15 January 2010


After I am done booing Oliver Stone (just because), here is some nice looking photos, taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. Not her best work but it will do.

This is of course Stone's new movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to his classic from '87.

Story and short video from the photoshoot - here.

Hearing is believing

Here is trailer for Tekken, live action adaptation of popular fighting game. After so many "based on video game" terrible films we have witnessed over the years, I think this one could finally bring the redemption to the fans of such sub genre. Apparently you just need to make sound effects of the punches real enough, and slow motion of course.

13 January 2010

Coco No Gogo

As much as I am on team Conan in this show biz mess (hell, the whole Internet is on team Conan), I am also a bit confused. It's only 30 minutes, Coco, what is the big fucking deal? Things change, this is how it is with everything in the world. Abandoning the show just because "The Tonight Show always starts at 11:35" is not much of excuse, the damage of Conan getting out is worse than the damage of moving the show 30 minutes later. And to hell with Fallon, his show is extremely lame anyway.
US viewers are not the only people watching the show, Conan is the reason viewers in many countries over the world watch it. You are international symbol of comedy, Conan, it's not the time to be selfish. No one gives a fuck when the show starts in US, we just want to watch it. People don't care about reasons and power struggles, they only ask "Where is Conan? Why he is not on our TV like he always is?"
And I get it, almost 50 years of tradition, Johnny Carson, blah, blah, blah. Get over it Conan, take control over your ego and just go with it. You never know, six month later NBC will cancel Leno all together and it's back to 11:35 again.

12 January 2010

Horrorfest is coming, prepare to be scared

After Dark Horrorfest usually brings obscure horror films, not suitable for the wide theatrical release, and most of the time it's for a reason. Because Horrorfest films are largely not good, gently speaking, they suck. Boring stories, bad acting, incompetent directors, you name it. And for most they are already available on DVDs, so why even bother.
But out of eight movies there is always a hope to find one, maybe two, that you can actually appreciate. Last year it was surprisingly nightmarish The Brøken, which I really liked, and my bet this year is on the Hidden (Skjult), Norwegian film that seems to have very unique visuals. The rest seem to be regular violence and torture porn, with crazy rednecks, sadistic killers, brutally slaughtered groups of college kids, pretty girls with big boobs, and some weird ghosts. There is also a nice looking zombie film, so maybe it's the second one.
The trailer for the Horrorfest looks attractive and interesting, this is what happens when you combine all eight films together, but don't expect them to be any good individually.

Few individual trailers are below.

Plans come together for the A-Team

It's the second Liam Neeson item in a row, that must be a... Liam Neeson day. Ha! I am so clever (Seinfeld fans will get it).
The trailer for the upcoming The A-Team leaked online in bad quality last week, but now much better HD version is available. It looks mostly good, realistic and gritty, up till the end. That ridiculous tank thing suddenly takes everything to the whole different place. Too early to judge but it's a warning sign for me.

For some reason that footage didn't bring any nostalgic memory of the original series, that I used to watch every freaking day after school. Maybe it's for the best.

11 January 2010

Amanda Seyfried fans rejoice. Trailer for Chloe is here and she shows some skin!

Amanda Seyfried's stunning looks got her into the fast lane to the Hollywood stardom, constantly growing and dedicated fan base is only helping her to reach there. And now they have even more reasons to admire her. New anticipated thriller Chloe, directed by very well known arthouse director Atom Egoyan, was making festival rounds last year, receiving great reviews and building expectation. Now first trailer appeared on some French website, and so far it looks very good. You can count on Egoyan to deliver credible characters and great drama, and sexual tension in this trailer is just overflowing, jumping from the screen.
The trailer is pretty much self-explanatory, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Seyfried are caught in romantic triangle with unpleasant consequences. Enjoy.

The film is coming out in March.

The Spiderman is dead. Long live the Spiderman.

I guess this deserves a separate "this just in" news item. Official press statement was released by Sony Pictures, announcing that Spider-Man 4 will proceed to production without these three.

