 1 of 2023 (No. 1890) by Leroy Douresseaux

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Running time:  192 minutes (3 hours, 12 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity and some strong language
DIRECTOR:  James Cameron
WRITERS:  James Cameron and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver; from a story by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno
PRODUCERS:  James Cameron and Jon Landau 
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Russell Carpenter (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  James Cameron, John Refoua, Stephen Rivkin, and David Brenner
COMPOSER:  Simon Franglen


Starring:  Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Jemaine Clement, Jamie Flatters, Britain Dalton, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Jack Champion, Bailey Bass, Filip Geljo, Duane Evans Jr., Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald

Avatar: The Way of Water is a 2022 science fiction-fantasy, action-adventure, drama and war film from director James Cameron.  It is a direct sequel to the 2009 film, Avatar.  In The Way of Water, the world of Pandora is under renewed threat from human invaders, forcing Na'vi Jake Sully to seek refuge for his family with a new tribe.

Avatar: The Way of Water opens on the habitable moon, Pandora (one of several moons orbiting a gas giant planet), a decade after the events of the original film.  The former human who led the Na'vi fight that expelled the humans, Na'vi Jake Sulley (Sam Worthington), is now chief of the Na'vi “Omaticaya” clan.  He raises a family with his mate, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), that includes sons, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo'ak (Britain Dalton); daughter, Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss); and two adopted children.  They are a human boy named “Spider” (Jack Champion) and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), a girl who was born from the inert avatar of Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), the late scientist who sided with Jake Sulley in his first battle with the humans.

However, to the dismay of the Na'vi, the human corporation, Resources Development Administration (RDA), has returned to Pandora.  This time, RDA wants to prepare Pandora as a new home for humanity because the Earth is dying.  RDA has even created new combatants, called “recombinants,” which are Na'vi avatars implanted with the minds and memories of human soldiers killed in the first conflict with the Na'vi.  One of them is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), Jake and Neytiri's greatest human enemy and now leaders of the recombinants.

A year after the return, there is a confrontation between Jake's forces and Quaritch's forces.  Jake realizes that the RDA has made him, as a former human soldier and traitor, the focus of their mission.  To protect the Omaticaya clan, Jake and his family go into exile and retreat to the sea islands in hope of finding refuge with the “Metkayina” reef people.  The family struggles to adjust to the new home, especially the children who are coming of age.  And recombinant Quaritch and his squad are still hunting Jake, and they are willing to do anything to capture him.

When I reviewed the first Avatar film, I wrote that “Avatar is everything good that you have heard about it and more.”  I can say the same for Avatar: The Way of Water, although I will not say it with the same intensity as other film critics and film reviewers.  Some people seem to enter a kind of state of ecstasy when they talk about The Way of Water.  I am not that crazy about it.  Let us see how simply I can explain this.

When I first saw the original Avatar in theaters, I was blown away.  It was like nothing that I'd ever seen before then.  It was an epic science fiction film set on a strange new world, full of incredible creatures and environments.  Plus, Avatar has a great group of villains in the form of the invading humans.  However, as crazy as I was about it then, I have never watched the film in its entirety since.  I can't make myself interested in even watching sections of the film.

Avatar: The Way of Water is full of wonderful new characters, new environments, and a strange new tribe, living in a water world of amazing creatures.  I am impressed by how many intriguing new characters James Cameron and his co-writers have created for this film.  But, as good as the film is, I am not “blown away” by it.  I don't find it remotely as interesting as I found the first Avatar.  However, like the first film, James Cameron does quite a bit of skewering of colonialism and militarism and of toxic wealth and capitalism.

Avatar: The Way of Water is a great, big science fiction epic full of fantastic visual special effects and CGI (computer-generated images).  The motion-capture CGI that creates the Na'vi still makes the characters look and move awkwardly in some instances, but that does not ruin the characters.  Also, despite what some are saying, I did not find the first two hours of this three-hour plus film boring.  Yes, the last third of this movie is at least an hour of great, great action, but the first two hours also offer some thrilling and riveting action, engaging character drama, and eye-popping exploration of the reef world of the Metkayina.

Still, for me, the Avatar thrill left a long time ago, and Avatar: The Way of Water does not make it return.  I think it is a really good film, but not a great film.  But, hey, it might “blow you away,” dear readers.

