Friday, February 26, 2010

Fantastic Short Film Friday - Logorama (animated)

Part 4 of our 5 part look at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards Nominated Animated Shorts. We're almost done, with one more yet to go, but before we reach the finish line, this week I want to spotlight the animated short, Logoromo by French design collective H5 and directed by Nicolas Schmerkin.

Here's the synopsis of the short from the Oscar nominee's website:

In a world made up entirely of trademarks and brand names, Michelin Man cops pursue a criminal Ronald McDonald.

Basically the animated short fits 2500 logos into a highly entertaining parody of corporate/consumer culture. Out of all the films I've showcased so far I'm most torn about sharing this one since the people who own the rights to the film, Autour de Minuit, have taken the short down on numerous file viewing sites such as Youtube and Vimeo due to copyright issues. While I believe the best thing for these types of shorts is for blogs such as my own to showcase them and get the word out (since I know a very small amount of moviegoers actually watch shorts) I do understand their position. A spokesperson from Autour de Minuit had this to say on the reasoning why they've pulled the short from so many sites, to paraphrase: "this video [Logorama] has been made with more than 2,500 logos of the world top brands and that they never asked the right to use them (which was humanly impossible to do) and more than that, the image of those brands is severly « heckled » so they could be sued by all of them ending in a certain death for that company"

So therefore while I have seen the short and know where to find it, I will only be embedding the trailer of Logorama here. While I know this is a small blog of mine and that very few people take the time to read it, I don't want to add to the filmmakers problems. Take my word for it though, it's very entertaining and funny and when it's finally released commercially (which I feel may be never due to the licensing issues) I will again showcase it here to remind people to check it out. To find out more information on the short go to Logorama's website: here.

So sit back and hopefully the trailer is enough of a cleanser to whet your palate.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I Think Of: Daybreakers (2010)

God I love the poster for this film. It's just so freaky, so noir-ish, so cyber-punky that it literally feels like it was made for me since it fits so many of my tastes. Nice to see there are others who share my love for the odd. Anyway, I didn't get the chance to see Daybreakers, this 2010 film about a vampire world and how their food supply is nearly extinct because the human race is almost wiped out, when it was first released back in January. Sure it was a vampire movie, and besides the Twilight film franchise, I get excited for any movie starring the fanged creatures, but as life goes, things came up, other movies to see to review for the podcast, and it took me over a month to finally see this film, and damn if I'm not upset that I waited that long. Daybreakers is everything a modern vampire film should be, fresh with a unique spin on the vampire mythos. In short this is everything the film, I am Legend should have been (especially since that movie was nothing like the original story). Here are some of the thoughts I had while watching this film:
  • It seems like a lot of vampire films are going with the blue Underworld/Point Blank look and I have to admit, as much as it's played out, I still love it.
  • I love how this is one of the first modern vampire films that doesn't feel like a Vampire: The Masquerade rip-off. [For those unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, Vampire: The Masquerade was a role-playing game (similar to dungeons and dragons) released in 1991 that was all about how vampires fought other mythical creatures like werewolves, frankenstein's etc, but more political-like, and how vampires were on top of the food chain. Basically almost every movie (and book) with vampires since, from Twilight to Underworld has ripped-off this idea paring it with Anne Rice's romanticized version of vampires from Interview with a Vampire.]
  • Ethan Hawk has really become one of my favorite actors. I can't remember anything he's done that I haven't liked, and hell he could star in endless sequels of Great Expectations and I would still love him purely for the fact that he is part of the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset duology. Damn he's a good actor.
  • How many vampire movies must William Defoe star in? From 1983's The Hunger to 2000's Shadow of the Vampire to 1997's Speed 2: Cruse Control. Wait! That wasn't a vampire movie, just a bad movie that felt like someone was draining the life from me while I watched it.
  • I mentioned this before, but Daybreakers had a really unique take on the vampire mythos. What if the majority of people were infected by the vampire virus and they were slowly running out of their food supply since there were only a handful of humans left. What would happen if they went to long without blood? In Daybreakers they turn into giant vampire bats. Damn that's good. I also liked how the film had a cure for "vampirism" but there were corporate bigwigs that didn't want the cure known because they could make money farming human blood to the rich who could afford it, regardless if the rest of the world went to hell. It's like I'm watching the film Wall Street all over and the vampires are all Gordon Gekko's.
  • This is a much better film than the director's, The Spierig Brother's, first film the 2003 Australian film, Undead, which has built up a bit of a cult following, but which I find absolutely abysmal.
  • I really want one of the cars from this film that shutter all the windows and have computer monitors inside the car so vampires can drive around during daytime.
  • There's a really damn good sequel that can be made from this.
So yeah, in the end this film is one bloody and gory mess of a good time and one of the better vampire movies to come out in a long while. If like me, you like some gore and blood to go with your vampire movies, where vampires aren't lovey-dovey with humans, then definitely run out to see this one. I give Daybreakers a "bring your lunch from home because you do not want to miss this one" rating.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