This may sound surprising, but thinking again this was in the air and about to happen for a long time. Although I have my sympathy for Sam Raimi, I never understood why did he even enter the franchise, this was clearly not for him from the get go. And as for other two, I had no doubt they were incredibly bad choices, and there are no sentiments for them at all. All three were the reason Spider-Man movies sucked beyond simple suck. Boring and predictable movies, awkward conversations and embarrassing situation, unnatural and cartoonish special effects and anemic, below mediocre actors as leads, without a single drop of charisma or attractiveness, is not how you do epic and pompous superhero summer movie, because even extremely superficial pop product for the masses has its own rules.

So the departure of this group into history's oblivion can only make me happy, but after first reaction of relief, comes next reaction - so what now? As evident from the statement, the franchise will get a reboot, sending Peter Parker back to high-school, which means younger teen actors and suitable "teenagers with problems bigger than life" story line. And I naively though that the light was the end of the tunnel.
Apparently we are headed into much darker times, where Twilight style fandom of screaming teenage girls with unstable hormones is what producers are looking for. Saying that, I kinda beginning to develop strong nostalgy for the original Spider-Man cast, because at least for them I had some kind of opinion. The life experience shows that the future always looks scary, but when it actually arrives it seems less dramatic. In the case of Spider-Man 4, I would say apathy is the only logical outcome. Look, I don't care already.

10 January 2010

09 January 2010

Horror forecast: more blond chicks are expected to die

While nobody expects anything good to come out of the studio headed by Michael Bay, I am still hoping that somehow the re-imagination of the cult A Nightmare on Elm Street will be strong enough to overcome the expected lack of the good script and believable characters, if only due to the presence of iconic Freddy Krueger. But the logic and previous experience with Platinum Dunes production company dictates, that this movie will suck big time, so I am afraid that my hopes are probably for nothing.
In the meantime, here is a behind the scenes look at the upcoming remake.

The poster was created by a fan, you can see his other posters for the movie here.

People in ancient Rome were really photogenic

New show, carrying the epic title Spartacus: Blood and Sand, is about to hit the TV screens in just two weeks. I've already mentioned the show before, and here is the latest trailer for this romantic, sensual and erotic display of extreme violence, brutal murder and blatant injustice.

Second season of the show was already ordered by the broadcasting company Starz.
More video segments, including behind the scenes look and interviews with the actors, on this page.

08 January 2010

Tool Up, Hunny Bunny

Full trailer for Kick Ass hints that maybe Big Daddy is the coolest badass in the film. While everybody just fooling around, he has more serious and destructive approach.
And I just read that 12 years old Chloë Moretz, who plays Hit Girl, completed four months of martial arts training, learning to roll, flip and run up walls. She also learned to assemble and disassemble guns, that in addition to cursing and swearing in the movie like an old sailor. I wonder what she wants to be when she'll grow up?

Wax on, Wax off

They just keep coming. New French trailer for From Paris With Love features action and talking, although now I am not so sure if the dialogs are the strong side of this movie.

Interesting Pics

Love the sad face on T-Rex. More pics below.


05 January 2010

Movies - Last Seen

Short reviews for these films below

Jennifer's Body (USA, 2009)

One of most underrated films of this year, that just went over people's heads. Written by a woman and directed by female director, this film has unique combination of allegorical semantics and Freudian symbolism, and perception of sex and sexuality by teenage girls as its central theme.
Sometimes called a mystery of feminine sexuality, such theme has already received extensive treatment in many films, especially noticing masterpiece Twin Peaks by Mark Frost and David Lynch. And Jennifer's Body resembles this cult series a lot, having many things in common, although not as deep and powerful.
I think the best metaphor was given by the mysterious hole of the Devil's Kettle waterfall, where scientist are throwing different things in it, trying to rationalize such phenomena, but no one really knows where the water goes in the end.
Jennifer's Body is definitely not a horror film and not a thriller, it is more likely to be defined as dark comedy. It is sarcastic and caricature look at the current American society, mocking the superficial and fake sides of it by showing the social rituals people choose to perform when dealing with tragedy, grief, love or trying to achieve success. This film can be very interesting to analyze in depth, I am sure I will be watching it again.
And no review can be completed without saying a few things about acting of Megan Fox. She actually does decent job as demon possessed young girl, she manages to display some sort of vulnerability and complexity, although she is clearly doesn't have wide enough range of expressions and she still not able to take her character to more personal and deeper places, outside of what was written in the script. And her character had potential for that. So she is still far from Amber Heard, and even her co-star Amanda Seyfried feels more natural, but Megan is holding her role very well and absolutely not shaming herself.