7 of 10
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Sunday, January 1, 2023

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 7th to 13th, 2022 - Update #15

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


BREAKING NEWS - From Deadline:  Emmy-winning actress Anne Heche has been taken off life support.  She suffered grave injuries in a fiery car crash last Friday, August 5th.

From VarietyAnne Heche has reportedly been declared "legally dead" in the state of California.  Her heart remains beating and she may not have been taken off life support.  Heche was an organ donor, and the waiting may be the result of determining the viability of her organs for donation.

MOVIES - From DeadlineSienna Miller and Sam Worthington are the leads in "Horizon," the passion project that Kevin Costner will direct, produce, and finance.

DOCUMENTARIES - From Deadline:  Production is underway on a feature documentary inspired by "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow’s book "The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto." The book suggests a "reverse great migration," in which Black people would migrate from the north back to the south.

From Deadline:  Director Sam Pollard is working on a documentary about recently deceased pro basketball and NBA legend, Bill Russell, for Netflix.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  France’s Why Not Productions has unveiled a playful first teaser image of Johnny Depp in the role of King Louis XV in French director Maïwenn’s historical love story "Jeanne du Barry."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The superstar team of actor-producer Tom Cruise and writer-director-producer Christopher McQuarrie are working on "Mission: Impossible 8" and art planning three new projects.  One of them is a song-and-dance-like musical in which Cruise would star.

BREAKING - From Deadline:  Emmy-winning actress Anne Heche is far worse off than initially reported in the wake of her fiery car crash on Friday, Aug. 5th.  She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness, according a statement from her representative.

MOVIES - From BloodyDisgusting:  Horror film producer Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment says that there will be some big news near the end of the year about a return of the "Friday the 13th" film franchise.  The last film was released in 2009, and there is currently a disagreement over rights issues between the series first screenwriter, Victor Miller, and director Sean Cunningham.

BOX OFICE - From BoxOfficePro:   The winner of the 8/5 to 8/7/2022 weekend box office is Sony Pictures' "Bullet Train" (starring Brad Pitt) with an estimated take of 30.1 million dollars.

From BoxOfficePro:  The site has an interview with "Bullet Train" director, David Leitch."

CELEBRITY - From TMZ:  Actress Anne Heche was involved in a car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles in which she crashed her vehicle into a house and caused a blaze on Fri., Aug. 5th. Just moments earlier, Heche reportedly crashed into the garage of an apartment complex before driving away and crashing into the house.

AMAZON - From THRPeter Jackson, the Oscar-winning director of "The Lord of the Rings" film series says that Amazon asked him to be involved with its megabudget "Lord of the Rings" streaming TV series and then cut off contact with him.  Amazon suggests the story isn't quite so simple.


From Deadline:  Actor, stuntman, martial artist, and professional wrestler, Gene LeBell, has died at the age of 89, Tuesday, August 9, 2022.  He worked on over 1000 films and television shows.  LeBell fought Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal, to name a few, and his fight with Seagal had a notorious conclusion not in Seagal's favor.  LeBell was one of the inspirations for Brad Pitt's character, "Cliff Booth," in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

From Variety:  Australian singer-songwriter and actress, Olivia Newton-John, has died at the age of 73, August 8, 2022.  She famously starred in the 1978 musical film, "Grease," and the film's soundtrack, which is still one of the best-selling musical albums of all time, included two hits songs featuring Newton-John and her Grease co-star, John Travolta.  She was the top female pop vocalist of the 1970s and continued to have "Billboard Top 10" hits into 1983.  She also starred in the 1980 film, "Xanadu," which yielded three more hits singles for her, and the 1983 film, "Two of a Kind," which yielded another hit single for her. Newton-John won four Grammy Awards and received eight other nominations.



From Vox:  Vox's Jonathan Guyer talks the Brittney Griner case with Danielle Gilbert, a Dartmouth professor who is writing a book about states and rogue actors that take hostages.

From ESPN:   A Russian court sentenced WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison Thursday, Aug. 4th.  Griner was arrested Feb. 17 for bringing cannabis into the country and pleaded guilty July 7, though the case continued under Russian law.

From ESPN:  The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

From RSN:  "Will Support From LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner From a Russian Prison?" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar via Substack

From ESPN:  Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to bringing hashish oil into Russia, telling a judge that she had done so "inadvertently" while asking the court for mercy.

From CBSSports:  The Brittney Griner situation explained.