This is an early review but check out our podcast this weekend for the full review. The Lightning Thief is based on the popular young adult series by Rick Riordan of the same name. It is directed by Chris Columbus (not to be confused with Christopher Columbus the explorer) and stars young hottie by the name of Logan Lerman, who was the star the short lived WB show, Jack & Bobby. Well, Bobby grew up and he is HOT. Who knew? Who knew? OK, I'll move on.

So where was I? Oh yes, so the story is revolved around Percy Jackson (Lerman) who soon learns that the Greek mythologies and their gods and demigods that he's learned about in school are all real and exist in modern day. And to top it off, he himself is a demigod. Bad gods AKA monsters sent by Hades is after him and he finds safety at Camp Halfblood where he makes a few friends, two of which who join him on his journey seeking the stolen lightning bolt of Zeus. Grover (played by Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr (half goat/half human) and Annabeth (played by Alexandra Daddario)is the daughter of Athena are his companions. Here they visit different cities to retrieve pearls that would help them escape the underworld.

That last part of the story is actually quite different from the book and even the characters themselves aren't quite portrayed the same. That's not a good or bad thing, but different. If you are a fan of the book(s), you will notice these differences and notice the huge omissions of certain characters. But as a casual movie-goer, it was still a decent/good movie to watch Percy's adventures and how they modernize Greek mythology. Also, I loved the part when they went to Vegas and Ke$ha's song, Tik Tok played in the background. If anyone knows me, they know I'm obsessed with that song (in a bad way). Overall, the movie was enjoyable but nothing I'd tell people to rush out for, wait for it on DVD.

For now, here's the trailer:

Monday, February 22, 2010

What I Think Of: From Paris with Love (2010)

A couple weeks ago, I went to see From Paris with Love, a love story starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and John Travolta. Wait scratch that. It's not a love story but an action packed adventure. Close enough. I had high hopes since director, Pierre Morel directed the kick-ass movie of 2009, Taken. And for the most part it did meet my expectations in delivering no-nonsense violence, though the story was just mediocre.

John Travolta plays Charlie Wax, James Reece's (Meyers) first/new partner on his first big CIA job. Reece takes his job seriously and excited for the opportunity to do something beyond the menial jobs he's been tasked in the past. Wax, on the other hand, is a wild card and unorthodox but nonetheless, he does get the job done. The story turns and shifts. We think the job is about drug trafficking, but then it turns into terrorism. Yahdah yahdah. Lots of gun fights and ass kicking.

What I really want to talk about is Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Forget the movie, he's great eye candy. And that's enough to keep my attention. He heats up the screen and I'd give anything to be that white v-neck T-shirt. With that said, I'd say this isn't a movie you need to run and go see but a great DVD rental (or purchase for multiple viewings ;)). Here's a trailer for your enjoyment.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Fantastic Short Film Friday - The Lady And The Reaper (animated)

It's time for another installment of our weekly showcase on short films, Fantastic Short Film Friday. This week we take a look at the 3rd of 5 Academy Award Nominated Animated Short Films with The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) which has the distinction of being the first ever Spanish animated short to be nominated for an Oscar. Directed and written by Javier Recio Gracia and from animation studio KandorMoon, The Lady and the Reaper is an 8-minute short about the epic story of "the Grim Reaper and a self-satisfied doctor who battle over the life of an elderly woman."