Surrogates (USA, 2009)

Wasted opportunity to do something special and only emphasizing the problem with old-minded Hollywood directors, that don't really understand the new forms of filmmaking and themes that interest younger generations.
The movie is completely unbalanced in terms of pace and tempo. Nice idea and well done actions are abruptly interrupted by unnecessary and very silly sentimental moments, the whole movie seems to be cold and mechanical, just like the dolls they use. There is no energy, no charisma, just flat story with outdated message leading nowhere.


Give 'em Hell, Malone (USA, 2009)

The biggest achievement here is the stylish design, creating the feel of old detective story and film noir. Doing all that on the background of modern city is not easy, but the clothes, the hats, the conversations, the attitude, the characters, everything feels like it was taken from the classic black and white Humphrey Bogart movies. Where the hell did they find a coin payphone? A coin payphone!
But the nice atmosphere is spoiled by the significant weakness of the script. The writing techniques are simple and straight forward, the plot information mostly delivered without imagination whatsoever, sometimes completely out of nowhere, just to justify specific turn of events.
Despite some strong moments this film falls short in many things, but still worthy to watch.


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (USA, 2009)

Surprisingly funny and clever, with long running jokes and solid, entertaining and imaginative story. Inevitable weak emotional moments, as suitable for Hollywood product for children, are spoiling a bit the enjoyable experience, but it's forgivable. Overall it's a must for animation fans of all ages, one of the best family movies of last year.


Inglourious Basterds (USA/Germany, 2009)

Even new Tarantino, who is far from being old Tarantino, still makes great movies. Mainly due to the bright and clever dialogs writing and the suspenseful situations he creates for his protagonists. And even if at some point the film indeed heavily drags its feet on the border of the boring, it still manages in the end to be uplifting and leave you with plenty of food for your thoughts.


Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side (USA, 2009)

It's official - Family Guy creators are running out of cultural references. How much Star Wars jokes can you make before it won't be funny anymore? This one hour long and quite accurate re-creation of The Empire Strikes Back is heavy, not funny and just pointless.
Stewie saves the day most of the time, as usual, and toward the end this episode becomes more watchable and slightly enjoyable, but it still not enough to justify the effort. Just stick to the 20 minute episodes, guys, at least in this form the show is still entertaining.


Frozen River (USA, 2008)

Small independent movie, that did some waves back in 2008, and even got the leading actress to be nominated for Oscars for her role.
Working class woman, living near Mohawk reservation with two kids and obsessive gambler husband, that steals her money and runs away, is trying to find enough cash for down-payment for her new house. It leads her to be involved in immigrant smuggling business with local Mohawk woman, who's also got her own problems.
The film is strong and realistic crime drama in the best tradition of independent cinema, and it's really interesting and powerful experience.


Le Monde Vivant (France/Belgium, 2003)

Extremely minimalistic arthouse film with the budget of regular student work. The surrealistic fairytale story about knights and children-eating troll and his wives, was created without visual effects whatsoever, just with dialog and atmospheric images of the nature. To call this film "special" is really not to say a thing, it's completely outside of any current forms of filmmaking. It's short but not too slow, so it's not tiresome and not stretching the limits of patience, and it's smart and philosophical, so it has something to say and make you think. Very unique artistic creation.


