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Thursday, March 31, 2011



It's here at last, the full trailer to 2011s highly anticipated comedy sequel and from what I could gather from this trailer, it's going to be a riot. At least, I hope it will. See, comedy sequels tend to just mimick the original, without finding ways to refresh the material. It's always a risk and rarely has there ever been an exception. Let's hope Todd Phillips know how to beat these trappings. The original cast is back. And I do mean pretty much everyone. Even Mike Tyson is back. Plus, a cameo by Liam Neeson as a Tattoo Man. Well, I guess it's no longer a cameo really, since he actually receives official credit for it. Why they passed on Mel Gibson for the cameo is beyond me. I mean, this movie is all about wild partying, right ? It's raunchy and crazy, right ? Well, Mr. Gibson would have fit right in. It would have been a funny nod to all the scandals he's been in. It would have been slightly controversial, sure, but I guess the movie is radical enough to be able to take the hit. Anyway, the movie comes out May 26, 2011.





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Yup, there it is on the right, in all its dark glory. This time it's war. Harry and Voldemort will face off in a fierce showdown as suggested by this poster. Who will die, who will live ? I don't know, 'cause I've never read a Potter book in my life. I only hope it doesn't disapoint, because I've invested hours and hours in Potter movies so far. I've even endured the excruciatingly talky "Half Blood Prince". This last one had better be the "Return of the King" of this franchise. Either way, it's a given that Warner Bros. has scored one of its most profitable franchises, holding a record-breaking $6 billion in worldwide box-office for the six movies. The deadly conflict ends this year, on July 15.





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"Fallin Skies" is a new TV series produced by Steven Spielberg. It's really like "War of the Worlds" for television from what I've seen so far, except these aliens probably won't go away so easily, at least, not for a few seasons. Starring Noah Wyle ("ER") and Moon Bloodgood ("Terminator : Salvarion"), the series will begin June 2011. Not much else is known about the project, except that it's probably going to be pretty expensive, which means there's a greater risk the show will get canceled if the ratings go down.





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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The fourth cast member of Zack Snyder's "Superman" reboot has been officially announced. Amy Adams will join the production as fearless reporter lady Lois Lane. To recap the roster, so far we have Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, alias Superman, Diane Lane as Clark's adoptive mother, Kevin Costner as Clark's adoptive father and now, Amy Adams as Clark's love interest. It's a very interesting selection of actors. It will be very interesting to see this reboot in action. Expectations are high, especially after Snyder's "Sucker Punch" flopped at the box-office this past week-end. Some expect this to affect the new "Superman" movie, but I think it won't be a problem, yet. Let's wait for the movie to actually get released, then we can talk about sinking careers.





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The Dark Knight's future looks pretty dim.
Why am I not surprised ? Jeff Robinov, Warner Bros. executive, has come out with some new information regarding the future of the Batman franchise, post-Nolan. The executive has stated during an interview that after Christopher Nolan finishes his Dark Knight trilogy, the series will be rebooted in order to fit the fantasy line of DC Comics characters, and facilitate a "Justice League" movie. Now this is something of a wet dream for Warner and they've been trying to get a "Justice League" project off the ground for about a decade, coming real close to it in 2007, but Nolan's realistic vision for the Batman franchise and its huge success meant that Warner had no choice but to shelve the project. Now, with other DC adaptations on the way, like the "Superman" reboot and the "Green Lantern" movie, it seems to be the right time, at least in Robinov's mind. Plus, Marvel is doing the same with its "The Avengers" project. The smell of fierce competition is in the air and the studios rise to the occasion. The only problem is, of course, Batman. But it's an easy fix : they'll just reimagine the whole thing, as if Nolan's movies never existed. I have doubts regarding how well that's going to work. It's too bad that there won't be any more Nolan directed Batman movies after 2012s "The Dark Knight Rises". I have a feeling studios are taking far too many liberties with using the word "reboot" these days.