This is the 3rd 2010 Oscar nominated animated short we have featured on this blog and it is by far my favorite. I love everything about the film. From the great music, to the wonderful animation with the distinct Spanish style, to the brilliance of the short when it devolves into a Looney Tunes like farce half-way through. You can find out more about the short here.

As always sit back, relax, and get some hot cocoa to go along with this zany short about how death may be more liberating than we could ever imagine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I Think Of: Leap Year (2010)

Another month of January, another by-the-numbers romantic comedy released. I wonder why studios always "release" (i.e dump) romantic comedies in January. Is it the slow weak beginning of the year that studios hope to capitalize with lesser fare? Is it that after all the love that's in the air during the Christmas season, studios hope to parlay that into easily digestible romantic movies that will appeal to both the love(d) and scorned? I don't know the answer. But what I do know is that these types of films aren't geared towards men, but hell if I don't eat them up and enjoy almost every one of them. What is it that makes me smile when I watch a movie where I can basically plot out every minute of it when I'm watching it? Is it the comfortable familiarity? Is it because I'm a romantic? Is it because I have no taste? I see the flaws in all the generic romantic comedies, but there's something about them that allows me to overlook their faults and find the charms underneath. But I also recognize that if you aren't a girl into chick flicks (like Penny), you won't like any of these films regardless of how well (or not so well) they are made. However, there's always one question that always comes to my mind when I watch these types of movies, "if she left him for you, who's to say she won't leave you for another guy?"

This year's romantic fodder is none other than, Leap Year, from Anand Tucker, the director of 2005's romantic drama Shopgirl, a film I found mildly entertaining, so I had some interest in seeing this when it was first released. Especially when it's starring one of my favorite actresses, Amy Adams who can be in anything and I'll watch it. Still, I didn't hold out much hope for this movie about a woman who decides to travel to Ireland and propose to her boyfriend of 4 years on Leap Day, because according to Irish tradition and superstition, a foundation of marriage started on Leap Day is meant to last. But along the way she meets a dashing Irishman and zany escapades ensue. Is that really the hook of the movie? Yes, but hey, I've seen worst and can you guess how this one ends? Of course... not?

The film also stars Matthew Goode as the love interest who many people may recognize from being in 2004's Chasing Liberty and 2005's Match Point, but I really became a fan of his after he starred in my favorite movie of 2009, Watchmen as everyone's favorite mad genius, Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias. Adams and Goode have a lot of charm separately, and together they light up the sky, which goes a long way because while the script is weak and cliched, the dialogue hackneyed and poor, their chemistry together saves Leap Year from being instantly forgettable. I can't say I'll remember Leap Year this time next year when the next crop of romantic movies come out, but I will say that I did enjoy the 90 minutes I shared with Adams and Goode in Dublin, Ireland and the one thing this movie really showed me is, damn I really want to visit Ireland. So yeah, I give Leap Year a dvd rating, if only to see Adams and Goode be oh so good together. Yes, I went there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Leftovers - Michael Cera meets the cast of Jersey Shore

We apologize for the lack of content updates. We've been away in Montreal and have just gotten back from a nice relaxing vacation. With our batteries recharged, it's time to get back to some movie watching. This weeks podcast may be a day or two late, but don't worry, we'll defintley be getting it out to all our listeners. With that out of the way, here's some leftovers...

Back in January, MTV wanted Michael Cera to do promo's for his new movie, Youth in Revolt. Cera agreed with one stipulation, he would only do the promo's if he could meet the cast of the reality show, Jersey Shore. Why would he want to do that? Because he's a huge fan of the show, and really, who isn't? So here's a compilation of the time they spent together that aired during the season finale of Jersey Shore. So sit back and relax because it's time for some battling and fist-pumping action.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I Think of: The Brothers Bloom (2009)

This 2009 caper film directed by Rian Johnson of Brick fame stars Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody, Rachel Weisz, and Rinko Kikuchi. Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) are con men brothers who go through life conning their way into people's lives and somehow leaves both the victims and the con men themselves satisfied after each con.

The pair later is joined by a near silent sidekick in Bang Bang (Kikuchi). The big con that this film focuses on is of a recluse socialite from New Jersey--Penelope Stamp (Weisz). This quirky character jumps right into this whirlwind con and ends up traveling the world with the trio.

