30 October 2009

Roll Camera

So what's new for HBO? The cable company, that created for us some of the best shows ever presented on TV, is always cooking something. And although the glorious days of The Sopranos and The Wire are long gone, disappeared into nostalgy, and I can't believe they actually turned down Matthew Weiner when he came to them first with idea for his Mad Men, HBO, it seems, still have some gun powder left. True Blood is on the break before returning next summer with even more fucking, but some new shows are up and coming.

First, new war miniseries The Pacific will be aired next year. Expect patriotic speeches, crying mothers and young men with dramatic expressions on their faces trying to hold tears at the funeral, watching their dead friends, killed on heroic mission, buried underground. There is also huge battles with large explosions. Yeah. Second trailer was just released, and here it is.

More interesting project, based on the book by the same name, is Boardwalk Empire, a new series written and produced by Terence Winter, that was involved and wrote many episodes of The Sopranos.

The story is set in the beginning of 20th century in Atlantic city, and follows number of politicians and gangsters, controlling the city, and their interaction in the world of politics and crime. It stars Steve Buscemi in the lead role as corrupted politician, and the first episode was directed by Martin Scorsese, as the filming of that episode happens right now in New York. The first season will include 12 episodes that will air in late 2010.
There is no trailer, but I did find following video with roundup of the HBO's upcoming series, new and returning. There is decent segment inside, as the first look from behind the scenes. I really like what I see there, it could be real gem. And of course the rest of the new shows are definitely worth waiting for.

The man and the vision

Avatar has reached its final lap in the race before release on December 18th, and after years of secrets, rumors and leaked images of set fragments and blurred faces, the promotional machine kicks into high gear and releasing full theatrical trailer and behind the scenes featurette, with interviews, new footage and just general introduction of the story. From now on, we will hear a lot about the film, major magazines will print big stories about it, the actors will appear on the covers and talk shows, saying how great the movie is and what a breakthrough technology was used to film it. Oh well, there is nothing new under the sun.

28 October 2009

Smoking will kill you

Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball is a prequel to the disappointing and empty action mess that was Smokin' Aces a few years back. With low grade director and going straight to DVD release, this one is not suppose to be any better, but just maybe "so bad it's good" rule will apply here. It sure looks very violent and bloody, with many characters from the first film returning to survive another bloodbath.

24 October 2009

Trailers Roundup

Few interesting trailers appeared lately and I didn't have the chance to post them separately, so I gathered all of them together.

First is the new trailer for The Wolfman. Much better and more action packed than previous trailer, and more or less indicates the entertaining intensity of the movie. I still don't care for Emily Blunt though, she reminds me mold piece of cheese with stale taste.

More various trailers are below.


Here is new trailer for Sherlock Holmes, that seems to be misplaced and should be a regular summer movie, but instead it will be a summer breeze in the middle of winter.


Dominic Sena, another average Hollywood director of formula movies, just flopped with Whiteout a month ago, and his next film is another potential disaster with the king of bad movies in the last few years, Nicolas Cage. This time it's a fantasy/horror movie called Season of the Witch, something about medieval knights hunting a witch during Black Plague. The teaser is not very impressive, but maybe it's just poor video quality.


I've already posted about this movie before, and here is new footage from True Legend, a welcome throwback to the wushu martial arts style of the 90's. Great stuff.


Another martial arts film with the scent of 90's is new collaboration between Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, called 14 Blades, which looks like another huge production for the masses.

By the way, don't get me wrong and I love to see sweet Zhao Wei in films, but I am getting the feeling that she's been kinda mistreated in Chinese productions lately. She is a great actress, everyone should see her in excellent Green Tea to fully appreciate her acting abilities, but with all them historical war and martial arts pictures she is doing lately, which are just shallow pop products, I think she is simply wasting away. And her upcoming lead role in over the top patriotic Mulan is not going to make things better.


And martial arts film that is a sequel to one from 90's, but definitely doesn't have the same style, is Storm Warriors. Here the final trailer before the release.


And this is one strange film. Ninjas, sword fights, machine guns, rockets, space ships? Heavily based on computer graphics with the main emphasis on visual side, this attempt to make live action anime looks like a warm and pleasant mess. And the strangest thing is that it's coming from Ireland, out of all possible places. Called The Cup of Tears, and directed by unknown Gary Shore, it looks more like an over stylized music video. I am really curious to see the full movie, although I suspect it will be hard to find any sensible story in there, something that usually happens in such projects.


And now some zombies. Trailer for highly anticipated remake of George Romero's The Crazies is very impressive, bringing back the exciting vibe to the classic "small town in distress" zombie flicks. Great actors and high production values is exactly what zombie movie needs. Going high to my "want to see" list.


