Tag Archives: movie news

Quick Take: Ridley Scott to Revisit Blade Runner

18 Aug

My favorite director, Ridley Scott, seems to be rebooting his resume by revisiting his previous films – starting at the beginning (never mind The Duellists).  Ridley’s next film, Prometheus, was originally a prequel to one of my favorite films Alien, and once he’s finished with that he’ll apparently be revisiting Blade Runner.  It is unknown whether the film will be a remake, reboot, prequel, sequel, or whatever else Hollywood is asking for these days, and it is also unknown whether Harrison Ford will be involved.

Let's hope not

Check out the link below for more information.

http://www.deadline.com/2011/08/ridley-scott-ready-to-direct-new-version-of-seminal-sci-fi-film-blade-runner/

 

Quick Take: Prometheus to be shot in 3D, and everything else Ridley Scott makes. Ever.

22 Jul

The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Man of Steel, Bond 23, World War Z, Django Unchained.  These are just a few of the films that I’m looking forward to in 2012, what appears to be an uprecedented year for my bank account in terms of movie ticket purchases.  However, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is, without a doubt, my most anticipated film of 2012. 

Yesterday, Comic-Con got its first look clips from Prometheus, and while I’m still waiting for those clips to hit the internet, we did get a little bit of information about the film.  Scott told Comic-Con attendees (in a video conference) that Prometheus was shot entirely in 3D, and that he liked it so much he’ll never shoot another scene again in 2D.  I am no defender of 3D but in Scott I trust, so I’m expecting Prometheus to look incredible.  One concern I do have is the use of light, or lack there of, to create tone.  Evident by the recent rants about the projector lenses, 3D works best with high contrast and bright lighting; not something we should be expecting from a Ridley Scott sci-fi picture.  But if Ridley Scott can get so excited about the 3D of Prometheus to proclaim he’ll never work without it again, I can’t help but get excited.

http://www.slashfilm.com/ridley-scott-work-3d/

Weekend Film Recommendation: Cop Land (1997)

15 Jul

When James Mangold was announced as the official director to take on The Wolverine, the next installment in the X-Men franchise, his work on Walk the Line, Girl Interrupted, and 3:10 to Yuma were often mentioned in the same breath.  While the often unmentioned Cop Land may not be his best or most recognized work, it deserves to be mentioned as one of Mangold’s many great movies.  Cop Land is the nickname for Garrison, NJ a small suburb of New York city that is the home to a number of NYPD officers.  The sheriff of the town Freddy Heflin, idolizes most of his constituents and their profession, but is limited to his role as Sheriff because he is deaf in one ear due to an accident.  His opinion of the officers and his abilities soon come into question as he starts to uncover corruption and conspiracy amongst them.  Aided by NYPD Internal Affairs officer Mo Tilden (Robert DeNiro), Freddy has to restore order to Cop Land.

The only way Stallone knows how.

Mangold put together a phenomenal cast for this film that works really well as an ensemble, supporting Stallone in the leading role.  Throughout the film these characters felt really close to one another, and as an audience member it is easy to connect with their group and believe they are all neighbors and coworkers.  In addition to Stallone and DeNiro, who are outsiders to the ensemble due to their characters’ role; Harvey Keitel,  Ray Liotta, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Frank Vincent , Robert Patrick , Noah Emmerich, John Spencer, and Janeane Garofalo round out the cast.

This is a surprising turn for Stallone, who plays a much more subdued and humble character than he’s typically known for.  He does well in the role but his physical stature at times did not feel it suited the role, ironic because he actually gained forty pounds for the part.  Still, it may be Stallone’s best performance to date; it’s a shame he hasn’t done more roles with this much depth over the course of his career

Then again, who needs depth...

Cop Land is a movie that can be enjoyed through repeat viewings, because it is technically sound but also very entertaining.  While still at the beginning of his directorial and writing career, it is clear that Mangold took notes from his predecessors (Martin Scorcese in particular) and adapted those notes well into his own work.  While not a masterpiece, Cop Land is a great film that is definitely worth a viewing on Netflix.

Click here to add Cop Land to your instant queue.