Accion Mutante (Spain/France, 1993)

Wild and anarchistic tour de force by cult Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia in his first full length film. Great start followed by absolutely brilliant second half immediately takes this joyful ride into my most favorite movies ever list.

Gang of misfits and mutants in dystopian future kidnap the daughter of important government figure right from her wedding, heading to the distant mining planet with no women on it, to exchange her for a ransom. On the way many unfortunate and equally funny things happen to them and to people they meet, with appropriate levels of violence and black humor, as suitable for such kind of a world.

Pure joy of a film, that now I must have and watch it again and again.


Haeundae (South Korea, 2009)

Greatly disappointing disaster flick. Good premise and long introduction of the characters and their stories makes it look like this film will be actually worth something, but then comes the actual Tsunami and sweeps away all positive things, that were built just before that. Suddenly nice and occasionally humorous dramatic story turns into complete disaster, with long close-ups on crying and screaming faces and with people yelling each others names with desperate physical gestures in slow motion.
People that trying to survive in extremely dangerous situation are not that kind and heroic, at least all that doesn't look so good on the screen. Despite some nice special effects and few good moments this film is complete waste of time.


Whatever Works (USA, 2009)

Funny and intellectual comedy, extremely exaggerated in its sarcastic approach and might seem as misanthropic and hateful toward people, but actually it's very sweet and romantic story about different people seeking simple acceptance and happiness in their lives.
Woody Allen's originally written script from 70's is ten times better than anything he wrote in the last 20 years. Larry David brings his personal cynicism, perfectly combined with Allen's intellectualism, and backed up by great supporting acting ensemble, Whatever Works stirs up and brings back the memories from the classic films of the old filmmaker, making this film his best work in many years.
This is one of these films that will be always pleasant to watch every time.


Antichrist (Denmark, 2009)

If you are looking for linear storytelling with clear cause and effect structured plot and, figuratively speaking, horizontal movement through space and time, then forget it. This is not such movie at all.
Lars von Trier, probably one of the last filmmakers in the world not to bother himself with common movie forms, has more vertical approach, where he goes into the depth of his idea, exploring it level by level, step by step, using metaphors and symbolism created in his sick mind.
Any attempt to apprehend the meaning of his ideas, any attempt to understand the invisible and illusive cognitive connections between his images, to create some kind of an order in this visual chaos, will result in total disorientation.
Nevertheless, I've managed to find in this movie very strong central thought, among many others so wildly intertwined one with another, which is strange interpretation of the Oedipal complex, that differ from the original meaning in psychology studies. But all the elements of it are there, only applied differently and with different consequences.

Anyway, the watching experience is hypnotizing, although incredibly boring as well. But the effects of this film can be only understood once the film is over, when the brain received the whole information and now can treat and interpret it, when pieces of the idea are no longer scattered in random points in time, like during the film, but gathered together in single point. Only then the puzzle is seen as complete picture and only then the first signs of the impact affecting the mind, each person with his own effect.
Von Trier was always great manipulator, but here he surpasses even himself.


Zombieland (USA, 2009)

Not as good as I wanted it to be, and despite great start, awesome finish and one brilliant Bill Murray, most of the film is pretty dull and not interesting at all. Even zombies are lacking menacing presence and just there as another props. Not enough jokes, not enough action, not enough story.


Moon (USA, 2009)

Calm and quiet, interesting and even tragic story about loneliness in space, strength of hope and about breaking the boundaries of human psyche. Didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Small independent sci-fi with great script, top acting and beautifully filmed. Just shows how independent filmmakers deeply care about what they do.


Un Prophete (France, 2009)

No metaphors, hidden meanings, philosophical discussions about human nature or moral preaching. This is simple, yet completely captivating and breathtaking crime drama about young and clueless man in prison, his way of surviving and learning the ways of life. Two and a half hours of this film fly by like nothing.
Directed by French outstanding director Jacques Audiard, who is using his special cinematography style here as well, sort of subjective camera point of view, this film feels unusual and unique on so many levels. European filmmaking at its best.