Director Guillermo del Toro is a genius. He has such an incredible imagination. He carries a little notebook around with him everywhere, in which he makes notes and draws color sketches for the movies he's working on. The first Hellboy was very different from other super hero movies, but then in Pan's Labyrinth we saw the full extent of his creativity, and those who've seen his Oscar winning film will see echoes of Pan's Labyrinth in Hellboy II. They've let del Toro loose and let him go wild. It's a visual feast! The Troll Market scene can't help but remind you of the Star Wars cantina scene as it's chock full of fantastical monsters the like of which you've never seen. Hellboy remarks that no one looks at him there, as he fits right in. My favorite line from the scene is from what looks like a baby held by another monster. The baby pipes up, "I'm not a baby. I'm a tumor!"
The villain in Hellboy II is based on Celtic mythology, and the ancient elf kings. For once, there is some real sympathy for a super hero villain. He doesn't just want to take over the world -- Prince Nuada is angry that the ancient truce has been broken, and the humans have destroyed the magical creatures' forest homes. I never understood why the elvin royalty would choose to live in a subway basement rather than Ireland (or the endless forests of Alaska for that matter), but that's just quibbling. The story holds together (no lame Wanted Looms of Fate, here.)
I loved this movie! It was a little scarier than I was expecting as based on my memories of the first Hellboy, we brought our seven year old. Big mistake. One of the first monster scenes has tooth fairies. Not nice tooth fairies, but little bug-like flying fairies that like to EAT teeth and bones, and we watch them devour a few humans. We had to cover Ben's eyes for that part. The angel of death with eyes on his wings rivals any creepy monster in Pan's Labyrinth, too.
Ron Perlman is so perfect as the cigar chomping Hellboy. Thank you again, Guillermo del Toro, for reviving his career and bringing him back for the first Hellboy. I was so pleased that there was a childhood scene for Hellboy II, so that we get to see the wonderful John Hurt again as his adoptive father. There's some real emotion in this film, too, and of course the set up for the next film with Hellboy's relationship with fiery Liz (Selma Blair). I give this film an enthusiastic three and a half stars. See it on the big screen if you can. It's just awesome, and had me bouncing up and down in my seat over the fact that even as I type, Guillermo del Toro is probably scribbling away in his Hobbit notebook!!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wall-E is probably a shoe-in for the best animated film Oscar, but it's gotten such rave reviews that the question is -- can it nab a Best Picture nomination?
My kids were so desperate to see Wall-E that we searched for theaters in Anchorage (didn't find one) and finally found a theater in Vancouver where we could see it. We had waited until the middle son got home from camp so we all could see it together, and I'm glad we did.
My seven year old says it's his favorite film of the whole year. It's both sweet and sophisticated, leading even political blogs (like Andrew Sullivan) to comment on its themes of over-consumption and environmentalism. But what a love story!
I loved the early sequence when we see Wall-E find all sorts of interesting things in his daily work, like a Rubik's cube and a spork, which puzzles him. All the Apple references cracked me up -- doesn't Eva the female robot just look like she was designed by Apple? And the boot up sound for the robot is the Apple boot up sound. The smartest move Pixar made was to hire Ben Burtt, the Oscar winning sound designer who created the sounds of R2-D2, the Star Wars lightsaber hum, and Indiana Jones' whip crack. Ben Burtt, himself, is the voice of Wall-E:
'"I had just finished my 29-year, 10-month tour of duty with 'Star Wars,' and I thought, Well, at least I don't have to do any more robots.' But when Pixar called, I could see this was something more like a Frank Capra romance with Buster Keaton thrown in. And you had the challenge of not only creating the sound for this fantasy world, but the even bigger task of creating principal characters built out of sound."I was amused to note who Ben Burtt got to voice the Axiom spaceship computer -- none other that sci-fi royalty Sigourney Weaver of Alien! Fred Willard as the president of Big & Large was also a brilliant casting choice in the films only live action sequences. (I wondered to my husband if the choice of B&L for the logo was a reference to Bird and Lasseter, the two geniuses at Pixar.)