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To watch the rest of the clips, click below :

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SOURCE CODE

Synopsis : When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he's ever known, he learns he's part of a government experiment called the "Source Code," a program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack. Filled with mind-boggling twists and heart-pounding suspense, Source Code is a smart action-thriller directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) also starring Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Due Date), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed), and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace, Syriana). -- (C) Summit Entertainment.

Jake Gyllenhaal is in for a rough ride.
Starring : Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright

Director : Duncan Jones

Screenplay : Ben Ripley

Running Time : 93 min.

Rating : PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images, and for language.

What to Expect : Hitchcockian sci-fi thriller, full of both intelectual delights and bone-crunching suspense. Gyllenhaal is a great lead, Wright and Farmiga are fierce character actors and Duncan Jones has proved with "Moon" that he can handle character-driven sci-fi stuff. I'm willing to bet that this will be a great movie that fans of the genre will especially enjoy.




HOP

Synopsis : The battle for Easter is on! In HOP, Despicable Me's Russell Brand voices E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred (James Marsden of the X-Men series, Enchanted), an unemployed slacker with his own lofty goals. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in, and Fred finds himself living with the world's worst houseguest. Back on Easter Island, a power-hungry chick who has lived in the shadows for far too long has been plotting a coup to take over one of the biggest jobs in the world. Now that E.B.'s gone, he's got his chance. As E.B. discovers who he really wants to be and who he's meant to become, everything will lead him and Fred to an epic showdown to try and save Easter. -- (C) Universal Pictures.

The Easter Bunny loves to Rock'n'Roll.
Starring : Russel Brand (voice), James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins, Hank Azaria (voice), Gary Cole, Hugh Laurie (voice).

Director : Tim Hill

Screenplay : Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch.

Running Time : 94 min.

Rating : PG for some mild rude humor.

What to Expect : The same kind of crappy, humorless CGI versus live-action children's movie. Even the trailer was unfunny. That being said, the CGI bunny is pretty cute.


INSIDIOUS

Synopsis : Josh and Renai have a happy family with their three young children. When tragedy strikes their young son, Josh and Renai begin to experience things that science cannot explain.

Starring : Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins.

Director : James Wan

Screenplay : Leigh Whannell

Running Time : 102 min.

Rating : PG-13 for thematic material, violence, terror and frightening images, and brief strong language.

What to Expect : A dark and sinister tribute to "Poltergeist" from Wan and Whannell, the creators of the original "Saw". How they managed to bring on board two wonderful actors like Wilson and Byrne is beyond me. Still, it doesn't mean the movie will suck. I'm sure it will have the same simple low-budget charm that "Saw" had, and we all remember how well that went (6 sequels). You can watch the trailer right here.



SUPER

Synopsis : In the outlandish dark comedy SUPER, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes. When sad-sack loser Frank (Rainn Wilson) sees his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), he finds himself bereft and wholly unable to cope. But soon he decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife. The rules were written a long time ago: You are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars; if you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt! No stranger to rebel filmmaking, James Gunn cut his teeth writing for Troma before making his directing debut with 2006's SLITHER. In a similar vein, his follow-up feature combines absurd humor with balls-out violence to create something that is both unashamed and inimitable. But this time Gunn adds a new ingredient, one that is dark, dramatic and subversive to the core. -- (C) IFC Films

Rainn Wilson is the ultimate weirdo (in a good way).
Starring : Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker.

Director : James Gunn

Screenplay : James Gunn

Running Time : 96 min.

Rating : Unrated.

What to Expect : Unflinching indie flick with an awesome cast. However, this kind of over-the-top parody could end up alienating the audience with its absurdist parody plot and disturbing violence. Would you believe me when I say that "Kick-Ass" was rather tame by comparison ?


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The animated short is called "The Trenches" and it was created by Ben Hibon, the man responsible for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" animated sequence. It's actually pretty cool and captures the crazy visual style of Zack Snyder's movie. Enjoy !



