Monday, November 30, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox isn't all that fantastic but was still entertaining

I'll admit it, I'm not really into animated films. I can take them or leave them. But Fantastic Mr. Fox is a well made animated movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cheated somewhat and went to Borders and read a bunch of it just so I knew what the premise was about.

Very solid film, and lots of one liners and memorable quotes as well. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't get a Best Animated Oscar nomination.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Road- my short analogy

I saw The Road on Wednesday and was not unfamiliar about the movie, as I have read the book more than a couple of times, so I knew what I was in for. But unlike what I was led to believe going in, this adaptation is NOT verbatim to the book. I'd say it's 85% genuine to the Pulitzer Prize winner by Cormac McCarthy.

In all honesty, I was more taken with the book. Something about the film loses it's edge onscreen. I still thought it was fine filmmaking by John Hillcoat but there were some liberties taken with the dialogue that were not in the book. And a couple of scenes in the book that were pretty frightening were left out, that I thought were very key when reading the book that stuck with me. I think those two key scenes would have given the movie more of a horrific feeling to it.

I feel most of the actors did a good job, especially Viggo Mortensen as The Man. Robert Duvall's several minutes of time he has is poignant. The cinematography is solid but what should really deserve a Oscar nomination is the art direction and production design. There was very minimal green screen shooting involved and what you see on screen is real, and looks it. See Roland Emmerich, you don't need to use a green screen the entire time to film a post apocalyptic disaster film.

As of right now, the film seems to be getting a split right down the middle reaction from people that have seen it. For that, I think it is will more of an uphill battle to earn one of the ten slots for a Best Picture nomination. Personally for me, it's in my top 5, but there are more film's yet to be seen in the next month.

Oscar predictions ? I'd be very surprised if it doesn't get Oscar nominations for Adapted Screenplay and Art Direction. I think Viggo's chances are on the outside looking in, but you just never know.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just got back from Up In The Air

It was a solid movie. Just short of great because at times it meanders and there are some slow ( boring ) things going on. I think it's Clooney's 2nd best performance of his career. Behind Michael Clayton. But I like how he played this charatcer and the script has great dialogue and Jason Reitman is proven to be one of the best young directors of his time. And I'd also be failing if I didn't mention that Anna Kendrick SHOULD get a Oscar nod in support.

So my prediction Oscar prediction for Up In The Air ?

I say that it will easily get a best pic nod. Likewise for screenplay and supporting actress. Then I don't know. Right now I have to see more male lead performances until the end of this year to say George should get nominated. As of now, he gets in. But this is a crowded category this year. We'll see by the end of 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sandra Bullock's name should be thrown in the Oscar hat

The Blind Side is a pretty good movie, but what I noticed most about it, was mostly comedian actress Sandra Bullocks performance. It stuck out. I feel it's her career best performance personally, and she should at least be in the mix ( whatever category ) of discussion for an Oscar nomination.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Director Ed Zwick's next; a pharmaceutical drama ?

Ed Zwick has made some great films, Blood Diamond, Legends Of The Fall, Glory to name just a few and can you believe the man has never been nominated for an Oscar in directing ? Not even for Glory. That's pretty unbelievable.
Following up last years WWII adventure, Definace, Zwick has been in Pittsburgh, Pa. since September directing Love And Other Drugs. An adaptation of the humorous memoir Hard Sell: The Evolution Of A Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy and reuniting Brokeback Mountain co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.
The main premise of the story, is that Gyllenhaal plays a Pfiser prescription salesman in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales, considered to be " the Jerry Magire " in his field, and along the way on one of his sales calls meets a woman ( Hathaway ) who has been stricken with Parkinson's disease. Rounding out the cast are Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, Gabrial Macht, Judy Greer, George Segal and Jill Clayburgh.
The film will open November 24th 2010.

Friday, November 20, 2009

If not this year for Colin Firth, maybe for The King ?

Filming is underway across the UK for a seven week shoot on Tom Hooper's ( That Damn United, Longford ) on The Kings Speech.
The premise is the true story about the reluctant monarch King George VI's efforts at overcoming his stutter with the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Colin Firth will play King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as Logue. If Firth does NOT recieve a Oscar nomination for his role in this year's A Single Man, this role looks like Oscar bait as well.
Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Ehle, Timothy Spall and Derek Jacobi co-star. No exact release date has been set yet, though the production is steering for sometime in 2010.