From RSN:  According to The Washington Post Editorial Board: "Brittney Griner is a hostage, plain and simple.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: "Terminator Salvation" Remains a Fresh Take on the Franchise

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 3 (of 2009) by Leroy Douresseaux

Terminator Salvation (2009)
Running time: 130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and language
WRITERS:  John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris
PRODUCERS:  Derek Anderson, Moritz Borman, Victor Kubicek, and Jeffrey Silver
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Shane Hurlbut (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Conrad Buff IV
COMPOSER:  Danny Elfman


Starring:  Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin, Jadagrace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, and Michael Ironside

Terminator Salvation is a 2009 post-apocalyptic science fiction film from director McG.  It is the fourth film in the Terminator film franchise.  The film is set in the year 2018, and focuses on a mysterious man who joins the resistance on the eve of an attack on Skynet, but whose side is he really on?

Seven years after the debut of The Terminator (1984), its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day arrived in 1991.  It was another 12 years before the third film, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) debuted, but only six years later, the fourth film, Terminator Salvation arrives.  This shorter gestation period likely isn’t why Terminator Salvation is good enough to be considered the second best film in The Terminator franchise.

Terminator Salvation finally takes us into the world only hinted at in the other Terminator films – the post-apocalyptic future that finds the remnants of the human race fighting the all-powerful artificial intelligence, Skynet, and its army of man-killing TerminatorsJohn Connor (Christian Bale) is the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and the Terminators.  It was his mother that Skynet marked for termination before she could give birth to John, so they sent a Terminator back in time to kill her (as seen in The Terminator).  In Judgment Day, Skynet sent a Terminator back in time to kill a 12-year-old John Connor.

This new film opens in 2018, and John Connor is not in charge of the Resistance.  Connor continues, however, to study his past, through his memories and through the tape recordings his late mother left, as he tries to determine what Skynet’s next move might be.  Then, Connor learns that Skynet has made a human civilian named Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), their top priority for termination.  Reese is a man who is of utmost importance to Connor’s existence, so Connor prepares to launch a rescue mission even if General Ashdown (Michael Ironside) and the Resistance leadership are against it.

Then, Connor meets Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row in 2003.  It seems that Wright’s appearance has altered what John knew the future to be.  Connor and Marcus embark on an odyssey into Skynet central operations in the ruins of Los Angeles, where they discover the truth of Skynet’s diabolical plans.

Any moviegoers that are familiar with the internal mythology of The Terminator films can follow all the twists and turns of this time-bending film franchise… for the most part.  Are there inconsistencies between Terminator Salvation and the original film (let alone the others)?  Yes, there are, but director McG (the Charlie’s Angels films) takes the script for this film (which apparently had at least six writers, if not more) and makes one of those great summer movies that keeps your eyes glued to the screen and just keeps you awestruck with the awesomeness of its action and special effects.  It’s fanboy eye candy.

It’s easy for critics and snobby fans to dismiss McG (whose name is Joseph McGinty Nichol), but in the case of Terminator Salvation, he makes the best use of his actors, getting superb performances out of Bale, Worthington, Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, and Jadagrace.  Plus, McG squeezes the best from the visual effects, special effects, and stunt crews.  When a director harnesses this effort to maximum effect, he can make that kind of action flick that is the Art of the summer movie.

There are times when McG and company stumble over themselves in an effort to both connect Terminator Salvation to the original films (especially the first two) and to be respectful of the originals, somewhat to the detriment of this film.  However, McG has led his cast and creative staff to the promised land of the great action film, one so stuffed with edge-of-the-seat thrills and breathtaking visuals that it won’t soon be forgotten.

8 of 10

Sunday, May 31, 2009

EDITED:  Thursday, November 5, 2015

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: "Sabotage" Mostly a Failure

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 42 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

Sabotage (2014)
Running time:  109 minutes (1 hour, 49 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
DIRECTOR:  David Ayer
WRITERS:  David Ayer and Skip Woods
PRODUCERS:  David Ayer, Bill Block, Paul Hanson, Palak Patel, and Ethan Smith
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Bruce McCleery (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Dody Dorn
COMPOSER: David Sardy

CRIME/THRILLER with elements of action, drama and mystery

Starring:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Williams, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrence Howard, Mireille Enos, Harold Perrineau, Max Martini, Kevin Vance, Mark Schlegel, and Martin Donovan

Sabotage is a 2014 crime thriller co-written and directed by David Ayer.  The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite DEA task force that is being hunted after they take money from a drug cartel safe house.