The story was quirky in a good way and kept my interest. I think what I really liked about the movie was the sense of not knowing what is real and what is part of the con. And you end up getting a clear answer each time, which is important to me :) but that momentary lapse of losing where you are and what is reality and what is not, is quite a whimsical feeling while watching the movie. I love the scenery and the costume--a mix of modern / contemporary motifs--traveling by boat and trains (vs. a plane) and yet using cell phones. It was a beautiful film, a feast for the eyes. But honestly, I can look at Adrian Brody all day long.

I can't say this is a great film but I quite enjoyed the ride and would recommend it for a DVD rental. Enjoy the trailer.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Fantastic Short Film Friday - Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (animated)

Yes that's right, it's time for another installment of Fantastic Short Film Friday. Part 2 of a 5 part series, this week we take another gander at one of the nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards for Best Animated Short. That short is Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty. Directed by Nicky Phelan and written/voiced by Kathleen O'Rourke, Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty is the story of how fairy tales have both the power to both enchant and frighten and how grandmother's really do know best.

You can find out more information about the short here. Here's a little info concerning the short from it's website:

Inspired by a character in Irish writer Kathleen O'Rourke's stand-up comedy show, Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty first came to the screen in a 5min short film directed by Nicky Phelan and produced by Brown Bag Films in 2008. Currently zimmer-framing her way around the international film festival circuit, 'Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty' has already collected a number of audience awards at film festivals in Ireland, America and Australia. The short film will have an Irish theatrical release through Paramount Pictures this year and will receive its television debut on Ireland's public service broadcaster, RTE.

The short is a lot of fun and very reminiscent of the classic fairy tales I grew up reading and the animation is a nice mix of CGI and traditional. As always sit back, relax, think of fond memories of your grandmother, and enjoy the ride of Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What I Think Of - Gamer (2009)

It's time!!! Turn on your video-game systems and dream... Game On. This 2009 sci-fi action film is written and directed by the guys behind the Crank films, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. In the near future, mind-control technology is the most popular form of entertainment, making its creator Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) the most powerful man in the world. His newest foray into mind-controlling entertainment is also his most popular, a game called Slayers, where average gamers can take control of death-row inmates and use them to fight one another for their freedom, first person shooter style (such as in Halo of Call of Duty). Gerard Butler plays Kable, the most popular Slayer who is only one game away from surviving and getting his freedom. However, turns out that the powers that be are conspiring against him and will do anything rather than set him free. Kable must take control of himself, escape, find his missing family, and piece together the life he once had that was so unfairly taken away from him.

Frankly with the world going the way it is, with our current obsessive abuses of technology, a world where everything is a game and everything is "real" doesn't strike me as being far fetched. Ever play the computer game Sims? Ever play the social networking juggernaut that is/was Second Life. Ever wished it was more realistic, more encompassing? Well in the world of Gamer you have that option in the form of Second Skin, a world where actors are implanted with chips in their head that basically make them avatars, mindless mannequins where people at home can live out their fantasies through them. Are you a guy that always wished he was a hot babe? Welcome tot he world of Second Skin. It's concepts and story executions like those that raise Gamer from being just another generic action flick to something more. This is a what if world, if Big Brother liked video-games.

If you've seen the two Crank films then you know what you're going to get with Gamer- kinetic high paced action, extreme close-ups, feelings of drug-induced hazes, shaky-cams and extreme amounts of violence and sex. Gamer lives in the excesses of the directors, Neveldine and Taylor's, minds and frankly I wished I was there too. Seriously though, this film is not art, it's not even pop-art, it's stupid mindless brilliance, and I can barely recommend it.

When I first sat down to watch this film, I was expecting a mediocre action flick, with some slick editing (thanks to the directors), some Gerard Butler goodness and some killer Michael C. Hall Dexter creepiness. What I got was a really interesting and fun action flick that was an allegory for our modern way of life. Yes that's right, I said Gamer is an allegory for our modern way of life, the over-emphasis technology has on our lives and the importance we put on our cyber lives rather than our real lives. While I've never gotten into the whole Facebook, Myspace, Twitter revolution that seems to be going on for everyone that I know, I still am guilty of spending hours upon hours online, mindlessly surfing, clicking, typing, and then bam it's night already and where did my day go. Gamer just takes all that, mixes it up in a blender with 2 whole bottles of Vodka, then lights it on fire as you drink it.