Yes, it's a masterpiece. It's simply an amazing piece of film-making, much less fantastic animation. Pixar sets the standard for excellence, and it's the heart in their characters that makes the films truly special. Four stars.
I'm way behind in my movie reviews. I took the kids to see Hancock just before we went on vacation a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed it, and I don't know why everyone has been knocking it the way they have. No, it doesn't make sense, but did Wanted? Will Smith owns the July 4th weekend. He is an international star, and has proven that people will see just about any film he makes. This was an enjoyable fresh take on the super hero genre. I especially liked the beginning parts of the film when Hancock was drunk and wrecked everything.
What I loved? Jason Bateman. I adore him. I cannot tell you how glad I am that his career has resurged after Arrested Development and Juno! He's in an upcoming film with Ricky Gervais of the UK Office called This Side of Truth. Here in Hancock, he was what made me laugh -- "Not good." I loved his relationship with Hancock as he tried to make over the train wreck of a superhero. The action sequences weren't nearly as interesting as Hancock's quieter moments with Bateman and Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron was fine as Jason's wife and the woman with the history with Hancock. There's been some controversy over her role. Some laud the movie for being colorblind -- no one ever comments on the color of Hancock's skin. Others have questioned why Hancock's past love interest couldn't have been one of the many talented African-American actresses, or even given a shot to a newcomer? While I was watching the film, I wasn't thinking anything about Charlize except, wow, this is a far cry from Oscar fare like Monster, but I do think the critics have a point. Why can't Will Smith ever seem to be in a romantic relationship with an African-American woman in a movie?
Over all, I give the film three stars. Worth a rental, if you missed it in the theater. One my kids enjoyed, although I didn't appreciate that my seven year old was repeatedly hearing the word that makes Hancock crazy: asshole. Nice.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The actor is to play the Mad Hatter in a new version of Alice in Wonderland, according to WENN.
The movie, which will hit cinema screens in 2010, will be directed by Burton. It will mark the seventh time he and Depp have worked together.
Creepy and awesome! Fun fact: Young Tom Riddle is played in suitably Damien-creepy fashion by 11-year-old Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who is briefly seen here as the adult Voldemort).
Monday, July 28, 2008
EW has a fun quiz -- but only read further if you've seen the movie!
A. Morgan Freeman's character translating binary code spat out by the "Loom of Fate" to determine which global bad guys were up for assassination.
B. A magical wax bath healing (overnight!) the injuries McAvoy sustained after colliding face-first with a cement overpass during a rousing game of subway surfing.
C. McAvoy's character using a dump truck full of peanut butter to capture a small army of rats-cum-suicide-bombers.
D. Multiple characters surviving (practically unscathed) after their train car plummeted several thousand feet off a bridge and then wedged itself between the narrowing rock edges of an Eastern European canyon.
E. A shrill female character cheating on the hotness that is James McAvoy.
F. Other. [Fill in your option in the comments section below.]
All of the above isn't an option!! LOL!! I'd have to pick E. What was she thinking when she had James in her bed?!!
Shia LeBeouf flipped his car during his DUI car accident this weekend. Fortunately his passenger and the other driver escaped serious injury, but Shia had hand surgery that will sideline him from filming Transformers 2 for the next month. Nice one, Shia. Way to blow it.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I almost missed the birthday of my new fave Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who turned 38 July 27. For once, I'm attracted to someone in the same ballpark as my own age. LOL! Virtuality with Nikolaj as Captain Pike starts filming the two hour pilot in Vancouver in August. Can't wait!
Anyone wonder why I adore Matthew Goode, who is currently starring in Brideshead Revisited, and will be in the upcoming Watchmen? Watch this interview and be charmed as Matthew has a glass of wine with us.
More glorious pics and a further interview in the magazine:
After “Match Point,” Goode was deluged with offers to play similar characters. “When it comes to acting, it is very limiting to be English,” he said. “It was ‘Bring on the posh!’ All the parts I was being offered involved my accent or someone with money and title. Charles Ryder was a departure. He’s nothing like those other men. And nothing like me.”
I find it a very traumatic experience to watch myself in films. It makes me physically sick: I get hot in my nether regions and have to take a sponge bath.” Goode laughed. “I just don’t buy me. It’s hard to watch my booming self.”
