News – Fall Movie Festivals

The Master, which recently released it’s first full trailer online (that trailer is embedded in this post) has been scheduled for an October release in the U.S. but only in “limited release.” The thought being that writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson would pick a film festival to premiere his film at then set an official U.S. wide release date.

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12 Monkeys Review

“Oh, wouldn’t it be great if I was crazy? Then the world would be okay.” This is a question the lead character, James Cole, asks himself during Terry Gilliam‘s brilliant 1995 film 12 Monkeys. The film is written by David Peoples & Janet Peoples, however Chris Marker also receives a writing credit because it was his 1962 French short film, La Jetée, that this screenplay was inspired by. I have yet to see La Jetée, so I have no basis for comparison between the two films, but from what I’ve read, the basic plot points are the same.

Cole, our hero, is played by Bruce Willis and is living in a post-apocalyptic future where people are “volunteered” to go up to earth, away from their underground shelter and investigate the world, which is now run by animals. Cole, eventually is selected by the people that now oversee “the survivors” as someone that can help them in a more long term solution, maybe even find a cure for the virus that killed the humans in the years 1996-1997.

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The Dark Knight Rises Review

It’s been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and Gotham is trying to move on. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse ever since he took the fall for the death of Dent at the end of Christopher Nolan‘s second in his trilogy of Batman movies, The Dark Knight. Now, Nolan brings us The Dark Knight Rises, which obviously stars Christan Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but also introduces new characters including a new main villain, Bane played by Tom Hardy and Selina Kyle played by Anne Hathaway.

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Romeo + Juliet Review

“Did my heart love ’til now? Forswear its sight. For I never saw true beauty ’til this night.” In 1996, Baz Luhrmann attempted to do the impossible with his film Romeo + Juliet. He attempted to take William Shakespeare’s epic drama Romeo & Juliet and convert it into a modern tale. What’s so impossible about that? He wanted to use a relatively unknown cast, Titanic hadn’t been released yet, and what’s even more astounding, all the dialogue from the movie is from the original Shakespeare play.

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Movie Preview – Oz: The Great and Powerful

The official trailer for Oz – The Great and Powerful was released today. I’m kind of curious about this movie, the premise seems interesting and the cast looks good. It stars James Franco as Oz, Michelle Williams as Glinda, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz. However, after seeing the trailer (plus the fact that it’s being released in March isn’t a good sign) it looks too fantastical, and too much like Alice In Wonderland. I’ll probably still check it out because I’m interested. Honestly, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a big Hollywood movie about this subject already. Here is the premise and the trailer.

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Punch-Drunk Love Review

Adam Sandler has never been better than 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. He was honored for his worked in this film in 2003 by being nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Yes, he’s been funnier, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, even The Wedding Singer had it’s moments, however Punch-Drunk Love is Adam Sandler working as a true dramatic actor, and also lovable when it’s time for him to get the girl. I had seen Punch-Drunk Love a few years ago, but noticed that I had only given it a Netflix rating of 2 Stars, although I thought I remembered liking it more than that. So with all of this The Master hype going on, I’ve been in a P.T. Anderson mood and thought I would give Punch-Drunk love another shot. Continue reading

News – Horrible Bosses Sequel

Interesting news on the Horrible Bosses sequel. According to The Los Angeles Times , an offer has been made to the original film’s director, Seth Gordon to come aboard for the sequel. In January, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the original’s writers were signed for a sequel.

The interesting news is that none of the three stars from Horrible Bosses have been approached. Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis haven’t gotten offers yet. Not that any of those three are highly sought after stars in Hollywood, but it’s seems like you’re putting the ole cart before the horse.

Shame Review

Shame isn’t a film for everyone and I knew that going into it. You can tell just based off of it’s NC-17 rating, which is bestowed upon very few films these days. The official MPAA listing says “Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content.” If it were me, I’d change the word “some” to ” a whole bunch of.” There’s plenty of nudity to go around in this movie, full frontal from lead actor Michael Fassbender to lead actress Carey Mulligan. Basically the point is, this is a movie made by adults, for adults.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the film itself. Michael Fassbender is fantastic as a man, who while on the outside, looks like a successful, handsome, and well put to together man living in New York City. However, he lives a private life as a sexual addict, which means doing all sorts of things from ordering prostitutes, to picking up random women in bars, to using his work computer for pornography. Suddenly, his sister played by Carey Mulligan, decides she needs a place to crash and so she barges in on his private life. As you can expect, things don’t go well from there. The film is co-written and directed by Steve McQueen, with Abi Morgan getting the other writing credit.

There are some brilliant scenes in this movie that I wanted to watch over and over. Particularly, one early on, where Fassbender’s character is riding on a subway car and basically picks up a girl by just staring at her throughout the subway ride. There are no words spoken, just glances and stares back and forth between the two actors. That’s one of the things that I took away from this movie, when they were writing the script they probably told themselves “Less is more.” For instance, late in the movie, there is a climatic scene where someone is in trouble and they need to call for 911 and instead of hearing yelling and crying and talking to the 911 phone call, you just hear the movie’s score. I loved that because we know what the character is saying, why not just make it different by adding a beautiful piece of music over it? It worked really well. Another thing, to notice is McQueen’s use of long takes and lack of coverage in camera set-ups in particular scenes. I noticed two, but if I watched it again I could probably find more. The first date between Fassbender’s character and the woman from the office was all shot from the same camera shot of just the two of them with no cutting. There wasn’t one camera over his shoulder, then another over her shoulder. That means that whole scene was done in one take, however many times they had to do it to get it right. The other time I noticed it was when Fassbender and Mulligan were fighting while watching cartoons on the couch. The camera is constantly behind them just shooting the back of their heads and never leaves until the scene ends. Sorry, I’m a wannabe director/cinematographer so I get excited when I see interesting things like that.

Shame and Fassbender received a fair amount of awards buzz last year, including Fassbender getting a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama and promptly lost to George Clooney for his performance in The Descendants. Shame was a great film that many people will find too graphic and too artistic, however I got lost in the story and found Michael Fassbender’s performance tremendous. I do however, think if they could’ve found a way to cut it to an R rating it would’ve been a more widely accepted movie and something the Academy Awards would’ve looked more closely at. I highly recommend, but make sure the kids aren’t in the room for this one.

4/5 Stars