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Monday, March 28, 2011



BLACK SWAN

Today's top scandal subject and yesterday's top awards favorite, Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray. The terrifying story of a young ballerina's brutal descent into madness is one of the best movies of 2010 and, also, the cinematic equivalent of a punch in the gut. Oscar winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Natalie Portman) and nominated for four more, including Best Picture. I would suggest you don't miss out on this one. For a more detailed look into this movie, you can read my review on this blog.



TANGLED (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)

One of the non-Pixar Disney digital animation features that won over the hearts of critics and audiences alike and even nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. It was released in 3D of course. Visually stunning and featuring a great voice cast, "Tangled" is a wonderful tribute to Disney's oldies but goldies. It might not end up becoming a classic, but it's worth owning, especially if you have kids. Available on DVD, Two-Disc Blu-Ray/DVD Combo and Four-Disc Combo : Blu-Ray 3D/Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy. Take your pick.



FAIR GAME

Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") jumps off the hyperkinetic action train and on the drama bus. And what better story than the Bush administration's foul-up regarding the public identification of Valerie Plame as a CIA covert operative, in retaliation for her husband's NY Times article which criticized the reasons for going to war in Iraq. It's a decent drama with two awesome leads, so it's easy to recommend. However, it's far from perfect, and the political backstory sometimes makes it feel a bit preachy, although far from any Michael Moore stuff. Available on Blu-Ray & DVD. Read the review on this blog.



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
(Limited Edition Gift Set)

You might have heard about this movie...'cause it's a freakin' classic. Needless to say, it's one of the greatest cinematic spectacles ever, despite Heston's trademark stiff acting. It's an electrifying epic that has set the bar higher for all other epics that followed. And this is one of those "Wow!" editions. I just love these gift sets. I remember "The Sound of Music" got a similar edition and it was awesome. You can check out all the stuff inside the box on Amazon.com by following the links here. The Limited Edition Gift Set contains a DVD/Blu-Ray Combo.



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Saturday, March 26, 2011

As usual, nothing is set in stone, but the rumor mill has spread the news that Ed Harris will play John McCain in an HBO adaptation of the 2008 GOP battle between senator John McCain and Sarah Palin. The movie, called "Game Change" will be directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, based on a book by Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine. The book has one of the longest titles I've ever seen : Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime. Roach and Strong have previously collaborated on the true story account of the 2000 presidential election, "Recount", also for HBO. So, I guess "Game Change" is a sequel of sorts, all things considered. Julianne Moore is already onboard to play Sarah Palin. And since this is HBO we're talking about, this movie will surely not go unnoticed when the awards season arrives.



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The cast of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" has just been updated with young actress Juno Temple ("Year One", "Atonement"). Her character has been described as a "street-smart Gotham gal", which is probably a hint, pointing towards some character in the Batman mythology. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. In the meantime, the media is running wild with speculations, which is in fact part of the publicity game. However, in an unexpected turn, it seems that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character is not Albert Falcone as it was officially announced. So, the guessing-game is back on. And it will probably go on right up to the day the movie comes into theaters (July 20th, 2012).  



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Friday, March 25, 2011





The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war. Director Paul W.S. Anderson ("Resident Evil", "Alien Vs. Predator", "Death Race") deals some more brain damage to the movie industry by dumbing down Dumas' novel to 3D levels. Of course Mila Jovovich is in it. Of course she performs some crazy acrobatics. Is this not a Paul W.S. Anderson movie ? The musketeers themselves perform some wicked combat moves that would make Neo himself cower in shame. Over the top is an understatement here. Christoph Waltz is in this as well as Cardinal Richelieu. Sure, he's already got an Oscar, but that's no reason to accept any work offering that comes his way. He's probably just having fun with his newly acquired fame, but I think he should choose his project more carefuly. Also starring are Luke Evans, Matthew MacFayden and Ray Stevenson. I still dream that perhaps some day, the illusion of 3D will be broken and the studios will stop throwing this kind of garbage our way. Release date is October 14, 2011.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