Now, if only Brideshead's limited release would reach my suburban theaters!
Twilight created something new at Comic Con -- an invasion of Fangirls. 6500 fans screamed like a Beatles concert at every utterance by Robert Pattinson who plays vampire Edward, and screamed again during the showing of a key scene from the movie.
LA Times interviewed Robert Patterson just after the Twilight panel, and he looks a bit dazed from the experience. And he thought Harry Potter was big (he played Cedric).
Anne Thompson from Variety wonders if men critics will ever understand Twilight:
Many men are not trained to do see things from the perspective of the opposite sex. All women are. That's one reason why today's movies are so geared toward men, while women starve for material aimed at them. Women are accustomed to going along and accepting slim pickings in pictures by and about men. Even at Comic-Con, there's a sense that female fans are yearning for romance. The screaming response to Twilight's Brit heartthrob Robert Pattinson was enormous. He could be the next Leo di Caprio after Titanic, if Twilight hits as big as I suspect it will.
Men here were scratching their heads over Twilight. No clue.
EW snatched an interview with Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight, after the panel, and gets her reaction as well. Watch the four part interview on video here. She's more used to that high pitch screaming from her book signings!
Shia Labeouf has reportedly been arrested in Hollywood for DUI after he was involved in a car accident in the early morning hours.
Last year he was arrested for trespassing after refusing to leave a Chicago, Illinois Walgreens at 4am (lovely mug shot above) and then in February, he was charged with smoking in a prohibited area in California - to which he pleaded guilty and was forced to pay a $500 fine.
His latest legal woe comes just three months after he vowed never to get arrested again - because he didn't want to hamper his promising film career.
In May, he said, "There's nothing cool about getting arrested for stupid stuff at my age. But it keeps happening to me. I could pretend that I find it all highly amusing, but I'd be lying.
"It's deeply embarrassing. I decided a long time ago to stop doing stupid things, so clearly I've still got some work to do on myself. I'm not anonymous any more.
"Now, I light up a cigarette in the wrong place and overnight I'm the Al Capone of misdemeanours. What I've got in terms of acting is too important for me to jeopardise."
Get a grip, Shia! Drinking and driving do not mix.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint stretches his acting range in the new UK film, Cherry Bomb.
The Sun reports the 19-year-old British actor is currently in Belfast still filming the rest of the film for BBC. Cherry Bomb follows teenagers Malachy (Grint), Luke (Robert Sheehan) and Michelle (Kimberley Nixon) as they embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. But what starts out as a game turns deadly serious when the three discover that they can’t get off the wild ride they’ve set in motion.
The 19-year-old actor — Ron Weasley in the blockbuster films — gets a battering over a beautiful girl in his new movie Cherry Bomb.
The teen thriller, out next year, is a far cry from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which hits screens in November.
Rupert, filming in Belfast with co-stars including JAMES NESBITT, said: “As soon as I saw the script I wanted to do it. It’s so different from Potter.”
Sounds a bit like Daniel Radcliffe getting acting cred for going buck naked on stage in Equus.
Friday, July 25, 2008
RocknRolla made a splash at Comic Con yesterday, and we have a brand spanking new awesome trailer, too! It even has the famous goofy Gerry dance! Here's the trailer for the movie Gerry says is better than sex (except with him):
Gerry Butler made the fan girls scream yesterday at panels for both RocknRolla and a first look at his action film Game. He threw chocolates out to the audience saying the place was turning into Seaworld! Read a great interview with Gerry in the LA Times: Gerard Butler loves the Ladies.
Zack Snyder is currently battling with Warners over the ultimate running time of the movie, which is three hours. He's trying to cut it down, but doesn't want to lose a character like Hollis, a guy who gets murdered about half way through. ""I'm not ready for that yet. If Dark Knight got two and a half hours, Watchmen should get fifteen minutes more," he pleads. "I'm trying to be reasonable." Snyder is caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of the studio's commercial demands and the fans who love the comics.
Read the whole interview here.