Another zombie film, but with very different approach is The Revenant. Apparently there are many ways to explore zombie genre, and this film is taking it to some interesting places. Clearly, as oppose to beat up and washed-up vampire themed abominations, that lost their subversive appeal once vampires became synonym to "stupid teenagers", zombies still remain exclusively in the grown-ups area, simply because no one can make zombies young and sexy. And while shirtless vampires or werewolfs, or whatever, are fighting to win the heart of some dumb chick because this is what they usually do, looking to fall in love, zombies are slowly overtaking serious movies that actually worth seeing. And this is one of them.

Official website - here.


And the last one is animated feature from Argentina Boogie, El Aceitoso, which can be translated as The Slick Boogie (?). Based on the works of famous Argentinian cartoonist and writer Roberto Fontanarrosa, the story is about Boogie, a ruthless mercenary killer who seems to feel utter contempt for everything and everyone. An American veteran of the Vietnam war, Boogie does everything for money.
I am guessing that through all that machoism, sexism and racism that this character possesses, Fontanarossa was expressing his criticism of US, and though I am not familiar with the original comics, it seems that it was filled with political context. Through the volumes of the comics, the character of Boogie and his attitude were changing, and since he is lovable character after all, I think there was more that merely anti-American lashing and the whole thing was more complex that it may appear.
Anyway, judging from the trailer the film seems to have some of that misanthropic and racist tone, but also dark humor and bad ass attitude. Offensive but fun, and with a bit of luck it will be also as charming as South Park. I like it already.

Official website - here.

Chasing Storms

The Balloon Boy controversy is still hot topic in the news, with latest confirmations that it was a hoax after all, like many suspected. And as any other big story, suddenly all kind of weirdos are popping out of nowhere, claiming they know the Heene family and how the Balloon Boy's parents are desperately trying to get attention to themselves. Whether it's their neighbors or old co-workers, all these clowns, so easy to jump on this wagon, are clearly missing the sad irony in their actions, and I am really glad there are some people that pointing that out.
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel did just that, but not as some simple joke for the audience like Leno would, he actually invited one of such idiots to his program and simply laughed to his face.
Watch this nice display of sarcastic abuse inflicted upon unsuspected celebrity wannabe Perry Caravello, that even got his name intentionally misspelled, who just didn't know what hit him. The clip is edited because there were number of stops during this interview, when Kimmel, that couldn't keep his face straight himself, was just talking about something else and making Caravello wait, which made the whole thing even funnier.

20 October 2009


AMC cable channel, responsible for such excellent original series like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, is about to present The Prisoner, this time six episode miniseries, to air at November 15th through 17th. This is a remake of the British cult series by the same name from the 60's, and is about "A man, that finds himself inexplicably trapped on the remote island known as The Village, with no memory of how he arrived there. As he explores his environment, he discovers that his fellow inhabitants are identified by number instead of name, have no memory of any prior existence, and are under constant surveillance. Not knowing whom to trust, he is driven by the need to discover the truth behind The Village, the reason for him being there, and most importantly -- how he can escape."
I am not familiar with the original, but I do like the retro sci-fi vibe coming from this one. I guess I can trust it to be interesting event.

Official website with more info and video clips.

18 October 2009

Second Squad

The official Twitter page of the First Squad, has some interesting information. Apparently the film was originally planned to be a 13 episode OVA with larger story arc, but eventually it was decided to make it a movie. The creators are not letting their offspring go away so easy, so they are planning three more sequels, while the script for the second film is already completed and the production will begin this winter. The sequel will be in horror genre, at least they will try to make it a horror. I am not sure what they mean by that, but it sounds exciting.

The Wall of Tears

Finally I've got the trailer for Kirot, new crime thriller flick from Israel, starring Olga Kurylenko. The movie had a world premiere last month at Toronto film festival and received OK reviews. It is the second feature film of the young Israeli director Danny Lerner, who made a minor international splash with his debut film Frozen Days back in 2005.
Genre cinema is not very strong in Israel, where filmmakers prefer the festival circuit over commercial success. Numerous Israeli dramas participate in film festivals all over the world, winning prizes and making mild controversies. A year ago it was animated Waltz with Bashir, very interesting movie with great animation style, and the latest example is Lebanon, which won a month ago the main prize at Venice festival, making Israeli cinema a strong festival player. And it's just two examples, there are many other similar success stories as well, but when it comes to commercial success and drawing viewers to the theaters, all these films prove to be less than impressive.

With that in mind Lerner is trying to win both worlds, having the cake and eating it too, so to speak. Big caliber world star like Kurylenko promises attention, dark and gritty violent action style with gun play and powerful attitude promises appeal toward the young film loving crowd, and the use of English language is desperately trying to appeal to international viewers. Although it is not clear to me why such effort didn't include English diction lessons for the actresses, because it's not so easy to understand what they are saying. Despite obvious lack of experience in number of key areas and not enough creative thought to turn this movie into really attractive product, the film looks good. I am trying to ignore a bit banal story and strong amateurish feeling coming from this film, because after all the trailer creates some sort of an interest.