It seems Fox is a bit confused about setting a release date for "Rise of the Apes", the newest reboot in the Planet of the Apes franchise. The last of the release date changes is August 5th, 2011. The previous ones were November 23 and July 24, 2011. If you've been circling the dates in your calendars, I hope you didn't use permanent markers. This latest modification only makes me wonder if maybe Fox isn't very sure about this movie's capability to turn a profit. James Franco stars in this reboot, as well as Brian Cox and Andy Serkis. The latter will contribute his motion capture expertise, as usual. The question is, will this be the movie that will get audiences back in Ape mode ? Will it revive a franchise that already has four sequels to the original and a remake ? Share your thoughts.



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In this family comedy, Jim Carrey is Mr. Popper, a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life - until he inherits six penguins. Popper's penguins turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland - and the rest of his life upside-down. Filmed on a refrigerated soundstage with real Emperor Penguins, MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS is a contemporary adaptation of the classic book. (c) Fox

I don't know about this. It looks really weird. Not that Jim Carrey is a stranger to weird. Although, I suppose being a family film aimed at children could account for that. It just caught me by surprise. Anyway, this is a short movie (42 min), so it's not likely to bore the crap out of anyone. Carrey doing the penguin dance from Mary Poppins, with a personalized finale, is a treat. Oh, and those real penguins they mention in the synopsis above, kind of look like CGI penguins most of the time. Due for release on June 17, 2011.

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Unassuming Army officer Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. Directed by Joe Johnston ("Jumanji", "Jurassic Park III", "The Wolfman"), "Captain America - The First Avenger" will be released July 22, 2011. The full trailer reveals plenty of plot and action. The movie looks pretty good and currently stands a good chance at being extremely fun to watch, as long as it can avoid getting all serious about its story. Great supporting cast, by the way. 

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yet another movie has ceased to exist. Paramount Pictures' adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune" has been derailed as the studio has lost the rights to the novel. Called in to direct was Pierre Morel ("Taken"), after Peter Berg had left the project to work on "Battleship". Even though Morel and screenwriter Chase Palmer had delivered a script that efficiently condensed Herbert's novel to feature length, it seems Paramount was still too scared to commit to a budget that could have very well exceeded $100M. The rights may still be acquired by some other studio, but as of now, the prospects of a fresh 'Dune' adaptation seem bleak.



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Today, March 23, 2011, Elizabeth Taylor, one of Hollywood's brightest stars has passed away. Her body of work, which spans a half-century, speaks volumes : "Giant", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly, Last Summer", "Butterfield 8", "Cleopatra", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?", "The Taming of the Shrew", to name but a few. She is a part of cinematic history and will always be remembered. In her memory, here's a clip from "Cleopatra", courtesy of MovieClips.com. Also, you can share your thoughts on the Elizabeth Taylor Tribute Facebook page.




The battle for Easter is on! In HOP, Despicable Me's Russell Brand voices E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred (James Marsden of the X-Men series, Enchanted), an unemployed slacker with his own lofty goals. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in, and Fred finds himself living with the world's worst houseguest. Back on Easter Island, a power-hungry chick who has lived in the shadows for far too long has been plotting a coup to take over one of the biggest jobs in the world. Now that E.B.'s gone, he's got his chance. As E.B. discovers who he really wants to be and who he's meant to become, everything will lead him and Fred to an epic showdown to try and save Easter. -- (c) Universal Pictures

From the director of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties", comes "Hop", a new entry in the animated talking animals saga. Well it's not really a saga, but as long as it turns a profit, the studios will make sure it feels like one. I couldn't find one single funny thing about this trailer. The movie will probably be just as bad, or worse. Kids will eat it up, of course, and after all, aren't they the ones the studios are targetting ? Let's just hope it doesn't do well enough to get a sequel. Due for release on April 1, 2011.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SUCKER PUNCH

Synopsis : "Sucker Punch" is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, free to go where her mind takes her, her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary. Locked away against her will, Babydoll (Emily Browning) urges four other young girls, Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) to band together and try to escape a terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue and Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino), before the mysterious High Roller comes for Babydoll.-- (c) Warner Bros

Starring : Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn

Director : Zack Snyder

Forget the Spartans, Babydoll is here to kick some ass.
Screenplay : Zack Snyder

Running Time : 120 min.