After seeing Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the actor who made the most impression on me was the hilarious Russell Brand. MTV has just announced that he will be hosting the MTV Video Music Awards in September. While not very well known yet in the US, he's been working as a VJ for MTV in England.
Brand told the AP that he hadn't started thinking about how he would approach the assignment _ not that there's much planning to be done for the infamously anything-goes show.
"I've just been invited to do it," Brand said in a telephone interview from London. "It'll be good to preside over what is sure to be only vaguely coordinated televised insanity."
Not that chaos or improv a problem for the 33-year-old comedian.
"That's how I've made my name in this country: Flying very much by the seat _ and the crotch _ of my pants."
Hat tip: Huffington Post
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"The creative team is still working on the challenge of continuing the story after most of the principal characters -- including Angelina Jolie -- ended the original in no position for an encore."
"The writers are at work already, and those creative discussions are taking place."
There's also a Wanted game due out possibly by holiday time, for XBox and PS3.
You can't stop the beat! I adore the 2007 film. Guaranteed to lift your spirits. From Variety:
New Line Cinema has made a deal with "Hairspray" creator John Waters to write a treatment for a sequel to summer 2007’s hit musical feature.
Planning to return are director-choreographer Adam Shankman, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who will write new songs for the film.
No cast has been engaged yet, and none of the stars of "Hairspray" had sequel options. But the studio hopes to reunite the original cast in a film that will be ready for release by Warner Bros. in mid-July 2010.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm back! Did ya miss me? LOL
Strange news from Variety tonight. Lou Adler (my husband's distant cousin, strangely enough), producer of the original 1975 movie, is partnering with MTV and FOX to do a remake of Rocky Horror Picture Show. No casting word yet, but they'd like to fast track the picture for a Halloween release date in 2009.
How can you top the camp of the original? Tim Curry? Come on! Although, for those that don't know, in Russell Crowe's early days in theater, he played Tim Curry's role, fishnet stockings and all on stage. I'd pay to see that! LOL
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Perez shows us Friday's EW cover!
Vampires are big, very big, in case you didn't know. The fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's vampire book series, Breaking Dawn, comes out the first weekend in August, and the movie Twilight, based on the first book, is due out in December.
Also, in September, HBO's premiering the vampire show True Blood on September 7th.
True Blood is based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. It's set in a world where vampires have come out into the open, thanks to the development of synthetic blood that allows them to survive without feeding on humans.
Anna Paquin will star as a mind-reading waitress who's drawn to a vampire who arrives in her small Louisiana town.
I went out of town the night this appeared, and forgot about it until today. Another great one with the two Scots making each other laugh. I love how James is so comfortable he sits on the chair with one leg tucked under.
Hmmm. Hard for me to see Robert Downey Jr. in this part, but I'll withhold judgement. He did do an English accent in Chaplin.
In what will be his first job since the blockbuster "Iron Man," Robert Downey Jr. is set to star in "Sherlock Holmes," the drama that Guy Ritchie will direct for Warner Bros.
Downey committed to the pic, which begins shooting in October, after Ritchie turned in a polish of the latest version of the script, written by Anthony Peckham.
Downey emerged as an action star with "Iron Man" and "Sherlock Holmes" also will take advantage of his physical skills as the character displays brawn as well as brains.
With Downey aboard, the film will go into production before a comedy that just coalesced at Columbia Pictures, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Holmes, and Will Ferrell playing his crime-fighting partner Dr. Watson.
Channel 4 has painstakingly recreated the set of Stanley Kubrick horror film The Shining, complete with look-a-likes of the crew and cast members including Shelley Duvall, for a TV ad to promote a More 4 season of the director's films.
The 65-second promotional spot has been filmed as a one-take tracking shot through the recreation of The Shining set.
Viewers get Kubrick's point of view as he walks through the set, ending up in his director's chair as the crew prepare to shoot the famous scene of Danny Torrance, the son of Duvall and Jack Nicholson's characters, riding round and round the deserted corridors of the Overlook Hotel.
The promo, filmed as a single tracking shot with a cast of 55 actors, was meticulously researched to "remain as faithful as possible to the period in which it was shot and the culture of the British studio in the late 1970s".