Trailer Time: John Carter, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and The Thing

14 Jul

There is a lot we’ve yet to post this week and will be coming to you soon (New to Blu Ray, 2 Take Two’s, and a WFR), we promise.  However, I thought that this took precedent as a lot of new trailers have been released on the internet, one making quite a buzz.  Here’s a look:

John Carter

I’m not too familiar with the series of novels from which this film is derived, but there have been a lot of people petitioning for this film in one way or another for about 8o years.  There seem to be a lot of elements from other films and stories including: The Book of Eli, Prince of Persia, and Avatar.  The director/writer, Andrew Stanton has had a pretty succesful run of animated films for Disney/Pixar so it will be interesting to see if he can translate that success to live action.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 

I’ve been waiting for Guy Ritchie’s follow up to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes since I first saw it in theaters and we finally get a first look here.  In fact, I look forward to anything Guy Ritchie directs.  Though Daniel Day Lewis won’t be appearing as Professor Moriarty as originally rumored, Jared Harris seems suitable as an alternative, and the cast still remains stellar.  One face that is featured prominently in the trailer is Noomi Rapace, who seems to be making her breakout in America with Sherlock Holmes and Prometheus after her turn as Lisbeth Salander in the Sweedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its 2 sequels (Rooney Mara will play the same role in David Fincher’s American version later this year).

The Thing

The prequel to arguably the greatest horror movie ever made (though I’d argue against it, but not strongly), 2011’s The Thing chronicles the expidition of the Norwegian team that’s heavily referenced in John Carpenter’s 1981 film of the same name.  It appears from the trailer that they stayed true to Carpenter’s version and made sure the details of this film matched the references from his film.  One subtle not I noticed from the trailer, they even made sure to keep the old school flamethrowers that Carpenter featured. Even though it’s sure to be heavier on the blood and gore to appease the new generation, this film looks like it could be a worthy successor to the original.

BONUS:

If you haven’t heard by now, the first teaser for the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises will preview prior to screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  So far only bootlegged versions of the teaser are on the net and the quality of them are poor, so I won’t include it here.  Nothing about the plot of the film is revealed the teaser but it does include brief glimpses of Bane, Selina Kyle, and Commisioner Gordan in the hospital. 

Christopher Meloni Joins the ‘Man of Steel’ Cast

27 Jun

Christopher Meloni, of Law & Order: SVU fame will be joining the increasingly impressive cast list for one of next years most anticipated films Man of Steel.  Meloni recently relinquished his longtime role on NBC’s popular drama and looks to be making a smooth transition back into full length features.  Accompanying Meloni in the next Superman film will be Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, and Julia Ormond.

While Deadline announced the news on Friday, they did not have any insight into which role Meloni would play.  This of course lead to various speculations, the most obvious being that he would possibly play Lex Luthor.  However, Latino Review is now reporting that Meloni’s role would be as a general.  No other specifics were released about the role, like whether this general would be Human or Kryptonian, but that does suggest that the role of Lex Luthor is either absent from this film, or still up for grabs.

Meaning Mad Men fans will still be petitioning for this to happen

As far as Christopher Meloni’s role is concerned, I have my own speculation.  There is one military General already well established within the Superman lore, General Sam Lane.  In addition to being a high ranking military officer, Sam Lane also happens to be Lois Lane’s father.  His involvement in a fight against a Kryptonian invasion led by General Zod (Shannon) would provide more conflict and emotional depth to the Lois Lane character (Amy Adams) and possibly also provide emotional conflict for Superman (Cavill).  With every casting announcement I get more and more excited to see this film, and it is closely battling Ridley Scott’s Prometheus for my most anticipated movie of 2012.  Man of Steel is directed by Zack Snyder and is scheduled for release in December of 2012.  Now excuse me, I’m gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Fondue Cheddar!

New to Blu Ray DVD the Last 2 Weeks (June 14, 2011 & June 21, 2011)

24 Jun

There are a lot of home video releases the past two weeks, so just like the last entry, I’ll keep the posts brief for the interest of time.  Here we go:

Released June 14, 2011:

Hall Pass

Rated: R

Starring: Owen WilsonJason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate

Director: Bobby FarrellyPeter Farrelly

Synopsis from IMDB: A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: You can check out our Take Two on Hall Pass here.

Battle: Los Angeles

Rated: R

Starring: Aaron EckhartMichelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Synopsis from IMDB: A Marine Staff Sergeant who has just had his retirement approved goes back into the line of duty in order to assist a 2nd Lieutenant and his platoon as they fight to reclaim the city of Los Angeles from alien invaders.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: You can check out our Take Two on Battle: L.A. here.