Sabotage focuses on John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the commander of an elite Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Special Operations Team.  During a raid on a drug cartel safe house, the team steals 10 million dollars from the cartel's massive stash of cash.  However, the team members are unable to hide the fact that some of the cartel's money is missing from their DEA superiors, and the money also disappears from the place where the team hid it.

Six months later, team members find themselves being murdered one by one.  Wharton joins local police Investigator Caroline Brentwood (Olivia Williams) in an attempt to discover who is killing members of his team.  Why are they being killed?  Where is the money?  Are the answers closer than Wharton and Brentwood would like to admit?

Sabotage is a muddled mess.  In many of these reviews, I talk about what the movie should have been or could have been.  Sometimes, I even guess what story the director and writer(s) were trying to tell.  In the case of Sabotage, I am not sure what the filmmakers wanted to give us.

There are some good actors in this movie, but it still manages to seem miscast.  What is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing here?  He looks old and tired, while delivering some of the worst acting of his career; this might be the worst of his career.  There are some good moments in Sabotage, even some compelling and thrilling moments.  Sabotage had potential...

3 of 10

Friday, September 5, 2014

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Surf Drama "Drift" Now Playing in Select Cities



Runtime: 113 min; Rating: R

A film by Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott

Starring: Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel, Sam Worthington

DRIFT Will Open in Select Theatres Nationwide On August 2, 2013

DRIFT Will Open in the Following Los Angeles Area Theatre on August 2nd
Laemmle’s Monica 4 Plex (1332 2nd St, Santa Monica)

DRIFT Will Open in the Following New York Area Theatre on August 2nd
AMC Empire 25 (234 W 42nd St)

ABOUT THE FILM: After their mother escapes from Sydney to Margaret River in the 1970’s, the two Kelly brothers spend their youth searching for the perfect wave. Out of necessity the family launches a backyard surf business ‐ re‐thinking board design, crafting homemade wetsuits and selling merchandise out of their van.

Battling big waves, small town conservatism and criminals, the brothers give rise to a global brand. A story of passion, corruption, friendship and loyalty, deadly addictions and fractured relationships, DRIFT tells a tale of courage and the will to survive at all odds.

DRIFT is directed by Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott and written by Morgan Oneil. Starring Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel, Sam Worthington, Robyn Malcolm, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Aaron Glenane, Steve Bastoni, Maurie Ogden, Sean Keenan, Kai Arbuckle, and Harrison Buckland-Crook.  DRIFT is produced by Tim Duffy, Michele Bennett, and Myles Pollard. Executive Producers are Joan Peters and Peter Lawson.

Friday, September 7, 2012

"Wrath of the Titans" Mostly Tepid

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 71 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Running time: 99 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Liebesman
WRITERS: Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson; from a story by Greg Berlanti, David Leslie Johnson and Dan Mazeau (based upon the 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross)
PRODUCERS: Basil Iwanyk and Polly Johnsen
EDITOR: Martin Walsh
COMPOSER: Javier Navarrete


Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, John Bell, Lily James, Alejandro Naranjo, Sinead Cusack, Spencer Wilding, and Danny Huston

Released earlier this year, Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 American fantasy film. It is a sequel to the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans (itself a remake of the 1981 film of the same name). Perseus, the hero of first film, must free his father, Zeus, from the underworld and also stop an ancient evil from destroying the universe. Louis Leterrier, the director of the 2010 film, acts as one of Wrath of the Titans’ executive producers.

Wrath of the Titans opens a decade after Perseus’ heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken. Since the death of his wife, Io, Perseus (Sam Worthington), the demigod son of Zeus, is attempting to live a quiet life as a village fisherman and as the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius (John Bell). Meanwhile, the power of the gods has been fading, and the walls of the underworld prison, Tartarus, are breaking and threatening to free the imprisoned Titans. Both are caused by humanity’s growing lack of devotion to the gods.

Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Poseidon (Danny Huston) travel to Tartarus to meet their estranged brother, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), hoping that they can reunite and rebuild Tartarus’ walls, but Hades has other plans. He imprisons Zeus and begins to drain him of his divine power, which Hades will use to revive the monstrous Kronos, the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. As Kronos slowly revives, the Titans are loosed upon Earth.

Now, Perseus leads a small band of brave souls towards the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus. He must also gather the three great weapons of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon: Zeus’ Thunderbolt, Hades’ Pitchfork, and Poseidon’s Trident, in order to form the one weapon that can stop Kronos, the Spear of Trium.