Channel 4 Creative Services, the broadcaster's in-house creative resource, cast people who resembled Kubrick's own crew including his script lady, assistant director and director of production, John Alcott, who also worked on films including 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange with the director.
Look-a-likes were also found for Duvall, Danny Lloyd, who played Danny Torrance, and the twin girls who appear fleetingly in the film.
Most of the equipment that appears in the promotional clip was actually used in the filming of The Shining.
Many of the props that appear, including the tricycle and Kubrick's script, were produced for the promotional clip based on photos or sketches from the late director's archives.
The spot, which was shot over two days at London's Bray Studios, was filmed using a 25mm Cooke lens – a favourite of Kubrick's.
It promotes the season of 10 Kubrick films to be broadcast on More 4 from July 15.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
EW.com points us to a parody gem:
What if director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) had been the one to reboot the Batman franchise, instead of Christopher Nolan? Then next week's The Dark Knight might look like the film outlined in this screenplay. (Warning: Some NSFW language.) Kudos to the parodists who created this, though I have to dock you half a point for neglecting a scene where Batman walks in slo-mo toward the camera, away from a fireball (pictured).
Just one hilarious bit from the mock script:
The Batmobile is gunning down the highway at over 200 miles per hour, weaving through traffic. Every time BATMAN is about to crash into a civilian, the camera enters ultra slow motion and we see him barely squeeze by, frame by frame. This happens seventeen times.
EW.com says the above picture was the alternate poster for Reign of Fire. *snort*
The Cattlemen's Beef Association has a new spokesperson. Defamer says he's the creepiest ever. Watch the mock video HERE.
I hadn't visited this hilarious site in a few months. List of the Day featured it today, and here are a few of my favorites:
Dana Carvey -- teaches yoga in San Mateo
Kyle MacLachlan. Actor known for his work with David Lynch and Elizabeth Berkley. Manages website about his two small dogs.
Al Franken. Writer. Democratic candidate. Rush Limbaugh tormentor. Art director of Lands' End catalogue
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
You can expect to see the first trailers for Warner Bros.' Terminator Salvation (May 22, 2009), which of course also stars Christian Bale, Zack Snyder's graphic novel adaptation Watchmen (Mar. 6, 2009), and the Ridley Scott-directed thriller Body of Lies (Oct. 10), with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.
It will be Christmas in July!!!
On the types of movies he likes to star in: “Hugh Grant is fucking great and he’s funny. I like romantic comedies. I’ve been in one and I f—ing loved it. I got to show off and I got to be a d—. It’s always fun to play d—. That’s why I loved Last King (of Scotland) —I got to be such a wanker.”
On being cast in Wanted alongside Angelina Jolie: “I think inside all actors, there’s a kid who secretly yearns to jump off buildings and say ‘Yippeekayay, motherf—er!’ I also thought that the fact that they were willing to cast someone like me showed a willingness to step outside the usual action-movie realm.”
Please, God, may he do more Rom Coms!! Studios, are you tracking the number of females buying tickets to Wanted? I saw it myself for the second time with a girlfriend last night, and we were surrounded by women in the theater.
To check out the full Details interview and video clip of James McAvoy, visit Details.com.
I adore Paris. I was just there last September, and it is just a magical city. I had the pleasure of visiting it again over the weekend through this wonderful film, Paris, Je T'aime. This is a very interesting compilation of 20 short 5 minute films all by different directors. Each film takes place in a different section of the city, and shows a different facet of the city and its tourists and natives. Directors like the Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men), Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuaron, Alexander Payne, and Wes Craven contributed. There are lots of great actors, too, like Steve Buschemi, Juliette Binoche, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte, and on and on.
There are romantic short films, comedic ones, even a vampire one! It's just fascinating seeing all the different styles and ways that the directors chose to show the city. I highly recommend this film and give it 3 and a half stars. Give Paris a visit on DVD! Watch the trailer here.
For me, Get Smart was a chuckler, a smiley film. I didn't laugh out loud non-stop like I did during You Don't Mess With the Zohan. I enjoy Steve Carell, and Anne Hathaway, and the Rock, Dwayne Johnson, does a nice job in these action comedies, too. We saw it in a matinée with the kids, and it was fine, but not one I'd say is a must see in the movie theaters. You could wait for the DVD.