Rating : PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language.

What to Expect : "300" with teenage girls. Expect the same hyperbolized ultra-stylized violent action. It's PG-13, but certainly not tame. Also, Scott Glenn as a wise old man. He seems to be the handy choice for parts like these. Movies like this, even at their most derivative are still a lot of fun, so it would be wise not to underestimate Snyder.



DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: 
RODRICK RULES

Synopsis : In this sequel to 2010's surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made "wimpy" cool is back in an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. (Kinney's Wimpy Kid" series has thus far sold 42 million books.) As he begins seventh grade, Greg and his older brother - and chief tormentor - Rodrick must deal with their parents' misguided attempts to have them bond. -- (c) Fox

Starring : Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn.

Director : David Bowers

Sibling rivalry heats up in the sequel.
Screenplay : Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, based on a book by Jeff Kinney

Running Time : 96 min

Rating : PG for some mild rude humor and mischief.

What to Expect : If you've enjoyed the first movie, you're probably going to love the sequel too. If you haven't seen the first one, don't be dismayed by the kids-only appearance, because it's really the kind of movie anyone, regardless of age can enjoy. You just won't be publicly admiting that you loved it.



MIRAL

Synopsis : From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award nominated director of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", comes Miral, the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. In war-torn Jerusalem in 1948, Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbas) opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. Seventeen year old Miral (Frieda Pinto) arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother's tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (Omar Metwally) and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind's defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace. --(c) Weinstein Company

Starring : Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto, Omar Metwally, Willem Dafoe, Vanessa Redgrave.

Director : Julian Schnabel.
Terrorist or not, Freida Pinto is gorgeous.

Screenplay : Rula Jebreal based on her novel.

Running Time : 112 min

Rating : R for some violent content including a sexual assault.

What to Expect : Weinstein Company artsy drama, hungry for awards and aggresively marketed. A relevant story and a unique movie that may or may not fall victim to Schnabel's heavy-handed storytelling. I'm sure he will get a Palm d'Or nomination no matter what. And yes, I'm willing to bet on it.




PEEP WORLD

Synopsis : What happens to a rich, neurotic family when one of their own writes a tell-all exposing their dirty secrets? The Meyerwitz family is about to find out. And the timing couldn't be more hilariously awful. As the Meyerwitz clan prepares for the 70th birthday of nasty family patriarch HENRY (Ron Rifkin), PEEP WORLD, the expose written by youngest son NATHAN (Ben Schwartz) has gone red hot, making a mess of all of their lives. JACK (Michael C. Hall), the oldest son, is failing in his career and now has to bend over backwards to convince his wife LAURA (Judy Greer) that certain salacious events in Nathan's book weren't really committed by him. Sister CHERI (Sarah Silverman), a drama queen and struggling actress, can see the PEEP WORLD movie set from her window, and grows increasingly enraged watching a more successful actress play a horribly unflattering version of her. Her solution: sue her younger brother for libel. Meanwhile, black sheep JOEL (Rainn Wilson), a disaster in slow-motion, plots to turn his life around at his family's expense, and MARILYN (Lesley Ann Warren), the children's mother, long-divorced from Henry, still carries a torch for her ex, one that's only inflamed further by the revelations in PEEP WORLD. -- (C) IFC Films

Starring :  Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson.
'Modern Family' ain't got nuthin' on me !

Director : Barry W. Blaustein

Screenplay : Peter Himmelstein

Running Time : 89 min

Rating : Unrated.

What to Expect : Hilarious ensemble comedy. Great cast and quirky characters promise to unleash some solid laughter. It's nice to see Michael C. Hall tackle other projects outside his TV series "Dexter". You know, this reminds me a lot of his other TV series "Six Feet Under", which featured a similarly neurotic family, only darker.