Red Riding Hood

Rated: R

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Synopsis from IMDB: Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: It still baffles me that Gary Oldman would accept such a role.  That being said, he is the only thing that remotely interests me about this movie.

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson and Jessica Lucas

Director: John Whitesell

Synopsis from IMDB: FBI agent Malcolm Turner and his stepson Trent go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: I will avoiding this movie like the plague and I suggest you do the same.

Jackass 3.5

Rated: R

Starring: Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuña, Ryan Dunn and Dave England

Director: Jeff Tremaine

Synopsis from IMDB: N/A

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: The Jackass films have become a little worn out over the years, but the recent tragic death of star Ryan Dunn might prompt a viewing.

Kill the Irishman

Rated: R

Starring: Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken and Vincent D’Onofrio

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh

Synopsis from IMDB: The true story of Danny Greene, a tough Irish thug working for mobsters in Cleveland during the 1970’s.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: I was excited to see this film the first time I saw the trailer, and it head to the top of my Netflix queue.

Released June 21, 2011:

The Adjustment Bureau

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Florence Kastriner

Director: George Nolfi

Synopsis from IMDB: The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Unfortunately I missed this film during its run in theaters so I’ll be sure to put it in my Netflix queue.

Unknown

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger and January Jones

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Synopsis from IMDB: A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Another film I missed during its theatrical run, I loved Taken so I’ll definitely be adding this to my queue.

The Eagle

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Synopsis from IMDB: In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father’s memory by finding his lost legion’s golden emblem.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: Channing Tatum surprised me with his comedic turn in Ron Howard’s The Dilemma, but I’ll still pass on this one.

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Rated: PG

Starring: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick and Robert Capron

Director: David Bowers

Synopsis from IMDB: Back in middle school after summer vacation, Greg Heffley and his older brother Rodrick must deal with their parents’ misguided attempts to have them bond.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: I actually enjoyed the first film, but this sequel was and unnecessary, rushed, cash grab.

 Cedar Rapids

Rated: R

Starring: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly and Anne Heche

Director: Miguel Arteta

Synopsis from IMDB: Tim Lippe has no idea what he’s in for when he’s sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the “guidance” of three convention veterans.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: As a limited release, I wasn’t able to track this down in theaters, but it is a film I’m excited to see now that it is on Blu Ray.

Happythankyoumoreplease

Rated: R

Starring: Josh Radnor, Malin Akerman and Zoe Kazan

Director: Josh Radnor

Synopsis from IMDB: Captures a generational moment – young people on the cusp of truly growing up, tiring of their reflexive cynicism, each in their own ways struggling to connect and define what it means to love and be loved.

Trailer:

Pac’s Take: I’ll queue this one up.

TAKE TWO: Green Lantern

23 Jun

Green Lantern

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong

Director: Martin Campbell

Chris’ Take: Green Lantern is the latest film to delve into the superhero genre, whose returns seem to be diminishing with every reboot and reimagining, especially when it comes to some of the lesser known heroes. While Green Lantern is one of the most intricate of comic book series, and is popular among comic book fans, it never really gained appeal outside of that, and Warner Bros. did their best to bring it to that wider audience.

Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a hot shot pilot whose father died flying test planes when he was younger. When an alien life form crash lands on earth and hands him a mysterious green ring and lantern, his life is turned upside down. He is whisked away to the planet Oa and is inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, a group of intergalactic peace keepers, who inform him that the ring allows the wearer anything that they can imagine and that the ring chooses someone without fear to carry it. Hal is placed as protector of Earth and soon has to deal with the rising threat of Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), a professor who was infected by yellow energy found in the crashed aliens’ body, and also the greatest threat the entire galaxy has ever faced, Parallax, a mysterious lifeform that preys on fear.

Kind of like Fox News.

The writers certainly tried to cram as much as they could in the two hours or so that the movie ran. They tried to squeeze as much mythology and background about the Green Lantern Corps and the rest of the galaxy as possible in before actually being able to tell the story of Hal Jordan. Then, with what time they had left, they tried to build an extra villain into the story to occupy some time before Hal had to fight off Parallax and save the world. The structure felt very uneven and it seemed like there were gaps of time that were unaccounted for which made for a flimsy story when it could have been enriched.