No date yet for The Fighter

The true story about junior welterweight boxer Micky Ward, is in post production and found the sometime prickly David O.Russell ( Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees ) directing the film with Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Christian Bale as his trainer/brother Dicky Eklund. As you can see by the photo, Bale went for another method weight loss in the role.
Rounding out the cast is Amy Adams as Ward's bartender girlfriend, Melissa Leo as the pair's mother, and Allison Folland as Ward's ex girlfriend. There has been no release date set for this hush,hush production.

Pippa Lee getting good reviews

Rebbeca Miller's ( daughter a famous playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day-Lewis ) relationship drama The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee seems to be getting positive reviews. Out of 28 so far, it's recieved an 82% approval rating. And from those postive reviews, they seem to make it look like this is a career best for Robin Wright Penn.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nicolas Cage's name added to Best Actor debate

Nicolas Cage is a good actor. He has proven so in fine performances such as Leaving Las Vegas ( Oscar win ) Adaptation, Moonstruck, Raising Arizona and Matchstick Men to name several. But lately he has been doing " pay for play " films, one after another like he is on a record setting pace for film releases by one actor. His itinerary is booked years in advance. Hence, a lot of sleep walking roles as of late.
He will next be seen in a collaboration with the eccentric German filmmaker, Werner Herzog in The Bad Lieutenant. His performance will require him to play a coked out, dangerous detective, in a obvious over the top manner. Herzog is a gonzo, fearless filmmaker, that seems to be able to get good performances from his actors... Klaus Kinski, Kaspar Hauser, Christian Bale for example, and he seems to have pulled a good one from Cage as well.
Several critics have lauded the film and his performance.
My analogy is that the Best Actor category is a pretty crowded one now, with Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire ( category placement confusion for his role ? ) and Cage's name also tossed into the debate. I say the more the merrier. It's better to have a competitive field than a weak one, as it seems like this year in the Best Actress category with two no-names ( one a first time actress no less ! ) leading that particular category.

Woody Allen's next ?

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is the title of the Woodman's next film, another filmed in the UK that will possibly seeing a late spring-summer 2010 release date.
The films stars Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Anna Friel, Freida Pinto, Ewen Bremmer, Roger Ashton- Griffith.

Synopis is Allen-eque ( would you think any different ? ) about family, their love lives and their attempts to extricate themselves from problems that arise.

Too much bandwagon jumping

If you have seen Precious and think it's the best thing since sliced bread, and you genuinely feel that, then more power to you, but I am seeing way too many people replying on blogs and websites saying Precious is the best movie of 2009. Please. Most people haven't even seen it yet. It reminds me of last year, where in November everybody already had their minds made up that Slumdog was the best film of 2008. Sorry, it wasn't. In reality, it was the little film that could at best. This is a whole other debate. I also didn't think it had the best cinematography of the year either. Most people don't know that it came one day away from being released on DVD before a distributor bought and saved it from possible obscurity on the video shelves. Then it becomes the best movie of the year ?! Before it received a wide release peope were already saying it was the best film of the year, many of those people hadn't even seen it, but still making the claim.
In a perfect world, movies would not get special screenings, critics would see the films at the same time as the general public and we wouldn't have it in October people predicting who the best picture of the year is months before the Oscar nominations are even announced.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nine cast on Oprah

By now this is probably old news, but I caught this by accident and didn't even know this was planned as I'm not a regular Oprah viewer.
I'm not super big on musicals. I'm not a complete hater but it's not a favorite genre of mine, but I feel different about this film. I'm looking forward to it. For one it's an amazing cast. But the numbers also are snappy and the production design looks amazing.
And everyone in these clips are really impressive. Many were wondering how Day-Lewis Italian accent would go over. It sold me. But is that a surprise to anyone ?
If this isn't the Oscar nomination leader for this year, I'll be floored.

Rent this: The Assassination Of Richard Nixon

This highly underrated film and performance didn't get it's due because of Mystic River and all that hype surrounding that film ended over shadowing TAORN.
I truly believe this is Sean Penn's career best performance. It's such a believable performance of a man losing the grip on reality. Halfway through the film I forgot I was watching Sean Penn the actor. It's so believable, that it's squirm worthy. If you have ever been in a situation that may have been the most uncomfortable in your life, than you will feel that from this performance. And it isn't that the man isn't trying in his life. He is. It's as if he tries too hard, he alienates those around him with his oft putting demeanor, to where he ends up having nobody left in his life. He then slowly begins to go insane and President Richard Nixon becomes the haunt of his delusions. How this film and performance got shoved under many people's rug is amazing to me. 4.5 out of 5.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Norton's and the Leaves Of Grass trailer

Looks pretty interesting to me. I know it's just a trailer but some are saying other than his American History X performance, this is his best of his career. I see it more than I don't. Looking forward to it.