You can catch the film on dvd now and I'd at least recommend renting it. Is it any good? No. Is it nicely made and mindless fun? Hell yes. You can enjoy a marathon of excess with the 2 Crank films, this film and end it all with the Italian film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (which is frankly the sickest film I've ever seen). Gamer just messes with your mind the whole time, and if you're like me and love playing first person shooters like Halo and watching hyper chaotic bloody action films, then yeah, check this one out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movie Talkback - Invaders To Appear In Joe Johnsons Upcoming Captain America Movie

Captain America

There's been a lot of new Captain America news hitting the web this past week. Director Joe Johnston has confirmed that The Invaders a WWII superteam that Cap and Bucky are a part of, will be in the upcoming The First Avenger: Captain America movie. In fact according to Johnson, "they'll be in the entire second half." It was rumored last year that The Invaders might make an appearance but now we know they're officially involved. So what does this all mean and who the hell are The Invaders? Just one of the best damn superhero teams ever!

The Invaders are a group of WWII superheroes that were first brought together in 1969 (Avengers Vol.1 #71) by writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema . In addition to Cap and Bucky, they're made up of other various characters like the original android Human Torch, the Torch's sidekick Toro, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and many others that were added later on, but it's the original 5 that form the core of The Invaders. Johnson also confirmed that The Invaders will have six members, which means the sixth member could either be Union Jack, Spitfire, or the Silver Scorpion.

I'm glad we're starting to hear more about the upcoming The First Avenger: Captain America movie. Looks like Marvel are staying true to their roots, having the first Captain America story set in WWII and battling Nazi's and the Red Skull, which will then lead into the present day and the upcoming Avengers movie. Captain America has always been my favorite comic book character of all time and I just might have a heart attack when he's first introduced on the silver screen. It's good to be alive.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Episode 56: From Paris With Love and The Cove

Hello there and welcome to the 56th episode of the Cinema Cafe Podcast, the bi-weekly, twice monthly film podcast by the fans, for the fans. Join us each week as we review new movies releases, look at some dvd's, talk some film news and share our general love for all things cinema. The main goal is to have some fun and hopefully provide the listener with some helpful insight. We are back and the podcasting world is alight once again.

This week we have a treat: it's our 56th episode, which means we've been bringing you "bi-weekly" content for over a year now. This week we take a look at 3 movies that have been recently released or are on dvd. With that said here's a look at what we discuss on this weeks podcast:

* From Paris With Love
* The Cove
* Adventureland
* A look at the 82 Annual Academy Award Nominations
* Upcoming movie releases for the weekend of 2.12.10 and 2.19.10

Also, film news and more, only on the Cinema Cafe Podcast. We hope you enjoy and happy movie watching.

Thanks as always to all our loyal listeners for sharing the ride with us as we've reached this milestone for the show. It's all due to your support that we have kept things going and we hope you continue to share the ride with us in the coming months.

We're now on Itunes so head there and subscribe to the Cinema Cafe Podcast. Thanks!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fantastic Short Film Friday - French Roast (animated)

As we all know, the nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were released this Tuesday. Some shocks, some snubs, but an all around good list, a better list of nominees than I've seen in recent memory. However, the relevant part of the list for this post are the short films nominations. Yes, that means it's time for another installment of Fantastic Short Film Friday. Since it's impossible to find the live-action shorts that have been nominated anywhere online, for the next 5 weeks (if I can find them), I'll be posting up each of the nominees for the animated shorts so everyone can judge for themselves what short deserves the win.

This week I want to showcase the French animated short French Roast directed by Fabrice O. Joubert's with original music score by Olivier Llibountry. If you want more information on the short you can check out the films website here.

Here's the synopsis of French Roast from the films website:

In a fancy Parisian Cafe of the sixties, an uptight businessman is about to pay the check when he finds out that he's lost his wallet. To save time he decides to order more coffee...

