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Monday, February 28, 2011


Well, the Oscars have come and gone in a night of little surprises. Hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco carried audiences and nominees through the hoops of the 24 different award categories, which offered no surprises. More details and a full list of winners after the jump.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Once a role-model for smart scary movies, M. Night Shyamalan has slipped down a dark road. After being nominated for Best Director and Best Writer at the Academy Awards 10 years ago, for "The Sixth Sense", Shyamalan has finally achieved some recognition, though not the kind he was expecting back then. His latest movie "The Last Airbender" won big at last night's Razzies. Scoring 5 trophies, including Worst Picture and Worst Director, the "Bender" had some fierce competition from "Sex and the City 2", who earned 3 awards. Jessica Alba also won in the Supporting Actress category. It would have been a miracle if she lost, considering her nomination included every one of the 4 movies she made in 2010. To read the full list of winners of the infamous awards click below:



Saturday, February 26, 2011

More and more news of ill-advised remakes, reboots and sequels lately. The last of this sorry heap of worthless movie rehashes is "The Police Academy". The 80s comedy about a bunch of misfit police recruits getting in all kinds of trouble, which spawned no less than 7 sequels, is about to get a big reboot, courtesy of Warner Bros. and "The Family Man" writers David Diamond and David Weissman. The Davids are going to deliver a draft, and if that passes the studio's scrutiny, then it's back to school for us poor unsuspecting audiences. A director has yet to be announced, but there are rumors of old cast members returning. It's really sad that Hollywood is becoming so desperate. Instead of finding new ideas they seem to insist on turning to the old ideas that worked, hoping to make money. While it is possible that they will turn a profit, I'm afraid that, we, the movie-going people of the world, are the on the losing side of this box-office battle. 

Friday, February 25, 2011



The trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to the 2009 comedy hit is here. Last time, they survived the hangover in Vegas, this time around they're looking to get wasted in Bangkok, where they travel to party before Stu's wedding. Mike Tyson will also be returning for the trip and Liam Neeson will have a cameo, which has been heavily publicized a few months ago, when Mel Gibson was initially desired by director Todd Phillips to do a cameo. This trailer is actually a teaser. It's not very revealing. We get a brief introduction of all the critical acclaim the first film received, then we are presented with the Wolfpack : Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms, and they are looking raggedy, which can only mean they have once again gotten themselves in big trouble and , obviously, a solid hangover. There's only a brief sample of dialogue, after which the teaser ends. I'm actually excited to see if Todd Phillips can at least match the original. The movie opens on May 26th, 2011.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I can't say I'm surprised. Hollywood is on a rampage with these remakes. Anything goes. So much so, that even a movie nominated for 7 Razzie Awards gets a remake. What's next ? "Freddy Got Fingered" ? The 1992 box-office hit is being remade by Warner Brothers with a script written by unknowns Nick Palmer and Jeremiah Friedman. The original was about a famous singer (Whitney Houston) and a Secret Service dude (Kevin Costner) who is brought in to protect her from a dangerous stalker. The updated version changes some basic facts. For example Costner's character will now be an Iraq-war veteran. Yes, they want to go for that darker edge and yes, I'm being ironic. How about this for an idea : they could get Miley Cirus to play the singer. And Justin Bieber could play the bodyguard. Isn't that something everybody would want to see ? 


The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers' final battle. Yes, it will be as loud and chock-full of confusing action as the previous movies...only bigger. It's funny how the story seems to fall in line with the recent Hollywood Alien Invasion trend. It's like watching the Michael Bay version of "Battle: Los Angeles". Megan Fox will no longer be in this, and the spot gives us a glimpse of new-comer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She's a babe, no doubt about that, but I doubt her replacing Fox will boost the acting factor of the sexy babe part. The very short image of Huntington seems to indicate exactly what her part will be in this movie : sit around looking pretty while everything around her is blown to hell. This epic piece of Bay cinema will be released July 1st, 2011.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



A young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility. This trailer is very similar in structure to the previous one, it does contain plenty of new sequences, but there's no dialogue, just cool music. It's actually pretty neat, but I'm afraid it's a perfect reflection of what this movie really is : nothing else but a flashy shallow visual treat. On second thought, that's not entirely a bad thing. The movie, directed by Zack Snyder ("Watchmen", "300"), will be released March 25, 2011.



   << CAUTION - EXPLICIT LANGUAGE >>

A comedy centered around a foul-mouthed, junior high teacher who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague -- a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher. Directed by Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story") and starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, this raunchy comedy is set for a June 24, 2011 release.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

HALL PASS

Synopsis : 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.

Starring : Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate

Director : Bobby and Peter Farrely

Screenplay : Pete Jones, Kevin Barnett and the Farrely Brothers

Running Time : 105 min

Rating : R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use.

What to Expect : Typical Farrely Brothers raunchy R-rated outrageous comedy. To get a clue, here's what they've done in the past : "There's Something About Mary", "Me, Myself and Irene", "Stuck on You", "The Heartbreak Kid". I think you get the picture.


DRIVE ANGRY

Synopsis : A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter.