Kurylenko plays young Ukrainian woman, that finds herself forced to work as prostitute by criminal organization and trying to return back home to her daughter. She is living across the hall from young Israeli woman, a grocery-store clerk and battered wife who dreams of fleeing her abusive husband. A connection is created between two women, both on emotional and physical levels, a connection that empowers them to stand up against their abusers and fight back.

Bread and Circuses

Full trailer for Russian superhero blockbuster Black Lightning, produced by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. Lots of action and special effects are trying to conceal thin and predictable plot, not so funny jokes. A breakthrough in Russian big budget commercial cinema? Should Hollywood start envying? I don't think so. After Interceptor opened a week ago with loud box office failure and overwhelming poisonous reviews, combined with sweeping negative response from the viewers, no one should be confident about this one, although I am pretty sure Black Lightning will do much better in both areas.
I've updated the trailer with better quality video and added subtitles.

Previous posts about the film - here.

Fantastic Mr. George

George Clooney, you fucking bastard...

15 October 2009

Omens and Divinations

"A story breaking now, as emergency crews are following the helium balloon drifting hundreds of feet in the air, believing that 6 years old Falcon Heene is trapped inside the box attached to it. Falcon's older brother told the parents and the police that just moments before the sudden lift-off of the balloon he saw him climbing inside."

"Never cry wolf" said James Cole, while Dr. Kathryn Railly was driving her car on the way to Philadelphia to find an Army of Twelve Monkeys. "I remember being very afraid for that little boy. All alone in that shaky balloon, cold and hungry... First time I was really afraid when I was a kid."
"What do you mean, when you were a kid?" asked him Dr. Railly with disbelief.
"Never mind, just a prank, a hoax. That boy is hiding in a attic."

We are all doomed.

Maybe we should say a prayer

It will be a long wait until Mel Gibson directs another movie, and after he raised the bar with his terrific Apocalypto, he will have to try very hard to match that level.
But in the meantime he can roll back to his "devoted father" image, that he does so well, and his "lets kick some ass with sorrow on my face" movies, that he also does so well. After tough few years and number of ugly incidents, including drunk driving, antisemitic slurs and divorce from his wife, I guess Mel deserves to catch a break.
In the Edge of Darkness he plays a homicide detective Thomas Craven, that investigates the death of his activist daughter, and uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government conspiracy. Sounds familiar? It's like a mash-up of his previous movies. Again he loses a member of his family, again some secret conspiracy, again he is fighting alone against the whole world.
Oh well, lets not get petty on him, besides, awesome Ray Winstone and cool Danny Huston are in the film, so you know, open mind.

Now it's a party

French media giant Canal Plus visited the set of Iron Man 2, when they were still filming the movie, and now have some exclusive look behind the scenes and interviews with Favreau and Downey Jr.

14 October 2009


Adrift is new Vietnamese film that made festival rounds in the last year, including Venice, Toronto and London. The movie is a mix of stories about lives and sexual desires of different people, trying to find their own way in life. The movie explores forbidden and controversial themes in the changing society of current Vietnam, exposing the conflicts between conservative traditional morals and contemporary temptations. The cast includes popular and familiar Vietnamese actors.
Although it looks like a slow and atmospheric drama, the movie seems to be interesting and meaningful insight, relevant to lives of people in other parts of the world as well.

13 October 2009

Live long and have fun

Star Trek is out on DVD and Blu-ray on November 17th and will include extra features, for example like the following footage of bloopers and goofs on the filming set. And by the way, the 4Gb USB drive on the picture is real and is part of the merchandising, it will be sold for $29 with the movie on it.

I Like Fire

January Jones (Miss Betty Draper for you) is the new cover girl for GQ.

Easily most interesting character in Mad Men, well, at least for me, she had great second season, showing her wide range acting abilities and developing Betty into mature and real person. She has less impact in the current season, but it is still interesting to follow her.
Full story in GQ magazine you can read here, and even though the interview is not very deep, just a simple overview of her life, she seems to come out as a nice and pleasant young woman. At some point, when the interview goes to silly and pointless place she says: "What am I even saying? These are just ridiculous sound bites that you’re going to put in the caption next to me being naked". I guess she knows exactly where she stands.

12 October 2009

Wild adventures of Leopold Stotch

I missed it last week, but the freaking South Park is back! The remaining episodes of the 13th season will be aired in the next months and with new Family Guy episodes airing as well it just can't be better for the animation fans.
Here is a sneak peek to the next episode Butters' Bottom Bitch, in which Butters is preparing to kiss a girl for the first time, and overly dedicated cop wages war on rising prostitution in South Park.

11 October 2009

Slow Motion

Bullets hitting stuff, shot on special HD cameras at 1 million (!) frames per second.

09 October 2009

Interesting pics

More strange and fail, but always funny pics below.