Finally...the Crazy Heart trailer

Well some of the early hype looks about spot on. Bridges has never won an Oscar. Could it be his year ? Even in some films that have not been well recieved that he has been in, usually more than not, he is always good. This character shows just another side of a person he has yet to have played. Supporting cast seems intriguing as well.

Will Tobey Magurie be considered in the Oscar discussions ?

I may be in the minority on this one and obviously I have to see the film too, but I was pretty impressed with what I saw from Maguire in the Brothers trailer. I have never seen him exhibit such explosiveness. Usually he portrays low key, introverted characters. This performance looks like a welcome detour from him than his usual roles.

Nicole and Gwyneth in The Danish Girl

Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow will star as Einar and Greta Wegener respectively, a true story about two Danish artists, whose marriage saw a big turn when Einar ( Kidman ) becomes a transsexual. The first one by the way as well.
The film will be directed by Tomas Alfredson ( Let The Right One In ) and the adaptation from the novel by David Ebertoff. Look for a 2011 release date.

2012 box office leader this week...I'm not surprised

Now don't get me wrong, I do like " some " action films, it has a lot to do with the story, the filmmaking team behind it and the actors involved.
I go see some films I am reluctant to see, because I have a movie site and I want to have a base upon my opinion about a certain film, and with 2012 I wasn't exactly running to the ticket gate. I knew in my mind exactly what I was in for and I wasn't wrong.
That is because I feel the disaster genre has been done enough. Sure the visuals are always interesting to witness. But for 2 hours straight ? It's scary to me that these are the kind of films that make the most at the box office. What does that say about the people ? That people like watching things be destroyed and blown up is what is the popular choice to get people to the theater ? Like a friend said to me in a e-mail, how many times did we have to see concrete cracking ? And the cheesy speeches and dialogue. I'm with ya brotha !
My favorite flick this past weekend was Pirate Radio. Go figure, it didn't even crack the top 10. And 2012 made 65 million in the U.S. alone. I liked The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Star Trek, but I feel those are rarities and their franchise are viable. But nothing can compare to "REAL " filmmaking not set behind a green screen, but instead a real shoot on location. I identify with those kind of films more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Past SNL'ers reunite for Grown Ups comedy

Premise plays out that 30 years after their high school graduation five best friends get together for a 4th Of July weekend. Starring Adam Sandler, Salma Hayak, Chris Rock, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph David Spade, Rob Schneider, Norm Macdonald, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows and Gary Busey.
Dennis Dugan ( Happy Gilmore, National Security ) helmed the film. Look for a June 2 opening date.

More casting added to Cruise and Diaz Knight and Day

News that the movie has added Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, Viola Davis and Oliver Martinez to the cast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jolie's Salt trailer plus Angelina's next

Salt, directed by Phillip Noyce ( Clear and Present Danger, The Bone Collector ) with Liev Schrieber and Chiwetel Ejifor. July 23 2010

Angelina Jolie's next will see her team up with Johnny Depp in The Tourist. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron ( Children Of Men ) in a script written by Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie ( The Usual Suspects ) in which she will play an Interpol agent who uses an American tourist ( Depp ) in an attempt to capture a cat and mouse criminal, one whom she has shared intimate times with in the past.

Viggo talks The Hobbit

What is the most anticipated movie in the next couple of years ? That's easy. The Hobbit. Prequel to The Lord Of The Ring novels.
The film has it's director, Guillermo del Toro ( Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth ) and some actors rumored reprising roles from the trilogy, such as Andy Serkis ( Gollum ) Ian McKellan ( Gandalf ) Hugo Weaving ( Elrond )with Ron Pearlman and Doug Jones rumored as newcomers to the casting.
Mortensen is all good with returning as Aragorn aka " Strider ", but has mentioned in a recent interview that the character doesn't show up till half way through The Hobbit and is more prevalent in The Hobbit 2. Either way, this will be one for the ages. Some predict all time box office openings. The film is scheduled to begin shooting next year with a December 2011 release.

New Clash Of The Titans remake trailer

Hhmm ? Good visuals. Kind of looks like a hybrid of Troy and 300. Don't know how to feel about that. Don't know if I like rock music to a movie based so long go. Classical or strings and horns seems more appropriate.
Louis Leterrier ( The Incredible Hulk ) directs Sam Worthington ( Avatar, Terminator: Salvation ) with Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Aterton and Danny Huston.