I’m not sure what I should say about Wrath of the Titans. I liked some of it, especially the last act, which is mostly action and which mostly held my attention. I strongly disliked the first act, which is mechanical and surprisingly unimaginative. The middle act has some good ideas and moments. Wrath of the Titans lacks the charm of the 1981 film, and in this film, Perseus, lacks the passion he had in the 2010 movie. That is surprising considering that Perseus has something big for which he must fight – a son.

I can say that after seeing this, I am glad that I didn’t go to the trouble of driving to the local cinema and spending money for a ticket to see Wrath of the Titans. I think that it is time to put this franchise to rest.

5 of 10

Friday, September 07, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: "The Debt" is Good, But Unfocused

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 21 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Debt (2011)
Running time: 113 minutes (1 hour, 53 minutes)
MPAA – R for some violence and language
DIRECTOR: John Madden
WRITERS: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, and Peter Straughan (based on the film, Ha-Hov, by Assaf Bernstein and Ido Rosenblum)
PRODUCERS: Eitan Evan, Eduardo Rossoff, Kris Thykier, and Matthew Vaughn
EDITORS: Alexander Berner
COMPOSER: Thomas Newman


Starring: Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Martin Csokas, Jesper Christensen, Romi Aboulafia, and István Goz

The Debt is a 2011 drama and espionage thriller from director John Madden. It is a remake of a 2007 film (directed by Assaf Bernstein) of the same name from Israel. In the 2011 film, a former Mossad intelligence agent relives a 1965 mission in which she and two other agents pursued a Nazi war criminal. At times quite riveting, The Debt often comes across as a broken movie because it tries to be different things at different times in the story.

In 1997, Rachel Singer (Helen Mirren), a former Mossad agent, and her ex-husband, Stefan Gold (Tom Wilkinson), who is still a Mossad agent, are celebrating a new book written by their daughter, Sarah Gold (Romi Aboulafia). Sarah’s book recounts a 1965 mission in which Rachel, Stefan, and another former Mossad agent, David Peretz (Ciarán Hinds), pursued a notorious Nazi war criminal. The trio targeted Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), infamously known as “the Surgeon of Birkenau,” believed to be living in East Berlin.

The story flashes back to 1965 where we meet the younger versions of the trio: Rachel (Jessica Chastain), Stefan (Martin Csokas), and David (Sam Worthington). They find Vogel living as “Doktor Bernhardt” and operating an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in East Berlin. The team’s mission was eventually accomplished, or was it? Rachel must confront her past when two figures from it reemerge.

The Debt takes place across two different time periods, which I think inhibits the movie from sustaining suspense or building character relationships with any traction. The Debt certainly has potent moments, and the last act is a killer suspense thriller. Of course, any movie starring Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson would, at least, be interesting. I’m down to see anything with Mirren, and she doesn’t disappoint – once again, I mention that last act of this movie.

I see The Debt as a broken movie because it is really two films – one that takes place in 1965 and the other in 1997 – instead of being one complete narrative. That is what can happen to a movie that has so many flashbacks that it seems as if they are half the film. The Debt is good, but it would have better by focusing on 1965 or 1997 – not both.

5 of 10

Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Production Begins on "Clash of the Titans" Sequel

Production on “Clash of the Titans 2” Underway for Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Stars Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson Once Again Gods at War

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic action adventure sequel to “Clash of the Titans,” being directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”). Returning to star in the film are Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) as Perseus, and Academy Award® nominees Ralph Fiennes (“The English Patient,” the “Harry Potter” films) as Hades and Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List,” “Unknown”) as Zeus.

A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus—the demigod son of Zeus—is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius.

Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld.

Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus’ godly son, Ares (Edgar Ramírez), switch loyalty and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans’ strength grows stronger as Zeus’ remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth.

Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s demigod son, Argenor (Toby Kebbell), and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind.

Jonathan Liebesman directs the film from a screenplay by Dan Mazeau & David Leslie Johnson and Steven Knight, story Greg Berlanti & David Leslie Johnson & Dan Mazeau, based on the 2010 hit “Clash of the Titans” and the 1981 film of the same name, written by the late Beverley Cross.

The film is produced by Basil Iwanyk (“The Town”), who also produced the previous “Clash of the Titans,” and Polly Cohen Johnsen (“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”). The executive producers are Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, William Fay, Callum McDougall, Kevin De La Noy and Louis Leterrier.