I liked that Steve Carell did not attempt to do an impression of the 1960's Maxwell Smart. He made the part his own, and added his own humorous twists to it, a bumbling analyst nerd who wants to be a real agent. I always enjoy when they put in little things referencing the source. They had a display like the CIA museum with the old car and the shoe phone. Bernie Kopell who played Siegfried on the TV show, had a short cameo, too.
So three stars. It was an amusing film, but not a smash for me.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Empire Magazine has published a new promo picture of Hugh Jackman from the new Wolverine movie due out May 1, 2009.
Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine's epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Whoo-boy! Jake Gyllenhaal is really getting in to sword fighting practice on horseback for his upcoming role as the Prince of Persia. Look how long he's letting his hair grow! More pics here at JustJared.
The film, based on the book The Last Station, is about the life of famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer). Mirren plays his wife Sofya. The much in demand James McAvoy plays Valentin Bulgakov, Tolstoy’s secretary. Mirren and Plummer were replacements for Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins. Paul Giamatti also co-stars. The film is being directed by Michael Hoffman, whose biggest hit to date was the Pfeiffer/Clooney romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996). But since this is a period bio will we see it in this years Oscar race? Hoffman’s only Oscar film previously was the 17th century drama Restoration (1995) which won for costume design & art direction.
Helen Mirren has another big year ahead of her with three films coming our way. The other biggies are an A list ensemble crime thriller (State of Play) and one true story about a brothel in Nevada (Love Ranch) directed by her husband Taylor Hackford (Ray).
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
That sames Bits & Bobs blog recommended viewing this hilarious interview with Russell Brand from Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Letterman. Russell Brand played the new English rocker boyfriend in the film, and he was a standout of the film.
In honor of Wanted's massive opening weekend at the U.S. box office, let’s get the party started by loving up its brilliant Scottish star, James McAvoy, for his telly work. The guy steals every movie he's in (sorry, Forest), but any self-respecting Anglophile knows he's been doing the same thing for years on British TV. So fire up that Netflix account, hit YouTube, and check out these shows (all available on DVD):
The first is James in a retelling of MacBeth where James even sings:
Next is Shameless in which I believe James met his wife:
Shameless, Season 1: Steve (McAvoy) is a car thief. His girl, Fiona (McAvoy's real-life bride Anne-Marie Duff) is living on a Manchester estate (Britain's version of public housing) and caring for her five younger siblings. The show’s humor (drunken teenagers, naked bums) is, well, shameless. Watch the entire first episode here.
I haven't watched the whole Shameless episode yet, but James comes in at about 4:30 in the first clip in a dramatic meetup with Fiona that includes a mooning by James! Gotta love British TV!
Read the rest of the recommended British TV shows with James HERE! The nice thing is most of them are on YouTube. You don't even have to wait for Netflix to get your James fix.
It killed me to wait, but we were at a family reunion all weekend, and I couldn't see Wanted until Monday afternoon. So, you're wondering, was it worth the wait and the hype? Hell, yeah!
This movie is a non-stop adrenaline rush. I got a kick out of the fact it was set in Chicago, but commuters can only dream that L trains go that fast!
Angelina Jolie is just so at home in her own skin in action roles like this. Morgan Freeman, excellent as usual. But, James, oh my, James McAvoy. His performance is simply brilliant. I can't imagine anyone better in this role. He starts out the movie as this nervous nebbishy cubicle slave, and ends the movie as a total badass. He makes the transformation completely believable. I feel like he poured everything he's been in other movies into this role, at times nervous and twitchy, sometimes showing anguish and emotional pain full out there, and then his intensity which has been seen sometimes in other films is given full throttle. Just brilliant. (James has even said that he made himself pass out by unknowingly holding his breath during intense scenes.)
What I am also excited about with this movie is the director, Timur Bekmambetov, a Russian-Khazak. People have been talking about two Russian films he's made: Night Watch and Day Watch that are supposed to be out of this world. The action sequences and the colliding bullets in Wanted reminded me of my open-mouthed amazement watching the first Matrix film. You're seeing things and techniques that are new and fresh.