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After a long string of troubles and delays, "The Hobbit" has now commenced filming. Director Peter Jackson has started principal photography yesterday, March 21, 2011, in Wellington, New Zealand. There are some cool production photos on Jackson's Facebook page. I'm glad that things worked out the way they did and Peter Jackson returned to direct. It would have been interesting to see Guillermo del Toro lend his dark vision to the story, but in the end, it's better to let the creator of one of the most resounding adaptations ever commited on-screen, I am referring to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, of course, get a chance to extend that cinematic experience. And who knows, maybe win some more Oscars.


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A horror-thriller set on 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month and concerning an entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate. I'm guessing it has something to do with the number 11, right ? Written and Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw II", "Saw III", "Saw IV") this movie will be released on November 11, 2011 (obviously), though not much is known at the moment, not even an official synopsis. From the trailer, it looks appropriately dark and spooky. Let's hope it's not as bad as "The Omen" remake was. This 2012 craze has really fired up all kinds of end-of-days scenarios, each one sillier than the other. You know what would make this movie cooler ? A Jigsaw cameo.

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Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" captures the fun, adventure and humor that ignited the hit franchise-this time in Disney Digital 3D(TM). Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed adventure. Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penélope Cruz), he's not sure if it's love-or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the vengeful Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack's longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid. Suggested by the Novel by Tim Powers. -- (c) Disney Pictures

This movie can only go two ways : the thrilling fun ride that the first movie in the franchise was, or the overly long, complicated and boring path of the sequels. So far it feels closer to the first. Then again, we can never really know until it hits theaters. Penelope Cruz seems to be added just for the sake of having her name on the posters and not much else. The weight of this whole endeavour will probably fall on Depp's shoulders, as usual. The villain seems appropriately sinister and Geoffrey Rush's return is welcome.

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Monday, March 21, 2011



THE TOURIST

The hideously miscalculated vacation thriller, with a tinge of comedy attached to it, that rattled the Golden Globes this year, attracting the razor-sharp puns of one Ricky Gervais, has now been unleashed on the unsuspecting audience on Blu-Ray and DVD. This movie should have been a gold mine with this kind of star power attached to the project, but the mismatched leads and a terribly boring plot pretty much sink the whole thing. I can't recommend it, unless you're such a huge Jolie or Depp fan, that you're willing to turn a blind eye to any of the film's shortcomings. For more about this movie, a review is available on this blog.



HOW DO YOU KNOW ?

James L. Brooks, the director of such classics as "Broadcast News" or "As Good As It Gets", returns to his own particular brand of rom-coms. It's not really as good as you'd expect it to be. Witherspoon, Rudd, Wilson and Nicholson give it their best shot, but there's little here to enjoy, as Brooks lays everything on too thick. I will concede that it does have some positive moments, which in the end denies me the pleasure of totally dismissing the movie as garbage. In the end, it's just a matter of finding the right audience, I suppose. If you're interested, it's out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.



YOGI BEAR (3-disc combo 3D)

Why they needed to convert a beloved animated character from classical 2D to stylized 3D is beyond me. Sure, it looks pretty, but so did the original cartoon. Besides, Yogi Bear worked well in short form, but not so well in extended feature length, especially because the screenplay refuses to show signs of intelligence. Kids will probably love it, though, and that's pretty much all that matters. Available on DVD, Blu-Ray/DVD Combo and a lovely Three-Disc Combo: Blu-Ray 3D / Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital Copy. They spared no expense on this one.



SKYLINE

Alien invasion movies are the hottest trend this year. At the end of 2010, the Strause Brothers, infamous for "Alien versus Predator 2", picked up on this trend and cranked out this workmanlike sci-fi actioner. The visual effects are a lot better than you'd expect, given the modest budget the brothers had to work with, but even that can't save the flick from the stupidity it eventually succumbs to. Even so, fans of the genre (or of good looking B-flicks) might enjoy it. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray.



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