Joining Worthington, Fiennes and Neeson in the international cast are Danny Huston (“Robin Hood”), reprising his role as Poseidon, god of the sea; Edgar Ramírez (“The Bourne Ultimatum,” TV miniseries “Carlos”) as the traitorous god of war, Ares; Bill Nighy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”) as Hephaestus, whose twisted, lame figure belies his Olympian origins; Toby Kebbell (“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”) as Agenor, imprisoned thief and son of Poseidon who joins Perseus on his journey to Tartarus; and Rosamund Pike (“Barney’s Version”) as Andromeda, the princess whose life Perseus once saved, and who now, as a queen, follows Perseus into battle.

The behind-the-scenes team bringing this mythical epic to life includes director of photography Ben Davis (“The Rite,” “Kick Ass”); production designer Charles Wood (“The Italian Job,” “The A-Team”); Academy Award®-winning editor Martin Walsh (“Chicago,” “V for Vendetta”); and costume designer Jany Temime (the “Harry Potter” films). “Clash of the Titans 2” also reunites several talents from the previous film, including Oscar®-nominated visual effects supervisor Nick Davis (“The Dark Knight,”); Oscar®-nominated prosthetics supervisor Conor O’Sullivan (“The Dark Knight,” “Saving Private Ryan”); and Academy Award®-winning special effects and animatronics supervisor Neil Corbould (“Gladiator”). Also on board are Oscar®-nominated makeup designer Paul Engelen (“Frankenstein,” “Robin Hood”) and hair designer Kevin Alexander (“Robin Hood,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”).

“Clash of the Titans 2” will be filming in studios outside London and will later shoot on location in Surrey, South Wales and in the Spanish Canary Islands on the island of Tenerife. The film is currently scheduled for release in March 2012.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Thunder Road Film, “Clash of the Titans 2” is being co-produced by Furia de Titanes II, A.I.E. and COTT Productions and will be distributed in 3D and 2D worldwide by Warner Bros. Entertainment Companies.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Summit's "Man on a Ledge" Begins Principal Photography with Sam Worthington

Press release:

MAN ON A LEDGE Begins Principal Photography

Directed by Asger Leth and Starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, and Edward Burns for Summit Entertainment

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Principal photography has begun in New York City on the Summit Entertainment feature Man On A Ledge.

An ex-cop and now wanted fugitive (Sam Worthington) stands on the ledge of a high-rise building while a hard-living New York Police Department hostage negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) tries to talk him down. The longer they are on the ledge, the more she realizes that he might have an ulterior objective.

Sam Worthington (Avatar) and Elizabeth Banks (The Next Three Days) star among an ensemble cast including Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), who portrays Worthington's best friend and ally and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) who is Worthington's younger brother and ardent supporter. Also along for the ride is four-time Oscar® nominee, Ed Harris (Pollock) who plays a powerful businessman, while Edward Burns (27 Dresses) is a rival negotiator who tries to swoop in when he believes Banks has a conflict of interest. Newcomer Genesis Rodriguez (Casa di me Padre) plays Bell's girlfriend who along with Bell, tries to prove Worthington's innocence.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura stated, "MAN ON A LEDGE is an incredible suspense thriller with a powerhouse cast. I look forward to producing this project and once again working with Summit Entertainment with which we just released the action comedy RED."

Man on a Ledge is directed by Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil), from an original screenplay written by Pablo F. Fenjves ("The Affair") and Erich Hoeber & Jon Hoeber, and is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian (Transformers & Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). Executive Producers are David Ready (Red) and Jake Myers (Red).

Paul Cameron (Man on Fire) is the Director of Photography and the Production Designer is Alec Hammond (Red). Kevin Stitt (X-Men) is the Editor and Susan Lyall (Red) serves as Costume Designer.

About Summit Entertainment LLC
Summit Entertainment is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment, LLC also represents international sales for both its own slate and third party product. Summit Entertainment, LLC releases 10 to 12 films on average annually.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sam Worthington Puts the Smash in "Clash of the Titans"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 71 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Clash of the Titans (2010)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
WRITERS: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi (based upon the 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross)
PRODUCERS: Kevin De La Noy and Basil Iwanyk
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies, Jr. (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Vincent Tabaillon and Martin Walsh

FANTASY/ACTION/THRILLER with elements of adventure

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemyng, Nicholas Hoult, Hans Matheson, Ian Whyte, Pete Postlethwaite, Elizabeth McGovern, and Danny Huston

Released earlier this year, Clash of the Titans is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. The original was a goofy, delightful, children’s adventure film and monster movie that featured the talents of film producer and special effects wizard, Ray Harryhausen. The 2010 version takes itself very seriously (way more seriously than the original), but is still a goofy fantasy adventure film and monster movie.