How is Norton not in the Best Actor discussion ?

I have seen a ton of mock Best Actor Oscar predictions and on many I have seen, I have NOT seen Edward Norton's name included in those predictions. How can that be ? You know how difficult it is to play two people in a movie ? Plus, I read from several that saw a screening at the Toronto Film Festival, that it could possibly be his best performance of his career other than his turn in American History X.
I can't wait to see the film and performance and see it for myself. These are the same critics that are saying Gabourey Sidibe should win the Oscar for her very first performance on screen ever.
As with any movie regardless of hype or no hype, you will have to make those decisions for yourself.

2012 might need a defense lawyer as it's taking hits

For some reason I kind of had a feeling the critics would beat it up. Not that it makes any difference to your personal opinion on what the critics say, but when the consensus is almost all the same, then you can probably get a feeling that they are probably right.
As we know disaster epics can be over the top, 2012 is taking hits for being just too much over the top. There have only been 23 professional reviews on the film, but so far it isn't looking pretty. It's only recieved a 39% approval rating. That pretty far below even the half liked it mark. Not positive, but will it be the box office leader this weekend ? You can bet the house it will be. But this one might have a hard time breaking even with it's budget.

Films with new release dates ( finally )

A few films that hung in limbo for release dates for pretty much all of 09 have now finally have dates attached to them.
The Last Station, the Leo Tolstoy biopic starring Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy is out December 23.
Leaves Of Grass with Edward Norton playing twin brothers will see a Christmas release date.
And good news on the Crazy Heart front; it's getting a small New York & LA date, and then it will be expanding the rest of the month and in January.

What's next for Philip Seymour Hoffman ?

You can see him this Friday in Pirate Radio, but his next filmmaking endeavour will see him going behind the camera for the first time and directing and acting in Jack Goes Boating. An indie that co-stars Amy Ryan ( Gone Baby Gone Oscar nominee )
The premise is about a 30's something stoner limo driver trying to win the affections
of a woman who seems to be a hard catch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Laura Linney in Showtime Cancer related series

The talented actress is working on a Showtime series that will be titled That C Word. The premise is about a suburbanite mother and wife that has been diagnosed with cancer. Word is that the story will add some light touches to the seriousness behind her illness. The series will see a 2010 release date. Gabourey Sidibe and Oliver Platt have also signed on with director Bill Condon ( Kinsey, Dreamgirls ) set to direct many of the episodes.

Streep had her student loans too...

I recently read an article interview that I thought was pretty interesting with Meryl Streep, she was asked when it was that she truly felt like she had arrived in Hollywood, and she answered " when I paid off my student loans ".
Streep who attended Vassar College and The Yale School Of Drama admitted when she first started getting roles, she put that money back into paying off those loans.
We tend to think these big stars, Oscar winning talent, have always been at that level. It's hard to imagine them once struggling out of college to get work to pay off those student loans.
So there is an Oscar winner that experienced the same as any other college student with large loans hanging over their head.

DUI Lawyers in LA never dry up with Hollywood clientele

It always blows my mind to hear news when a wealthy actor/musician/pro athlete gets busted for dui. You have to wonder if their celebrity clouds their judgement as if they are above the law. Remember, these are people with easy access to personal drivers.
When I heard about the actor ( Thomas Dekker ) from The Terminator TV series getting a dui, I happened to be sitting with a friend when we saw that news come on and we both had the same thought come out of our mouths almost at the same time. " Why don't they have a driver ?! "
If you want to get loaded, feel free. But why choose to drive your own car ? These are people unlike a regular Joe, who have the funding to pay for a driver. It truly is one of those things that is a mind blower.

Best graphics yet for Call Of Duty 2 ?

Video gaming doesn't have much in common with actual movie making, but Call Of Duty 2 was just released to much anticipation and one of my friends is a big gaming guy that went out and bought it the first day it was on sale.
What does this have to do with movies ? Well I went over to his house to see what the hype was all about. I don't play video games anymore. The last foray into that activity was earlier in this decade with Madden football. I have to be honest if I said I wasn't curious to see this video game.
After my friend set up the game and began learning the new version, I couldn't help but be very impressed with the graphics. The technology in these video games never ceases to amaze me. And as I sat there watching him play the game, I couldn't help but think about when this game is going to be optioned for a motion picture. I'm sure the millions of fans of the game would love to see a movie based on it.
I don't think Hollywood big wigs could pass that idea up. After all it's all about the money right ?

