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Showing posts from March, 2012

2012 Reno Film Festival

This year's batch of films was quite something this year at the Reno Film Festival. All of the Oscar nominated shorts for animation, live-action and documentary were on display.
Review: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore The Oscar winner at this year's Academy Awards, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a delight for fans of animation. The film uses a multitude of different techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) and incorporates them into a film that feels like what Charlie Chaplin would have made if he had been an animator. To put it succinctly this is why we love the movies.
Review: La Luna A small boy starts learning the family tradition on this evening. Sandwiched between his hulking father and his spindly-but-wise grandfather, they row into the middle of seemingly nowhere in the ocean. The boy must make a choice: continue down the line of his family's work by the way his father chose, or the one his grandfather paved. …

Warner Bros. Debuts More Alien Superman Logo

Zack Snyder, David Goyer and Christopher Nolan have wasted no time in distancing their Superman from previous incarnations. One wonders if the introduction of this darker redesign of the classic Superman S means that the storyline will be darker as well.

Hugh Jackman Defies You to Grow a Better Beard

It goes without saying that Hugh Jackman was tailor-suited to play Jean Valjean, but in his preparation for the role has even surpassed Daniel Day-Lewis in facial hair acting. Not a deed easily done. Then again, anything Jackman does will hardly be met with raised eyebrows considering Russell Crowe's head wear.

(Courtesy: The Film Stage)

Review: Teenage Riot (The Hunger Games)

People have been pitted against one another in deadly combat forever. As long as civilizations have sought venues for entertainment, bloodsport has been there to satiate the need. The difference between Hunger Games and history is that children were never participants in the combative arena.

District 12 serves as a ghetto for children. They are represented by wealthy ambassadors that do not live there, the eldest take on parental duties, and on a regular basis they are required to fight each other to the death in a tournament. At the age of twelve children are required to enter a pool where the name selected shall serve as a contestant.At “The Reaping,” boys and girls are taken from each district and selected by age and the number of rations they accepted throughout the year. There, they are thrown into a controlled arena, only one child survives.

Primrose Everdeen is entering her name for the first time and her sister, Katniss, is insistent that she won't be selected. Katniss wa…

Review: Mirror Mirror

The story of Snow White is very familiar to most. King and Queen marry, sire a child. Queen dies. King remarries. King dies. Evil queens usurps young princess to take the throne, banishes said princess from the castle, and proceeds to make life miserable for the rest of the kingdom.

In a way, the Queen (Julia Roberts) is the perfect representation of the one percent. However, she has squandered most of the kingdom's fortunes and finds herself on the market for a man with a lot of money and not a lot of brains, despite what the focus groups suggest.

Like The Princess Bride before it, Mirror Mirror takes leaps and bounds to avoid treading on one too many tropes of the genre. The handsome prince is a dork (albeit an incredibly good looking one), the seven dwarfs are less affable care-takers than disgruntled revolutionaries and even Julia Robert's Queen is a little meta. Perhaps the most redrawn character is Lily Collin's Snow White. She may not wield armor and a mace like Kr…

Get Glue Caption Contest

Want movie stickers? Of course you do! Or you do if you love movies, which is a given and why you're here. At the end of the month the lucky winner will receive stickers from such films as Hunger Games, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises

The best caption for the screenshot takes home the package of stickers. Captions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. 3/31. Winners limited to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

The Vault: Kes (1969)

Based on the modern classic novel “A Kestrel for a Knave” by Barry Hines, Kes is an intimate and bleak observation of working class opportunities and lifestyle of 1960s working-class Britain.

The novel has become an essential study piece of the UK’s high school English curriculum, and due to the sympathetic and unaffected adaptation of the book into film by renowned kitchen-sink-drama director Ken Loach, the film is often used as back-up study material for students to this day.
1960s Working Class Britain - Opportunities, or Lack Thereof
Kes is set in late 1960s Barnsely, a Northern English mining town which is both blessed and cursed by its rural proximity. The story follows a young boy named Billy Casper, whose character and lifestyle is typical of many others like him of that era and class; he lives with his belligerent older half-brother, Jud and his middle-aged, single mother. Although the idea of a non-nuclear family is now considered quite normal, in 1960s England there was still …

Listen to The Hunger Games Soundtrack

The soundtrack for one of this year's most hotly anticipated films came out today. After giving it a listen, without a doubt, "One Engine" by The Decemberists has to be my favorite track. Great song, I hope that it is actually included in the film instead of dubbing over the credits. The rest of the soundtrack includes bands Arcade Fire, The Civil Wars, Maroon 5 and Kid Cudi. Those interested in acquiring the album can hit up the link below.

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'Nero Fiddled' Now 'To Rome With Love'

Sony Pictures Classics has recently announced that Woody Allen's newest film will have its name changed to To Rome With Love. This marks the second change following the original change fromThe Bop Decameron to Nero Fiddled.

Is it just me or is anyone else having a hard time imagining the Woody Allen of yesteryear changing a film title to suit more mainstream audiences? Then again, Annie Hall was originally Anhedonia, so what do I know? More likely Allen's recent success with films Midnight in Paris and Vicky Christina Barcelona are the root for the change.

To Rome With Love, or whatever the title will be in summer, will be released on June 22nd.

Review: 21 Jump Street

In high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was barely noticed and Jenko (Channing Tatum) was king jock. With graduation eight years behind them, both Schmidt and Jenko find themselves in line to become police officers. Getting over hating each other in high school, the pair help each other through the academy and set about starting their dream of being BAMFs. That fantasy, however, is quickly jettisoned as they end up partners riding bicycles in the city park.

The popular misconception about 21 Jump Street is that it would just be a cash-in on a brand with market recognition. If the announcement that Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall were writing the screenplay didn't ease those fears, then the film's total self-awareness will do so immediately. Actually, self-aware doesn't even begin to do the film justice. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, bring a verve of cartoon zaniness that keeps the film from being just another buddy cop movie.

Tak…

Review: Manhattan Blues (Friends with Kids)

Child rearing has spawned countless numbers of get-help books, tutorial videos, counselors, and lord knows how many films. So the prospect of taking a time-old tradition and putting a modern spin on it seemed right in Jennifer Westfeldt's wheelhouse. Westfeldt has been known for making dramedies that put a fresh face on old issues: Kissing Jessica Stein took on dating and Ira & Abby took on marriage, so with Friend with Kids it seemed she was ready to reflect how society deals with children and loved ones.
Jason (Adam Scott) and Jules (Jennifer Westfeldt) have known each other since they were in college. They know everything there is to know about each other. They know each other's positions on religion, politics, favorite coffee maker, etc. They would be perfect for each other if they weren't, you know, completely unattracted to each other. But like every Manhattanite in her age range, Juls is quickly approaching an age where she may not meet Mr. Right in time to hav…

ArcLight Interviews: Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt

Off to see Friends with Kids tonight. While you wait for a review, here is an interview with stars Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm on making the film in less than a month and shooting in cramped apartments.

Javier Bardem in 'Skyfall'

Not everything is as it appears in this new Skyfall set pic. Hit the link for the first peek at Javier Bardem as Silva.
Bardem appears to either be in disguise for this particular scene, or he is indeed a blonde for the film. What is intriguing is that we finally have a name for Bardem's character: Silva. Given that there isn't a character named Silva in the Bond mythos, this character is an entirely new creation.
(Courtesy: /Film)

Review: A New World (John Carter)

Most of the buzz surrounding John Carter has been solely based around the film's budget. Never mind that the film is Andrew Stanton's first live-action film, or that the film predates everything that others claim it to be "ripping off". This is not Star Wars, this is not Avatar, thisis not box-office obsessives' opportunity to destroy a film before it is released because it cost a lot of money. This is a story, plain and simple. Wait for the lights to come up before you make up your mind.

Many films have started out with the premise of a lone man in a world that he doesn't fit in, disjointed from society as much as he is from himself. He has proven himself in battle, to the point where drawing a gun is easier than negotiating. The Civil War has left a hole in John and he isn't sure if that void can be filled again, fortunately, the isolation of the west has provided a break in the meantime. John Carter is not the most unique protagonist, but he is the he…

Review: Politics Echo Through the Passage of Time (Coriolanus)

What I found most fascinating about Ralph Fiennes’ occasionally poignant but ultimately misguided directorial debut is how politics seem to be the one constant throughout society. The ideas of deception and greed are amplified in Coriolanus. And with 2012 already bringing the skewed and often juvenile GOP debates (in which incorrect information is spouted by candidates to better their entrance into the Oval office) The Weinstein Company couldn’t release this film at a more opportune time.

Like the 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, Fiennes creates a contemporary translation of  Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare’s least-recognized plays.The story is simplistic: Caius Martius Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) is a primitive soldier for Rome. Upon his return from war, society feels Caius is not fit to represent the people. He’s arrogant, unsympathetic, inflexible, and antiquated. But he has power. And with power, he has authority.

That is until Coriolanus is banished from Rome on charges of “treason”. Infu…

Review: Project Vile

It’s Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) birthday today. His parents are going out of town for the weekend in light of their anniversary. He’s been given the privilege of staying home alone for the next few days, without parental guidance, oversight from relatives or family acquaintances.

He has two nebbish friends, Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), fixated on throwing a reckless high school party tonight. The objective these three senior geeks have is to be considered “cool” by their classmates, defy laws, and possibly get lucky with an attractive (preferably intoxicated) female.
Project X – through a documentary style of filmmaking – is the chronicling of the most “epic party” … ever. It’s the type of bash every high school student wishes he or she could attend.
So, how bizarre is this junction?

Lets see. We have droves of varying alcohol, naked women (both high school and college), conspicuous folks from Craig’s list, an older father who thinks he’s still in high school, a midge…

When Will Don Draper Die?

With all of the whiskey swilling, questionable bed mates, and smoking our morally ambiguous ad man, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), has done I'm sure we are all wondering when Mr. Draper will kick the bucket. No? Well I'll admit I have and, fortunately, the morbidly curious writers over at Vulture have an answer. Here's hoping that Don's expiration date is after that bottle of gin he has laying around.

Be sure to watch the fifth season premier of Mad Men when it comes on March 25th at 9pm.

(Courtesy: Vulture)

You Are Cordially Invited to 'Moonrise Kingdom'

This definitely looks like a outdoor gala invitation, despite the fact that it features two armed and dangerous children. 

First Look at 'Lone Ranger'

It looks like Tonto is in charge of Disney's Lone Ranger this go-around. At least from the skeptical look on Johnny Depp's face anyway. Although it will be interesting for a marginalized character to be the lead for a Disney film.

The Lone Ranger is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

10 Words or Less: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

A condom could have prevented all of this.

Focus Features Turns Ten

Focus Features, the house for such classics as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, In Bruges, Brick, Atonement, Brokeback Mountain and Eastern Promises, celebrates ten years at the cinema this year. In the mean time, let's look at some of the best performances to have come from Focus Features during that decade.
(Courtesy: Thompson on Hollywood)

Preview of 'The Dark Knight Rises' Score

Grim, moody, everything that I want from Hans Zimmer's score for the conclusion of the Batman trilogy.

TWC Buys 'Only God Forgives'

The Weinstein Company's VOD shingle has purchased the rights to the next Nicolas Winding Refn/Ryan Gosling team-up Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives centers around Julian (Gosling), who has lived in exile in Bangkok after killing a cop ten year ago. He runs a Thai boxing club with his brother as a front for the family's drugs smuggling operation run by mother, Jenna (Kristin Scott Thomas). Julian's brother bites off more than he can chew when he murders a prositute, and the cops call on retired cop Chang--aka The Angel Vengeance--to determine the outcome. With his brother in mortal danger, Julian is forced to seek vengeance or risk his own death.

That leaves one wondering if Drive was going to be one of the cuddlier Refn films. Either way, I'll be there in theatres, or online.

(Courtesy: The Playlist)