Going into the film, I thought that the previews made the CGI look distracting, and while there times when it seemed overbearing, once  you enter the world of Green Lantern, it is much more acceptable. While the graphics for the film were stunning,  I thought that the extent of the ring’s power wasn’t portrayed to its full potential. Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale) is an accomplished action director, and while he shot the scenes with visual flair, he failed to live up to the expectations that I had for him. With Goldeneye he had a knack for using over-the-top action sequences to entertain an audience, and Green Lantern seemed like a great opportunity for him to return to that and get away with it a bit more, but he seemed to rush each action scene as opposed to taking his time and putting his excessive budget to good use.

Ryan Reynolds did a formidable job as Hal Jordan, bringing a little bit of humor to the role as well. Peter Sarsgaard really let his freak flag fly as Hector Hammond, and it was enjoyable to watch him finally completely let loose, but he was in the movie less than I anticipated. They didn’t introduce him until 30 minutes into the film, and then when it came time for him to realize his superhuman powers he hardly got to use them before he had to make way for the even bigger villain, making his role seem unnecessary. Blake Lively, while I praised her work in The Town  last fall, I have to say  that they probably put a cardboard cutout of an attractive woman in there and there would’ve been the same amount of sincerity to the love story between her and Hal.

"Oh Hal, I like love you and stuff." "Get off me, woman."

 All in all it wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe going into it, and maybe that’s why I was able to sit back and enjoy it a little bit more. It certainly is not among any of the greatest superhero films, it is distinctly average in just about every aspect, but I wouldn’t call it “bad” either. If anything, it left me hoping to see more of this series to see if they can move on from back story to make a richer story, which they set up extremely well by already making Sinestro (Mark Strong) a developed character, and handing him a yellow ring. I think since I was more interested in seeing the conflict between Sinestro and Hal develop, I will be more interested in Green Lantern 2 (already greenlighted) than I was in watching this film.

OVERALL: C+/B-

Pac’s Take:  D.C. comics doesn’t bring their comics to the big screen nearly as much as Marvel does, and as a fan of their work more so than Marvel, I’m always excited to see a new film.  This is the first time in the history of cinema where we’ve had the technological capability to bring the Green Lantern to live-action movies and as a first effort, it wasn’t terrible.  The biggest concern that I had coming into the film was that the focus on the visual effects would hinder the development of the story of Hal Jordan becoming the Green Lantern.  I don’t think that I was wrong about that this assumption either, while there were times that the film impressed me with its story development, I often felt cheated by its lack of depth.  Hal Jordan didnt’ seem to be any different from many other superheros we’ve seen hit theaters recently, but his comic book character is one of the more complex.

As Chris mentioned above, I took issue with some of the time gaps, suggesting there may have been some very important scenes left on the cutting room floor.  For instance, there was one scene where Hal, as the Green Lantern, showed up at Oa coincidentally at the perfect time to talk Sinestro down (I won’t go into further detail).  More importantly, the movie suggested a friendship between Hammond and Hal Jordan, as well as a love triangle between them and Carol Ferris (Lively), but the relationships were never explained beyond a passing hello between the characters.  For the general public who is not a fan of the comic, these relationships are foreign and needed to be developed better, I actually thought the film could have benefited from 15 more minutes and this was most likely a case of the studio trying to keep the run time under 2 hours.

In the first scene of the film I was a little put off by the graphics, but once actual human actors were introduced the film began to feel more grounded and my concerns were put to rest.

Like gingers, animated lifeforms have no soul.

Ryan Reynolds did a fine job as Hal Jordan, however his face and character may be oversaturating the superhero market because at times I had a hard time seeing the character and not the actor.  Peter Sarsgaard was definitely the most entertaining to watch on-screen and it is a shame that Hector Hammond didn’t get more screen time.  While Chris’s least favorite casting decision may have been Blake Lively, I was extremely distracted by the casting of Tim Robbins as Senator Hammond.  There’s not enough movie magic in the world to make me believe that Tim Robbins (52) could be the father of Peter Sarsgard (40).  While this disparity in age may work in an episode of Teen Mom, the disgruntled father-son relationship between the two did not work.

This seems like as good a time as any for a paternity test

On a final note, the fanboy in me was geeking out to see Angela Bassett as Amanda Waller.  For those of you unfamiliar with the character (potential future spoiler alert), Amanda Waller is a major villain in the D.C. universe and becomes the leader of both the Suicide Squad and Checkmate  (as the White Queen).  Hopefully we’ll see her in future installments of the Green Lantern and possibly in other D.C. franchises.

OVERALL: C-