I gotta say, I really like this 8 minute short. It has a lot to say about human nature, is wonderfully animated and, hell, it's hilariously absurd in a very French way. So sit back and enjoy a little French Roast coffee.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Movie Review - Planet Hulk (animated)

This 2010 direct-to-dvd animated action film is based on the 2006 Incredible Hulk comicbook storyline of the same name that ran throughThe Incredible Hulk issues 88-95. Basically, all Bruce Banner (human alter-ego of the Hulk) ever wanted was to be left alone, alone with his thoughts and self-pity to what he had become. So a few of his "friends" decide to trick Banner when he's Hulk form and send him to an uninhabited planet where his rage and anger would no longer endanger people. However, when the Hulk discovers their lies, he destroys much of the spaceship he's in, altering it's course and sending him to the planet Sakaar, a type of alien gladiatorial Rome. For the first time in his life, the Hulk is no longer the strongest and is quickly made a slave. Along the way he meets some new warriors that battle alongside him and finally finds a place where he's no longer considered a monster but rather quite possibly, a savior.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Incredible Hulk character first appeared back in 1962 in The Incredible Hulk #1. The character has then appeared in numerous forms of media, from the 1970's television series, to the 1996 animated tv show, to the 2003 Hulk movie to it's 2008 reboot, The Incredible Hulk. However, this new animated movie is new because it's the first time one of Marvel's characters has portrayed in one of the characters modern comic storylines. From Spiderman to Batman, to the Fantastic Four and Superman, all those movies are based on the fundamental iconic comicbook storylines of the characters from the 80's, 70's even 40's. However, the Planet Hulk storyline is relatively new and was used to take the Hulk persona to new heights and character ramifications, an almost reinvention from the slow dumb unhappy Hulk, to the cunning, warrior-king Hulk who has found peace. How he got to that point is the storyline in this dvd.

I'm not a fan of many of the comicbook animated direct-to-dvd movies. They always feel catered to kids (which of course they are), with minimal blood and violence, even if the actual storylines have more mature themes. All that's fine for the target audience, but I've always felt left out from enjoying some of my favorite comicbook character storylines. However, everything changes with this film, which thanfully feels more PG-13 than PG. What I liked so much about the Planet Hulk animated movie is that while great for fans of the comic series, you don't have to have known any previous Hulk backstory to enjoy the movie. It's set up well enough that the movie stands on it's own, and yet it's an almost direct representation of the comic (with naturally, a few things taken out). There's epic battles, action, drama, death, destruction, redemption and did I mention death? Yeah, lots of that. Everything that makes a great comic is all represented here in it's animated glory. The animation is crisp, the dialogue terse yet fitting, everything just feels so fluid that I don't really have anything bad to say about it. It's at a perfect length, 81 minutes, and ends on such a perfect note, hinting at many more stories yet to comel.

While the film may not be for everyone, if you enjoy watching the live-action comicbook films, I do believe you'll really get a kick from watching the Planet Hulk movie. Since this a more modern storyline in the Hulk comicbook, many viewers have never seen a Hulk story like this. I know when I read it back in 2006, I was completly blown away by the new heights they took one of my favorite charcaters. Even better, this is pure Hulk, with his alter ego, Bruce Banner, never making an apperance. While I do enjoy Bruce Banner at times, since he can show some of the human moments (empathy, humanity, etc), what I like best about Hulk is when he smashes things, and damn if he doesn't smash things in Planet Hulk. If like me you thought the other recent animated comic book movies were bland, definitly check this one out because I can promise you, you've never seen Hulk like this before.

On a side note: The director of the film Sam Liu has stated that if this film sells well, there's hope for the Planet Hulk sequels being animated that include World War Hulk and the now ongoing storyline, Fall of the Hulks. Let's hope we can see some more animated Hulk goodness in the near future.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What I Think of: Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland is a 2009 melo-comedy (is that even a real word?) written and directed by Greg Mottola of Superbad fame. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as James Brennan and Kristen Stewart as Em Lewin. The basic premise is that Brennan recently graduated college and is looking forward to backpacking in Europe. His plans fell through and he's back home in Pittsburgh finding a summer job to save up money for grad school in New York. He ends up working at Adventureland, a local amusement park, and befriends the carnies, one in particular catches his fancy, Em. They go through this song and dance with young "complicated" love etc.

This movie received critical acclaim and I don't quite know why. Perhaps I can blame it on the cold I had when I watched it sick in bed but this movie was a bit too slow paced, predictable, and for the life of me, I can't see why it's called a comedy.