Even movie stars have lasik surgery done

Are you someone that is over 30 and your sight might be a little compromised ? Things don't look as sharp as they once did ? Does it make you feel alienated towards your friends with perfect sight ? Well fret no more, as a slight loss of sight as you age is a common thing. It might even make you feel better that even what seems to be teflon coated, even Oscar nominated thespians in Hollywood have had lasik done. You might have more in common with them than you think. Many high profile athletes and musical artist's also have had the procedure done. Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid are just several. And the highest profile athlete on the planet Tiger Woods is an endorser of the procedure.
So don't get down on your compromised eye sight, you have something in common with a Hollywood A lister.

Guitar, Guitar, Guitar...

If you like U2, Led Zeppelin and The White Stripes ( and can't forget The Raconteurs ) then you are obviously a fan of The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.
If so, I highly suggest you see It Might Get Loud when it is released on DVD if you missed it in the theater, which is a very good chance you did. It's a must for any guitar fanatic even if you aren't a major fan of any of the three. It's especially great to see Page interacting with his younger peers, as it's evident he was a influence on them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Looks like critics are already crowning it either Sidibe or Mulligan

I will be honest and say I have seen neither Precious or An Education, but can honestly say I don't see what the big deal is from either performance I have witnessed in the trailers. I didn't see anything extra extraodinary that jumped out at me, or grabbed me.
If these two are the leading contenders than that just shows what a down year 2009 is in that category.
All I am saying is, that is the vibe I got while seeing these trailers more than a few times a piece, so my opinion can change when I see the film's.
Names like Sidibe and Mulligan aren't exactly the names that advertisers and the ceremony panel usually count on for ratings.

Transformers 2 breaks the bank/Give The Hangover credit...

Well my prediction at the beginning of this year that Star Trek would be the top grossing film of 2009 was a tad off, it's still sits at the # 5 slot at an impressive 256 million dollars at the box office.
Not to my surprise the top grosser looks like it will be The Transformers sequel banking in a colossal 399 million dollars. And imagine that I didn't even see it ( nor will I ) making me look like I am in the high minority of people that didn't see it..
What is a pleasant surprise, was that my favorite comedy of the year, The Hangover has grossed 270 million dollars. Unheard of numbers considering the genre and the cast involved ( non A list ) The animated film Up, which originally had a high budgeted price tag attached to it at 175 million, is sitting comfortably at the # 3 position, pulling in 289 million, making it more than a 100 million dollar profit.

Up In The Air gaining mileage with Oscar predictions

It seems as each day goes by and the opening date for the film Up In The Air draws closer and closer, I keep hearing good things about it. I keep reading that it's a lock for a best picture nod and other categories as well.
I am feining any anticipation because when I don't do that, or when I tend to get my hopes up for a film, it seems more than not, I end up disappointed or it not living up to the hype.

Filming underway on The Green Hornet-Rogen loses the weight

As I mentioned on this site months ago, I had a hard time grasping Seth Rogen as newspaper publisher Brit Reid aka The Green Hornet. Even if he loses the weight required for the athletic Reid, I would not think of him off the top of my head playing The Green Hornet. But I'm all for being pleasantly surprised so I'll obviously reserve judgement until I actually see the film. And I have never heard of Jay Chou who'll be portraying sidekick Kato.
Rounding out the cast is Tom Wilkinson, Cameron Diaz, Edward Furlong, Christoph Waltz and Edward James Olmos. Due December 22 2010.

Hollywood celeb's owning Hybrid cars

Once thought of as the most self improtant of human beings on this planet, there are many famous celebrities who have abandoned their fancy cars for better gas mileage and environment. The converts to name just several are Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks ( pictured ) Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jack Nicholson, Ellen DeGeneres, Salma Hayek and Julie Roberts ( pictured )

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anyone have 8.995M for Lisa Presley's mortgage ?

Her mansion in Hidden Hills, Ca. is on the market. Just a drop in the bucket right ?
Chump change comapred to her estate.

Jim Carrey's gain will mean losing a lot of weight too

His goal is to gain 40 pounds to play the robust Stooge Curly. He has said in a recent interview that he is 15 pounds away. It's kind of interesting in a morbid kind of way. It will definitely be strange seeing a bloated " usually " skinny Carrey up on screen. More so is seeing him playing Curly in Three Stooges.

Is Kate Hudson dating A-Roid genuine ?

I wonder about this only because the 360 degree difference between Alex and Chris Robinson. Wow ! Talk about having an eclectic choice in men.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !