Archive for October, 2012

Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead Remake Starring Jane Levy gets its First Trailer

There is no denying the cult following Sam Raimi’s 1981 Evil Dead has, so naturally when there was the initial report that a remake was in process many fans voiced their opposition (and rightfully so I will add).  We have seen plenty of remakes that had good intentions turn out unsatisfying to say the least such as Rob Zombie’s Halloween or Samuel Bayer’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Anyway, Raimi’s classic is another one of those examples that leaves people asking:  Did it really need to be re-done?

This question aside, Fede Alvarez has remade Evil Dead and it is scheduled for a release in April of 2013.  Now the most notable difference in Alvarez’s take on the story is a female lead of Mia played by Jane Levy.  Mia is battling to sober up so her brother and her friends accompany her to an old isolated cabin where one of them finds the “Book of the Dead” and all hell breaks loose.  That said, as of right now it a little difficult to see much else of the changes but here is the trailer and some stills (warning the trailer is quite graphic – and yeah the tree scene to be still included which is scary).

 

Consulted Article:

Chitwood, Adam.  “Incredibly Bloody First Red Band Trailer for EVIL DEAD Remake Starring Jane Levy.”  Collider.com.  Date Posted:  October 24, 2012

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James Wan & Patrick Wilson Discuss Upcoming Horror Movie “The Conjuring”

James Wan has developed quite a name for himself in the horror world as the director of low budget hits like Saw and Insidious.  Now in post-production of his latest movie call The Conjuring, some details about the film are steadily starting to be released.  For those of you who are fans of shows like Ghost Hunters where paranormal experts try to make contact with spirits and draw conclusions on their existence.  Specifically this film will feature a look into Ed and Lorraine Warren.

For those of you who do not know who Ed and Lorraine Warren (like myself), they were the original investigators into the paranormal over 30 years ago before it was “cool.”  Any horror fan should be familiar with the classic The Amityville Horror, well Ed and Lorraine were the original investigators to look into the spiritual happenings in the house back in the late 1970’s.  Wan has stated in an interview that The Conjuring is going to be sort of a biopic about this couple who cases have inspired some of Hollywood’s most popular horror films.  Check out his brief interview with Clevver Movies:

After a panel session at the latest Comic-Con in New York it was said that The Conjuring will follow Ed and Lorraine’s outing to a Rhode Island farmhouse that has a witches curse on it that threatens a couple and their five children.  Not much else has been mentioned other than that Wan wants to stay as loyal to what Lorraine Warren had to tell them.

Casting features Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens and Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston as the Rhode Island couple in the cursed home.  To watch an interview with Patrick will about The Conjuring, Watchmen, and an Insidious sequel click here.

It is currently scheduled for a July 2013 release and as soon as a trailer is officially release to the public I will post it here.

 

 

Consulted Articles:

Weintraub, Steve ‘Frosty.’  “Patrick Wislon Talks The Conjuring, Rob Marshall’s Into The Woods, Caught Stealing, an Insidious sequel, Watchmen, and More.”  Collider.com.  Date Published:  October 20, 2012.

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Movie Review Round Up (10/21/2012)

Dredd 3D:  Sleeper Action Flick

Most who have seen the 1995 Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone will admit to the foul taste that was left in their mouth regarding one of the most brutal comic book protagonists.  Even Stallone’s action stature could not save that movie (he might even be the one to blame).  So there were mixed reactions when Dredd was announced and having seen the movie now, it completely trumps the predecessor in every way.  Karl Urban owned his role as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirbly was the perfect compliment by being surprisingly not annoying for a side-kick.  The action was extremely well done, cool 3D effects for the SLO-MO drug affects, and a great villain.  Dredd 3D easily ranks as one of my favorite movies this year; I give it a 9/10.

End Of Watch:  Believable Buddy Cop Movie

It kind of makes you think of a well choreographed COPS episode.  That may sound bad but I mean that as a compliment because Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena were very believable not only as police officers but as friends.  The main reason I say that was their bantering, it seemed so natural the way they played off each other.   Plus for a portion of the film it effectively utilizes a different approach to the found footage style of filming with the shaky hand held camera feel.  On top of all that, there was some real drama and at times pretty emotional that is most directly a result of Gyllenhaal and Pena’s chemistry.  I hope this movie gets Pena some more leading roles; I give End Of Watch a 8/10.

Trouble With The Curve:  More Grumpy Old Men

Clint Eastwood as a stubborn, opinionated, and against-the-odds man…. shocking.  Do not get me wrong, he plays the role very well but it gets a little tiresome and borderline annoying at times.  His relationship with his daughter played by Amy Adams just seems like a tug of war where the flag in the middle waves stagnate in the same place for nearly 2 hours.  Each one proves to be as stubborn as the other despite the fact that Adams’ character despises how Eastwood “got rid of her” when she was a child.  Timberlake plays a flirtatious, wise-cracking, and fallen out of grace former baseball player that has aspirations to become a broadcaster and the hots for Adams (who can blame him).  I give Trouble With The Curve a 6/10.

Taken 2:  As Fast Paced as the First Installment

Luc Besson and Liam Neeson team up again for the sequel to the globally well received Taken.  There is an undeniable intensity to Neeson as former CIA Bryan Mills with his “set of skills” that just sucks you into the action.  It is not the most creative means of picking up where the previous film left off but who can complain?  This sequel has those good hand-to-hand combat scenes, gun fights, car chases, and secret agent tracking training tactics that fans of the first one will love.  Overall it is a pretty fun movie but there were times where I did get irritated by the same old I am going to save me family thing.  I give Taken 2 a 7/10.

Sinister:  Another Stop on the Murder Map

Ethan Hawke in a horror movie?  Going into this movie I knew what potential Sinister had with a great lead actor and he delivers a great performance.  This has been missing from a lot of horror movies as of late.  And his back story that brought him to the house for greed and fame were really well done too so kudos to the writers.  The scares were okay but they spoiled a lot of the what would have been good ones in the trailer so that took the air out of a lot of the jumpy parts.  Still a pretty cool horror movie, lived up to my expectations.  I give Sinister an 8/10.

Here Comes The Boom: Ready to Rot

Following I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Paul Blart: Mall Cop Kevin James seems to be back in the public eye with these near screw-ball comedies.  His latest film Here Comes The Boom is no exception.  James’ character is a bit of a jerk and is really hard to root for especially when he is trying to help a kooky Henry Winkler and hook up the weird teacher Salma Hayeck plays.  I just had a hard time getting behind this wannabe do-gooder that makes nothing but jokes at others’ expense.  Most of those jokes fall pretty flat by the way.  I give Here Comes The Boom a 5/10 because of one “rotten” scene that came out of nowhere that was pretty funny.

Argo:  True Story about a Fake Movie

A lot of early Oscar buzz surrounding this Ben Affleck directed drama.  To quote something a friend of mine said about eight years ago, “Ben Affleck is not really an actor, he is a movie star.”  So I am glad to see him taking a seat behind the camera a little more often now.  What this movie does best is show both sides of the tension without making the US out to being the innocent party and any opposition as evil.  Instead you know and understand what upset the Iranians.  But again to refer to my earlier quote, Affleck’s acting in this is really stale and boring but all other actors like Cranston, Goodman, and Arkin picked up the slack.  It was a little short of the hype for me, I give Argo a 7/10.

Seven Psychopaths:  Takes a Psychopath to Write About Psychopaths

This is a superbly written comedy/crime/thriller with great acting.  With a stacked cast including Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken that helped carry this story of a struggling writer figure what to do for his next screenplay.  The most creepy or at least most interesting of the psychopaths is easily played by Tom Waits.  Even though there was plenty of humor there was a lot of jokes that fell flat that I had a hard time getting past.  Even though this was a very well written story, almost Guy Ritchie-esque, a lot of the humor did not land with me and this is labeled as a comedy first and foremost so I can only give Seven Psychopaths a 7/10.

Paranormal Activity 4:  Unfortunate Lack of Scares

I think the best way to describe this movie is it is a blend of the second and third installments.  Remember that awkward teen relationship in the second movie, well its awkwardness was trumped by Kathryn Newton and her boyfriend’s relationship (dude says his laptop videotapes her while she sleeps and it does not bother her).  The scares were recycled from the others and serves as a 90 commercial for the Xbox Kinect.  As much as I love found footage horror, I have to give Paranormal Activity 4 a 4/10.

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Armie Hammer Rumored as Potential Batman for Justice League

With the success of the Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, it is no surprise DC Comics and Warner Brothers studios are toying with the idea of a Justice League movie.  At this point, everything is speculation and rumors with nothing set in stone or at least that I am aware of.  For those not that comic book savy (like myself) the Justice League is a collection of super heros of the DC universe including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and more.  As with The Avengers the list of heros at one point associated with the superhero team goes on but those are just a few of the staples of the Justice League.

What helped make The Avengers so success was that it did not need to explain the back story of all the characters since most the heros had their own movies prior so you are able to jump into action right away.  Many say this is what DC Comics is looking to do.

This will most likely mean starting fresh with the character of Batman.  Main reason being Bale and Nolan both stated they are leaving the Batman they created which does not closely follow the comics – or so I was told after it tried to tackle the task of making an “authentic” super hero.  Another reason is that trying to continue that story Nolan told, would not work.  I could be wrong but no one can create an atmosphere that Nolan was able to with his Batman films so it may be wise to start fresh.

That said, who will be the knew Batman?  Again there is nothing saying this will happen but the internet bloggers like myself will have fun with the idea of the potential.  Now an article from TotalFilm.com  (click here for the article) is suggesting Armie Hammer is in a strong lead for the role, which is an interesting suggestion.  There is no debate that he has a presence on screen with his six foot five inch stature and being a pretty good dramatic actor as he proved in Social Network and J. Edgar.  Also he is going to be playing to be playing the title role in The Lone Ranger opposite of Johnny Depp.  I was a tad skeptical thinking wow this guy will be playing two masked heros, why would he do that?  Then I was reminded that Chris Evans went from being in the Fantastic Four movies to being a great Captain America so I guess we will have to see.

My first question is what do you think of Armie Hammer at a potential Batman?

The other question I am thinking is if they choose to abandon Nolan’s universe he made his Batman trilogy, will they choose to go with what was created in Mark Campbell’s Green Lantern?

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Final Quarter of Movies in 2012

There have been a lot of big movies to hit theaters this year so it is not a surprise that there are plenty yet to come.  In this post I will pick 10 movies that are set to be released between now and the New Year that I am most excited for.  You will probably notice the absence of some of the biggest films of the fall/winter but I will explain why I left them off the list.

10.   Hyde Park On Hudson

Bill Murray takes on yet another more dramatic role as Franklyn Delano Roosevelt who starts a “love affair” with Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney), his distant cousin, that he has invited to spend time with him to help get his mind off being president all while England’s royalty comes to visit his abode in the country side of upstate New York.  Naturally since Murray is involved, this film is also labeled as being a comedy.  So even though this is kind of a biography/drama we can certain expect a good amount of wit as well.  Plus a lot of Murray’s recent films that I have enjoyed have been a bit more dramatic so I look forward to his performance in this one.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  December 7th

9.    Flight

Flight is the latest from director Robert Zemeckis who did Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and the Back to the Future trilogy.  Denzel Washington plays Whip, a veteran commercial pilot, who pulls off a miracle landing that even computer simulation could not have done but further investigations reveal that Whip may not be much of a hero after all and could very well be the cause for the falling aircraft.  Zemeckis rarely disappoints and this intriguing plot has a great cast to support it including John Goodman, Don Cheadle, and Melissa Leo.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 2nd

8.    Argo

Ben Affleck is really beginning to prove himself to be a quality director and Argo has the potential to be his best yet.  Amidst high tensions in Iran, six Americans are forced to hide with a Canadian ambassador until Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) can essemble a fake Canadian film crew to go in to Iran to film a fake science-fiction film in an effort to help the six Americans escape.  The film’s cast also include Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Victor Garber.  Being that it is set back in the seventies, it has the same feel to me as the film Stander which I am a big fan of.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

7.    Paranormal Activity 4

Okay based on what I have read on other people’s blogs, I am one of the few who is not sick of the found footage feel of a lot of new horror movies so long as it is done right.  I am not going to get into the plot because we know it.  Things suddenly getting “weird” in a rich person’s house so they get cameras all over the place to try and catch whatever it is and let the ghostly fun begin.  People can rip on the “this has been done to death” all they want but I still always find it to be a fun experience in a full theater.  You cannot deny the tension it build in some people which makes it entertaining for others in the theater.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 19th

6.    Deadfall

Deadfall seems to be gliding under everyone’s radar.  Sibling criminals (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) make a break for the Canadian border when their car crashes and the two are forced to separate.  Wilde’s character then befriends a country boy (Charlie Hunnam) who resides right near the border but things get complicated when local police begin looking for the criminals responsible for the death of one of their own.  And this casting is stacked with Bana, Wilde, Hunnam, Sissy Spacek, Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams, and Kate Mara.  Click here to watch the chilly thriller’s trailer.     Release Date:  November 21st

5.    Skyfall

The most extensive action movie franchise gets another addition and it is shaping to be a worthy one.  Daniel Craig reprises the role of James Bond and not too much is known about the plot right now other than that Bond’s superior M (Judi Dench) is in danger and Bond has to help protect her.  There is no the physical obtrusiveness Craig bring to a role that has depended on gadgets for too long now.  Two noteworthy castings are Ralph Fiennes who appear to also be a member of the British secret service and Javier Bardem and the films villain, Raoul Silva, who is described as flamboyant and volatile.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 9th

4.    The Collection

A lot of criticism for this movie’s predecessor The Collector was that it too closely resembled some of the Saw sequels of a fun house with tortuous traps.  If you are unfamiliar with that movie click on the link to watch the trailer which sums it up pretty well.  The sequel will feature the escaped protagonist (Josh Stewart) who is enlisted by a mob boss looking to bring back his daughter who is being held captive by this hard rubber masked deviant known as the Collector.  Many of my friends were upset with the ending of the first one and I was too but all the twisted traps made the movie a lot of fun and this one looks to have some next level traps.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 30th

3.    Seven Psychopaths

I remember seeing the movie In Bruges on a list called “The Best Movies No One Saw.”  That is not saying it did poorly in theaters it just did not get a wide release, at least not in any theaters near me.  Since that movie was on that list there is no denying that it has since gotten the positive attention it deserves.  That movie was from writer/director Martin McDonagh and his latest film follows a couple of small time dog-nappers that capitalize on the rewards until one of them inedvertanly takes the precious shih tzu of a gangster that will do anything to get it back.  Seven Psychopaths has an all star cast including Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

2.    Les Miserables

Les Miserables is hands down my favorite musicals of all time but it has never been executed well off the stage.  That may change now that The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper is wrapping up some finishing touches of his take that features “live singing.”  Confused about what exactly that means?  Click here to see a behind the scenes look of how the actors are singing live every take with no prerecorded tracks.  I cannot give a plot summary there this one since it is such a complicated and well developed story that would take many paragraphs just to introduce it.     Release Date:  December 25th

 1.       Sinister

Most horror fans will admit the first Paranormal Activity was very well done and gave Oren Peli a window into making more horror.  But some had thoughts that he would be some one-hit wonder like Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez of The Blair Witch Project.  Then came Insidious, one of the scariest PG-13 movies in years.  Now Oren is not involved with Sinister but one of his fellow producers, Jason Blum is.  He is not well known for the horror movies he has produced but if he is producing another horror film, I am in.  Sinister follows a writer (Ethan Hawke) that moves into a house where he finds footage that suggest various family murders are a result of this pagan demon deity called a Bagul and must not protect his family from the demon he has just discovered.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

So there is my list.  I know I am missing some of the most anticipated films for a lot of other bloggers like Lincoln and the first installment of The Hobbit.  But after the movie about a vampire slaying Lincoln I just do not have an interest in yet another movie around this historic figure in the same year.  As for The Hobbit, I liked The Lord of the Rings trilogy and realized how perfectly made it was but the story just is not something I find much joy out of multiple views.  I know a lot of people can watch it over and over and I respect that but it just is not for me.

So what are some of your most anticipated films before the end of 2012?  Feel free to put them in the comment section below.  I know for a fact my list is not universal.  Thanks for reading!

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Looper Movie Review: Deep Time Travel Thriller

If you had read any of my posts at the beginning of the summer you know that Looper and Prometheus were the two films I have looked forward to most this summer.  After leaving the midnight showing of Looper Thursday/Friday, I could not have asked for more.  This movie has something for (in my opinion), the two kinds of movie fans going to see this movie:  (1) the fans looking for kick ass action and (2) film philosophers looking for meaning in movies.  Looper easily satisfies both and that is most attributable to the films’ writer/director Rian Johnson.  He may not have a long resume but there is some evident quality over quantity with his films.

Now being the deep sci-fi, thriller that Looper is, it is tough to touch on everything without giving too much away.  So here is a brief introduction:  Set in 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper, an assassin paid to kill anyone set back in time from 2074 by the mob in order to cover their tracks.  Now one of the clauses to being a Looper is that your contract is only finished when they send back your future self for you to kill.  This is called “closing your loop” which you do not know you did until you recover the payment sent back with the victim.  However, being that Joe knows it is coming in 30 years, his future self (Bruce Willis) manages to escape in order to catch the person responsible for sending him back but present Joe needs to stop him so his superiors do not harm present Joe in the present.  Here is the trailer:

The above summary may sound like enough to satisfy the regular action fan and it is.  At its surface Looper is an exceptional action movie.  It has got that classic Willis element of “I got my eye on a bad guy and I am going to spend the whole movie searching for him/her until I kill them.”  So right off the bat if you are a Bruce Willis fan, this is right up your alley.  Looper has cool advanced guns, advanced means of transportation, new addictive drugs, and telekinetic explosions to beef up the futuristic violence.

Then you have the deeper stuff that is the dilemma of the time travel aspect.  There is the obvious what would happen if you met your future self?  What would you ask them?  That is something that a lot of previous time travel films avoid: the future self cannot meet the past self of time itself will unravel…. or whatever Christopher Lloyd says in Back to the Future.  And the reason they are able to do that is Joe was expecting to someday see his future, he did not know when but knew that someday the day would come where he did.  The final deeper issue is at the films conclusion of cyclical violence about the use of violence to stop further violence lead to more violence and you end up exactly where all the original violence began.  I know I just used the word violence too much in that sentence but if you have seen this movie you know what I am talking about.

So all of this inner dilemma and action is attributable to the mind of Rian Johnson but it is executed so well because of some fantastic acting.  Most impressive performance definitely has to go to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I cannot even begin to imagine how many hours JGL must have spent looking in a mirror perfecting Bruce Willis’ facial mannerisms and voice.  Now I now he has a prosthetic on to look more like Willis but he just nails that trademark smirk that we all know from Willis’ younger years.  But even with the prosthetic on he is perfectly able to show his emotions.  As I mentioned earlier, if you are a Bruce Willis fan then you know what to expect from him and he is at his ass-kicking best in this movie with some good dramatic bits as well.  Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, and Paul Dano were also fantastic in their roles.

Looper is an intelligent sci-fi/action/thriller with a fair amount of comedy and drama.  Easily ties for one of my favorite films of the year so far with Safety Not Guaranteed which coincidently features time travel as well.  Trust me I really am not a big fan of time travel films, these are just two that I love that happen to come out in the same year.  I give Looper a prestigious 10/10 rating.

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