Timur Bekmambetov told an interviewer that his influences aren't from living in Russia, but in the USSR:
I cannot wait to see what this guy comes up with next. He is definitely a creative force to watch.
"(The Soviet Union) was a fantasy world created by one man, and his name was Stalin, and he created and controlled everything," Timur said. "How to dress, how to drink, how to talk, how to think. He was the producer."
Timur continued, "We lived for seventy years in a fantasy movie created by one person. It gave us a sensibility and the ability to believe different things. That influences your way of thinking."
Three and a half stars. See it on the big screen. It is totally kickass. With the successful opening weekend that Wanted has had, there is already talk of a sequel. Given the ending, that will be interesting. Only if you've seen the film, read this interesting article on how the ending was reshot. Major spoiler alert!
This is a solid movie from director Louis Leterrier. I didn't hate the Ang Lee Hulk movie, but I certainly didn't love it. I wanted to love Ang's movie since I love so many of Ang Lee's movies, and I like Eric Bana. But it just didn't come together and the special effects just didn't look good.
This Incredible Hulk delivers. We don't have boring backstory. We dive right in to the action. The special effects are better (as you would expect a few years on). Ed Norton helped write the script, and it is fantastic. It satisfies on all levels, and we have a real villain to go up against the Hulk. Yes, we have moments of angst, but they don't overwhelm things. Tim Roth has always made a terrific villain (see Rob Roy, for instance!) and I love his "Is that all you've got?!" line.
It has the right amount of humor, too. I love all the little Easter Eggs. There's a brief clip of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" playing on a TV and Lou Ferrigno plays a security guard. Stan Lee makes a small cameo, and the movie ends with Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) talking with the General. I love how Marvel is cross-pollinating its movies.
Solid three stars. I'll be curious to see if there is an extended version on DVD. Ed Norton refused to do press for this movie as he was unhappy with the length that the studio demanded for final edit.
A Beatles interview from the 1960s in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney discussed the way they composed songs together was broadcast on British radio Tuesday after it was found in a film can in a damp garage in south London.
The Beatles were at the height of their immense popularity when the tape was recorded at Scottish Television studios on April 30, 1964. The band had recently toured America, winning huge audiences on the Ed Sullivan show and shooting to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
The interview was only broadcast in Scotland and sat in a film canister until it was discovered by film historian Richard Jeffs, who was astonished to find the familiar Liverpudlian accents of the Beatles on the tape. Listen to the BBC program here.
Hmmm. Judd Apatow is reuniting the Talledega Nights co-stars in a Sherlock Holmes comedy. Sacha Baron Cohen will play Holmes with Will Ferrell as Watson. At least Sacha Baron Cohen has a natural English accent! Read all about it in Variety.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE has compared the new Hogwarts blockbuster to Scottish drug flick Trainspotting.
He says his sixth movie outing, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, has moments like the cult 1996 film.
Daniel told Empire magazine: "There's a fair amount of sexual energy and drug parallels. We have a couple of Trainspotting moments.
"That's two films I never thought would be mentioned in the same breath."
So does that mean we'll see Harry diving into the worst toilet at Hogwarts to fetch his wand?
There was just one promise from Daniel -- the dark parts are so dark, they're black.
But director DAVID YATES revealed: "We're opening with a big attack. We'll bring a major London landmark crashing down."
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
There's a new Tag game going around, and the rules are simple:
Open the book nearest to you and open to page 123. Then post the 5th sentence. Very simple.
Darling Diva tagged me, and the closest book to me is Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Darling Diva recommended it to me and I am loving it! It's a book about fairies. Creepy, not very nice fairies. Diva and I lurve those paranormal and vampire books! A lot of the exciting writing these days is happening in the young adult genre, and I'm glad Diva has hooked me in to some great ones like this one and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
"Mortal habits change faster than ours."
Now, my turn to Tag. Not all have blogs or websites, so post on your Facebook wall. Post your sentence to the comments, too.
Kaione, BluEyedDaizy, Sooth, Josh, & HDKingsbury