The story is set in a time that seems as if it will be the twilight of the Olympian gods, who gain their powers from the prayer, worship, and love humans give them. Humans, however, have been turning away from the gods. For instance, soldiers from the city of Argos destroy a massive statue of Zeus as their declaration of war against the gods. Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the master of the Underworld, convinces his brother, Zeus (Liam Neeson), the ruler of the Olympians, to allow him to punish Argos for the soldiers’ actions. Hades, who gains his power from human fear, threatens to unleash the monstrous Kraken on Argos unless King Kepheus (Vincent Rega) offers his beautiful daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), as a sacrifice.

In steps the hero. Raised by his foster father, the kindly fisherman, Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite), Perseus (Sam Worthington) is really a demigod – the son of Zeus and a human woman. After watching Hades kill Spyros, his foster mother, and foster sister, Perseus vows vengeance against him. When he discovers that by killing the Kraken he could strike at Hades, Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission deep into forbidden worlds where he may discover a method to kill the Kraken. Kepheus’ Praetorian Guard follows Perseus, but head guard, Draco (Mads Mikkelsen), has grave doubts about Perseus, who insists that he will succeed as a man and not as a demigod. But the fate of his mission and his own survival may depend upon Perseus accepting his powers as a god.

Simply put, Clash of the Titans 2010 is mildly entertaining, but it does have some grand moments (like the battles against the Gorgon and the Kraken). Most of the time, however, it has an odd rhythm. There is no sense of urgency in the story and very little to indicate how imperative it is that the heroes successfully complete their mission in a short amount of time. Even Lord of the Rings, which is a trilogy composed of three movies, each running at over three hours in length, always feels like time is running out for the heroes. Conversely, quite a bit of Clash of the Titans’ first hour feels flat.

The special effects are either good or bad; there isn’t much in between. The Gorgon and especially the Kraken are really good. The visual effects and CGI used for Hades are embarrassingly weak; luckily, with minimal effort, the powerful Ralph Fiennes makes Hades the good villain that the effects could not.

Strangely, this film is packed with good characters and actors making the best of even small parts. Mads Mikkelsen is superb as Draco, leader of the Praetorian Guard; his performance will make you wish to see more of the character. As usual Sam Worthington is just fun to watch. There is no doubt that this movie would be a disaster without him. He could portray a fast food clerk at a drive-in window and make the role seem compelling.

Clash of the Titans often lacks drama, but the things about it that work well (Worthington, Mikkelsen, the Kraken, etc.) actually work quite well. This is a fun-in-its-own-way, wannabe epic, but it never seems overwrought. “Goofy” is a word that can describe it, but I would watch Clash of the Titans 2010 again and again – just as I do with the original 1981 film.

6 of 10

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Review: "AVATAR" is the Best Picture of 2009

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 (of 2009) by Leroy Douresseaux

Avatar (2009)
Running time: 162 minutes (2 hours, 42 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language, and some smoking
PRODUCERS: James Cameron and Jon Landau
EDITORS: James Cameron, John Refoua, and Stephen Rivkin
Academy Award winner


Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Laz Alonzo, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald

Because he has directed such Oscar-winning films as The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and Titanic (1997), I believe that James Cameron is one of the few directors who, using whatever advances in film technology available, can make any kind of movie and always make it a good movie. [Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are the other two.] Cameron has even developed advancements in film technology, and that makes me wonder if anyone other than he could have created the new film, Avatar.

Avatar is everything good that you have heard about it and more. Cameron has cast a titanic spell of movie magic that will immerse the viewer in an adventure that pits eco-harmonious blue warriors against a mechanized, imperial war machine. The center of Avatar, however, is a surprisingly simply story about an alien warrior who fights not for his own world, but for the world of the woman he loves.

Avatar takes place in 2154, a time when Earth has run out of oil. A moon called Pandora (one of many moons orbiting a giant gas planet) has a rare mineral called Unobtainium, which is the key to solving Earth’s energy problems. This alien world materializes through the eyes of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic former Marine. Even with his body broken and being confined to a wheelchair, Jake’s DNA makes him useful.