My main issue was that I didn't relate to Brennan/Eisenberg, he looked 1. too young to have just graduated college and 2. too awkward. He wasn't even awkward in that lovable way but awkward in the awkward way. And Em was basically an 80s version of Bella a la Twilight. Misunderstood loner. I may be jaded with all the teen movies but I think that's why these types of movies have to work that much harder to gain an audience. It could be just me since everyone loved this movie.

For now, enjoy the trailer.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Movie Talkback - 82nd Annual Academy Awards Nominees

It's that time again, OSCARS OSCARS OSCARS, Sunday March 7th to be exact. Honestly, the truth is, I never really cared who won or lost. I watched the movies I watched regardless if they were nominated or not, and only ever really flipped back and forth during the Oscars just to see what the shows Host might do (Billie Crystal is still the greatest Oscar host ever). However, after staring the podcast I took more of an interest in the nominations and winners, purely for the fact that it's something to talk about on the show. And through that I became more and more interested, so much so that Penny and I now host an Oscar party for our friends where play trivia games, eat and be merry while we all gather itogether n front of the telly to see who wins on Oscar night. The Oscars are still ridiculous, but hey at least I can get a party out of them right? So here's a list of the nominations of most of the categories for this years Academy Awards. Any surprises? Any shocks? Any snubs? I'll go thoroughly through the list on our podcast but I'd love to hear what our listeners think.

Best Picture

The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney, "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan, "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"
Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon, "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Supporting Actress

Penélope Cruz, "Nine"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Mo’Nique, "Precious"

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
James Cameron, "Avatar"
Lee Daniels, "Precious"
Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Original Screenplay

Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker"
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy, "Up"
Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche, "In the Loop"
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, "District 9"
Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious"
Nick Hornby, "An Education"
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air"

Best Animated Film

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

Best Foreign Language Film

El Secreto do Sus Ojos (Argentina)
Un Prophete (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
Ajami (Israel)
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)

Best Art Direction

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

Best Cinematography

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Best Costume Design

Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Young Victoria

Best Documentary

Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

Best Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

Best Makeup

Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

Best Score

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes

Best Song

“Almost There,” The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans,” The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname,” Paris 36, Reinhardt Wagner & Frank Thomas
“Take It All,” Nine, Maury Weston
“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart, T-Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham

Best Sound Editing

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek

Best Sound Mixing

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Best Visual Effects

District 9
Star Trek

Best Documentary Short

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit à la Berlin

Best Animated Short

French Roast
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
A Matter of Loaf and Death

Best Live-Action Short

The Door
Instead of Abracadabra
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants

Movie Talkback - Sony Looks to Reboot Mortal Kombat Franchise

I wonder how many fans still exist of the 1992 video game series, Mortal Kombat. As a kid, I loved playing the original arcade games. While not being technically good as a pure fighting game, they left their mark on the world (and fans) because of their unique fatalities, a finisher each character could perform on their defeated opponent that usually lead to lots of dismemberment and blood and well, more blood. Being a kid I, and many others like myself, was totally blown away by a type of video game I had never seen. Fast forward to 1995 when Paul "Wide-Screen" Anderson (of Resident Evil and Mr. Milla Jovovich fame) directed the first of two Mortal Kombat films. Fans waited with bated breath, lines were around the block as we all entered the movie theaters waiting to see one of our favorite video games come to life. Then Mr. Wide-Screen kicked us all in the balls and gave us a muted PG-13 near bloodless film without the fatalities, not to mention he took our money in the process and made us say thank you. What's the point of releasing a movie based on a video game with it's only saving grace being the "killer moves" without the killer moves? And people wonder why video game adaptations never do well.

Well again, fast forward 15 years later, and Sony Pictures is looking to reboot the franchise with little know screenwriter, Oren Uziel, set to write it. So here is my plea, it's been over 15 years since the original video game came out, no one even really remembers playing the old arcade games, so please for the love of god make it a hard "R" rated movie with killer fatalities or don't bother at all. Why do I bring all of this up? I use this as an excuse to play one of my favorite College Humor videos about the Mortal Kombat video game series and how it's not really a tournament. Enjoy.