Starring : Nicolas Cage, William Fichtner, Amber Heard, David Morse

Director : Patrick Lussier

Screenplay : Todd Farmer, Patrick Lussier

Running Time : 104 min

Rating R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.

What to Expect : 3D B-grade exploitation flick starring Nic Cage. Seriously, he should have his name written like that on posters. It sounds cooler. Could very well be one of the worst movies of the year, but, it could also be fun as hell. The 3D gimmick is probably the only reason this isn't going straight-to-video.



SHELTER

Synopsis : A female forensic psychiatrist discovers that all of one of her patient's multiple personalities are murder victims. She will have to find out what's happening before her time is finished.

Starring : Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Director : Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein

Screenplay : Michael Cooney

Running Time : 112 min

Rating : R for violent content, disturbing images and terror

What to Expect : Potentially boring psychological thriller with a fine cast. Has had trouble with distribution. Released in theaters in 2010 here and there and on DVD/Blu-Ray in Finland and Sweden. USA will get a limited release on Feb 25. If you actually come across it, think twice before spending money on a ticket.



OF GODS AND MEN

Synopsis : Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps through the region. The army offers them protection but the monks refuse. Should they leave ? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay...come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996. 

Starring : Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin

Director : Xavier Beauvois

Screenplay : Xavier Beauvois, Etienne Comar

Running Time : 122

Rating : PG-13 for a momentary scene of startling wartime violence, some disturbing images and brief language (originally Rated R for a scene of graphic violence)

What to Expect : Thought-provoking true story drama. BAFTA nominee Best Foreign Language Film. A little heavy if you're just looking for week-end fun, but if you're looking for a profound experience, this is it.

Monday, February 21, 2011



Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 17th, 1972 was the last manned mission to the moon. But a year later, in December of 1973, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the US Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon. Produced by Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted", "Night Watch", "Day Watch"), this is another entry in the "camcorder horror" genre. Sure, it's no longer a camcorder. It's NASA equipment. But, really, how long can they keep using the same gimmick over and over again. Even though these movies often prove to be ingenious in how they generate tension and scares, I can't help but feel they've sucked the genre dry of any real originality. The movie is headed for an April 22, 2011 release. Curiously there's no cast listed anywhere, but I think I caught a glimpse of "4400"s Joel Gretsch, though it's really hard to tell in that fuzzy mess of a trailer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011



A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. Directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the team that brought us the first "Saw", and starring Patrick Wilson ("Angels in America", "Watchmen") and Rose Byrne ("Troy", "Damages"). Due for release April 1st, 2011.



The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. Directed by Shakespearian actor/director Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard, "Thor" will be released in theaters on May 6th 2011. And yes, it will be in 3D.

Friday, February 18, 2011



A man trapped in a car wreck at the bottom of a ravine must overcome incredible odds to survive. Directed by Michael Greenspan and starring Adrien Brody, this movie has no release date, yet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011



A horror-thriller set on 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month and concerning a entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate. Directed Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw II", "Saw III", "Saw IV", "Repo! The Genetic Opera") and starring a number of unknown TV actors, "11 11 11" is set to debut on November 10, 2011, though I think it would sit better as a home video release. Can you spell "crap shoot" ?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Am Number Four

John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four.

Directed by DJ Caruso ("Disturbia") and produced by Michael Bay, "I Am Number Four" looks as polished as you'd expect a Bay picture to be. The young actors look the part, but usually turn in not very compelling performances, though. Notable is the presence of Dianna Agron of "Glee" fame. Caruso did a great job with another teen thriller, but sci-fi is a big jump, and it could turn out to be just as bad as "Jumper" was. Michael Bay's track record as producer is not very enticing either. Time will tell. If it's going to be as successful as Dreamworks hopes it will be, expect a sequel.


Unknown

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. 

Liam Neeson has taken to the action genre it seems. Director Jaumet Collet-Serra opened "Orphan" two years ago to positive reactions. "Unknown" is somewhat more conventional, so probably not as interesting, but Collet has a good sense of what works on the big screen, so there's a chance this could work, as long as he can refrain from making this feel like a Bourne rip-off. It also doesn't help that the poster echoes Neeson's "Taken". I have a feeling it could be one of those movies that you have to see with lowered expectations to really enjoy. Also starring Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Queen and Frank Langella.



Big Mommas : Like Father, Like Son

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

This release reeks of desperation. Martin Lawrence is in desperate need of a comeback and his latest is not likely to be it. I'm not even sure why they decided to make this sequel. The second was bad enough, despite a reasonable box-office response. Hollywood really needs to cut down on these watered-down sequels.

Vanishing on 7th Street


When a massive power outage plunges the city of Detroit into total darkness, a disparate group of individuals find themselves alone. The entire city's population has vanished into thin air, leaving behind heaps of empty clothing, abandoned cars and lengthening shadows. Soon the daylight begins to disappear completely, and as the survivors gather in an abandoned tavern, they realize the darkness is out to get them, and only their rapidly diminishing light sources can keep them safe.

Brad Anderson, director of "The Machinist" and "Transsiberian" is a master of psychological thrillers. "Vanishing on 7th Street" seems like a smart horror with a great gimmick. It also looks like Anderson is more inclined to throw in some CGI in this mix, but I trust he can keep the excesses in check. Starring Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton, it could be an interesting cinemaic offering.