The RDA corporation recruits Jake to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where it is mining Unobtainium. Because humans cannot breathe Pandora’s atmosphere, a group of scientists and researchers, led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to Avatars. An Avatar is a remotely-controlled biological body that can breathe the lethal air. These Avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora, a humanoid race called the Na'vi. The Na’vi are 10-feet tall, with tails, bones reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber, and bioluminescent blue skin. They live in Hometree, a gigantic tree that sits on top of the largest deposit of Unobtainium on Pandora. RDA Administrator Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) wants the Na’vi to relocate, but they have fiercely resisted.

Reborn in his Avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na'vi. A beautiful Na'vi female, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), saves Jake’s life and also witnesses a sign that makes her think that Jake is special. Neytiri convinces her clan to take Jake into the tribe, the Omaticaya. However, the chief charges Neytiri with teaching Jake to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher deepens, and he learns to respect the Na'vi’s way of life. When Selfridge becomes impatient and moves to force the Na’vi out, Jake must decide whose side he will take.

Watching Avatar, with its world of phantasmagorical creatures and plants, one cannot help but marvel at the technology used to create this film, but the audience shouldn’t be fooled by this panorama of color and movement into focusing solely on the marvels of scientific cinema. Avatar is indeed an extraordinary story, one that recalls Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. In Wolves, a solider wounded in spirit finds healing amongst a Native American Indian tribe, and then sheds his skin (his military uniform), becoming one of the tribe. In Avatar, a marine wounded in body, Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully, sheds his body for a new one, but it is his soul that is transformed.

Like Dances with Wolves, Avatar has a romance that is the heart of the story. Behind the CGI that created so many of the things we see on screen and past the motion-capture and performance capture that created the Na’vi, Jake Sully meets Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri and practically everything that is Avatar hinges on their love story. The narrative offers messages in support of environmental conservation and biodiversity against the cold, insatiable hunger of imperialism. This gives Avatar plenty of dramatic conflict, but as usual, Cameron finds the human center of his own technological, cinematic spectaculars. There was the mother-daughter bond in Aliens and the star-crossed lovers of Titanic. Now, warrior boy meets sexy tribal princess and technical virtuosity has a heart. Cameron makes you feel what his characters feel – the joy, the anger, the sorrow, the chills, and, when the battle begins, all the thrills. Avatar may be a monumental achievement, but it is also a fantastic tale.

10 of 10

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 Academy Awards: 3 wins: “Best Achievement in Art Direction” (Rick Carter-art director, Robert Stromberg-art director, and Kim Sinclair-set decorator), “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Mauro Fiore), and “Best Achievement in Visual Effects” (Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, and Richard Baneham, and Andy Jones); 6 nominations: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (James Cameron and Jon Landau), “Best Achievement in Directing” (James Cameron) “Best Achievement in Editing” (Stephen E. Rivkin, John Refoua, and James Cameron), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (James Horner), “Best Achievement in Sound” (Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson, and Tony Johnson), and “Best Achievement in Sound Editing” (Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle)

2010 BAFTA Awards: 2 wins: “Best Production Design” (Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, and Kim Sinclair) and “Best Special Visual Effects” (Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, and Andy Jones); 6 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (Mauro Fiore), “Best Director” (James Cameron), “Best Editing” (Stephen E. Rivkin, John Refoua, and James Cameron), “Best Film” (James Cameron and Jon Landau), “Best Music” (James Horner), and “Best Sound” (Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson, Tony Johnson, and Addison Teague)

2010 Black Reel Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Supporting Actress: (Zoe Saldana)

2010 Golden Globes: 2 wins: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (James Cameron) and “Best Motion Picture – Drama;” 2 nominations: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (James Horner) and “Best Original Song - Motion Picture” (James Horner, Simon Franglen, and Kuk Harrell for the song "I See You")



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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sam Worthington to Play Dracula

Latino Review first reported and Entertainment Weekly confirmed it; Sam Worthington is negogiating with Universal Pictures to star in the planned-2011 tent poll movie, "Dracula: Year Zero."  Directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City; I, Robot), the film traces Dracula's roots.

I love me some Sam Worthington, who got really hot this past year because of Terminator: Salvation and (of course) Avatar.  But my initial reaction is that this Dracula movie is a joke.  I have a feeling that this will be in the vein of Van Helsing, which was a loud, obnoxious, mediocre movie.