Since numbers are no longer in fashion, the title will be "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows". It has a catchy ring to it, and is fittingly mysterious for a Sherlock Holmes movie. If you found the new and improved version of Sherlock Holmes appealing, the sequel to the 2009 blockbuster is scheduled for release on December 16, 2011, and will star Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Noomi Rapace.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the title is : "The Amazing Spiderman" ! Yeah, I think it's corny too. Sure, it's a tribute to the original comic book, but come on. No matter how hard they try to make this movie feel like it respects the source material, the fact of the matter still is that this "reboot" is just 3 years away from the last Spidey movie. And even though Sam Raimi's third entry was a disappointment, it was still pretty good. And the second one is still one of the best comic book adaptations out there. Did we really need a "reboot" ? For those of you who don't know, "The Amazing Spiderman" will be directed by Marc Webb ("500 Days of Summer") and will star "The Social Network's Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.


Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard is in talks to star in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rising". If the deal goes through, she will join Anne Hathaway and fellow "Inception" colleagues Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in one of the most eagerly anticipated sequels. The movie aims for a summer 2012 release and if all goes according to schedule, "TDKR" will start shooting in London, this summer.

It was a good night at the BAFTAs for "The King's Speech" who won 7 awards, including Best Film. "The Social Network", "Inception" and "Alice in Wonderland" got 3 awards each, the latter two for technical achievements. It's interesting how the British Academy voters split top honors between "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network". While the "King" earned Best Film, Fincher won for Director, which is what will probably happen at the Academy Awards as well. "Black Swan" went home with only one win, for Leading Actress, Natalie Portman. A full list of winners after the jump :

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Fresh off a Golden Globe win for "You Don't Know Jack", Al Pacino picks another real life character to platy, french painter Henri Matisse. The movie called "Masterpiece" (working title), will focus on the relationship between Matisse and a young nurse, Monique Bourgeois. So far little else is know about the production. No leading actress has been selected and no production date has been set. Hopefully, it's not going to be just some sort of awards-bait for Pacino. The man could use some real big screen work after fiascos like "88 Minutes" and "Righteous Kill". 

News has surfaced that Charlize Theron is in talks to star in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus", the sci-fi epic previously known as a prequel to "Alien". The movie will also star Millennium Trilogy's Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. I'm still confused about this movie. Ridley Scott was so enthusiastic in announcing to the world that they are working on an origin story of sorts for the "Alien" franchise, then all of a sudden they announce that it's going to be something completely different, but based on the "Alien DNA". For now nobody is sure what this movie is or isn't. If it's some kind of marketing strategy, it's the strangest I've ever heard of.



Friday, February 11, 2011


Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men. Directed by Matthew Vaugh ("Kick-Ass") and starring James Mcavoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon, this retro-styled X-Men movie will be released on June 3rd, 2011.

The new cinematic version of William F. Nolan's sci-fi novel "Logan's Run" has finally found its leading man : Ryan Gosling. Set to be released in 2012, the movie will be directed by Nicolas Winding Refn ("Bronson") and written by Alex Garland ("28 Days Later", "Sunshine", "Never Let Me Go"). Apparently this is not a remake of the 1976 version starring Michael York, and since there'a an interesting mix of talents at work here, there is a good chance it will be something worth seeing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter. The movie has been released in 2010, in Norway and screened at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Smells like instant cult classic.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



A suburban family is torn apart when fourteen-year-old Annie meets her first boyfriend online. After months of communicating via online chat and phone, Annie discovers her friend is not who he originally claimed to be. Shocked into disbelief, her parents are shattered by their daughter's actions and struggle to support her as she comes to terms with what has happened to her once innocent life. Starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis. Directed by David Schwimmer. Opens April 1st 2011.

Rosamund Pike ("Die Another Day") has been approached to star in the sequel to 2010's "Clash of the Titans". She is in talks to play Andromeda, as "Clash" actress Alexa Davalos was unavailable to reprise the part. Nothing out of the ordinary with the casting decision, but what I find surprising is that they actually want to go ahead and do a sequel to a movie that is only famous for its god-awfull 3D. "Wrath of the Titans" is set to debut March 23, 2012 and will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman ("Battle: Los Angeles").

It's not unusual for Hollywood to pit two movies with similar subjects against each other in the box-office arena. And release them almost at the same time no less. Examples of past occurrences :  "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact", "Antz" and "A Bug's Life", "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Observe & Report". And in 2012 it will happen to Snow White. I've written about Kristen Stewart being cast as the pale princess in "Snow White and the Huntsman". This casting news bit refers to the other one, "The Brothers Grimm : Snow White", and it goes like this (official press release) : "Relativity Media has closed a deal with Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts to play the Queen in its upcoming untitled Snow White feature, based on the Brothers Grimm story, directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell)".  No doubt this will be an interesting showdown. Honestly, if I actually cared about either one of these movies, it would be Tarsem's, because what that sick dude did with "The Cell" could be but a preview of what he can do with a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.