Sunday, December 30, 2007

East Coast/West Coast Holiday Truce!

DCD, Julie, Octo, JPX and Whirlygirl decided to call a temporary peace-gathering to celebrate Little Z! And generally get drunk (except for Julie) and silly with Holiday Cheer.

A wonderful time was had by all. And before we get back to blasting those West Coast wussies, I would just like to say Happy New Year everyone!

Blade Runner- The Final Cut

(2007) *****

I don't remember much talk on the blog about this new version of Ridley Scott's dystopian sci-fi classic. Husband and I went to see it last night at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge (an old-timey, not-for-profit theater with popcorn buttered and salted to order). Having more or less grown up on the original version and having also seen the "director's cut" many times, I wasn't at all sure what to expect.

Watching this version of the movie for the first time on the big screen, I was just blown away. The Final Cut is visually gorgeous and noir to the bone. We are given a cleaner, clearer, more persuasive context for the plot, both visually and thematically. I was impressed anew by every component of the film.

Both husband and I thought the "Is Deckard a replicant?" question was answered in this version. Just for the sake of discussion I tried to make a case for lingering ambiguity but husband shot me down.

Perhaps I was lulled into complacency by the real butter on my popcorn, but I found Blade Runnner- The Final Cut (2007) to be a true masterpiece. Try to see it on the big screen.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cartoon Characters' Religions

Check out the religious affiliations of cartoon characters.

I'm on a posting rampage. But lately, there just seems to be a lot of stuff on Friendly Atheist that would interest you folks.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dangit! This has been discontinued.

Now what can I ask for for Christmas?

Huh? Answer me, Jesus!

Merry Christmas and Happy Life Day everyone!

Sacha Baron to kill off Borat; Ali G?

NEW YORK (AP) - Borat is dead.

Sacha Baron Cohen tells The Daily Telegraph that he's retiring the clueless Kazakh journalist, as well as his alter ego, aspiring rapper Ali G.

"When I was being Ali G and Borat I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing," the 36-year-old actor-comedian says in the British newspaper's Friday edition.

"It is like saying goodbye to a loved one. It is hard, and the problem with success, although it's fantastic, is that every new person who sees the Borat movie is one less person I 'get' with Borat again, so it's a kind of self-defeating form, really."

Baron Cohen brought Borat Sagdiyev - an anti-Semitic buffoon in search of Pamela Anderson - to the masses last year with his smash comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." He first introduced the character on "Da Ali G Show," which was carried in the U.S. on HBO.

"It's much easier for me to be in character and it's a lot more fun," he says. "If I'd done the entire promotional campaign for (the 'Borat' movie) as myself it wouldn't have developed in the same way."

Baron Cohen - not Borat - can be seen as a singing barber in Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd," co-starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

His spokesman, Matt Labov, did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages by The Associated Press seeking comment on the "deaths" of Borat and Ali G.

Authentic Whoville Tree

From x-entertainment, Hey, remember that Charlie Brown Christmas tree replica I
wrote about last year? Well, Urban Outfitters is at it again, this time with the "Authentic Whoville Tree," from Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Since it's already a few dollars cheaper than Chuck's older model, I guess my initial reaction was on the money: A Whoville tree probably isn't iconic enough to drive anyone batty with joy.

The novelty tree is around two feet tall, with the correct bunch of stringed ornaments, curvable branches, and a perpetual drooping tilt. The only problem is that…well, if I didn't tell you that it was a Whoville tree, would you have known? Maybe, but most wouldn't: They'd just think it was an ugly, misshapen fake tree picked up from a closeout outlet. That's not the kind of impression I want to make for twenty bucks, so it's fortunate that I have no friends and nobody will see this thing on top of my wall unit.

I exaggerate. I consider the UPS man my friend. And maybe the casino host at Bally's.

They're especially nice if you have an errant corner shelf just waiting for the right objet d'art. We don't have such a corner shelf, but I like it well enough anyway. It's kooky. Slanted trees are kooky!

Trailer Park of Terror

From moviesonline, Six troubled high school students and their chaperon, an optimistic youth ministries Pastor, return from an outdoor character building retreat in the mountains. During a raging storm, their bus crashes, hopelessly stranding them in the middle of the Trucker's Triangle, a forgotten locus of consummate evil in the middle of nowhere. The hapless group seeks shelter for the night in a seemingly abandoned trailer park they find down the road. However, when the sun sets, it's not refuge they find. Instead, terror finds them in the form of Norma, a damned redneck reaper with a killer body who dispenses vengeance and death aided by her cursed companions, a bloodthirsty brood of Undead trailer trash..

The worst movies of 2007 according to EW

I Know Who Killed Me

Go here for EW's list.

After a little digging JPX find The Hottie and the Nottie trailer; it's real, folks!

Click here if you dare!

Oh my God, extended trailer for LOST season 4 will give you chills!

If you're all caught up on LOST go here, otherwise stay clear!!!

How will I ever get this "action figure" into my Batmobile?



He promised us that he'd be back

From filmstalker, It seems like Arnold Schwarzenegger could be returning to Hollywood as early as 2011 according to news from the picket line and his spokesperson at the Governor's office.

It's very clear that he's not so keen on keeping his political career going, so there goes that idea of Schwarzenegger being President or sitting on the Senate, but the word seems to be out that he's looking for projects.

According to the gossip from high profile action writers across the strike line, agents have been making enquires pre-strike for projects that Arnie could be attached to, here's the word from Past Deadline through The Hollywood Reporter:

"A few high-profile writers of action films who wished not to be ID'd (you know how that is) were heard conferring that before the strike hit, agents were putting out feelers for material and pitches to develop projects with Schwarzenegger in mind. Nothing specific yet. All just preliminary stuff."
Now at the moment that's just hearsay, but Ray Richmond went a little deeper and tried to get hold of Arnie's agent. That was a no go since he was out of town on holidays, but his political spokesperson wasn't, and when Richmond talked to him he agreed to run it by his boss, and here's what he got back:

"Once the governor's current term is up, he may go back to the movies, or devote energy to business, or continue working on environmental issues, or run a foundation -- or start painting!...But the governor has decided nothing final as yet and is devoting his energy to the job of running the state."
So Richmond pressed him on the fact that the statement hadn't included a political option, was he aware of that? The answer was a simple yes.

Wow, that certainly looks like no more politics, and if there is genuine talk along the picket line that Arnie is out looking for projects, then this could be a big return. Unfortunately Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is due out in 2009, so there's a bit of a gap there, however here's a possibility.

He could do a cameo in the first film of the new trilogy, or skip it entirely, and then appear in the second. After all the timeline could be right for the machines/John Connor sending him back for one of the other films. What do you think?

Regardless of that the article ponders the possibility that Arnold Schwarzenegger is interested in returning because his old action pals are doing so well right now, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, and even Harrison Ford is proving that age isn't a problem.

Could we be seeing Arnie back? Do we want to?

Take a Look

From filmstalker, The trailer for Look uses a very inventive and everyday piece of equipment, the surveillance camera, to reveal a group of stories from the secrets of American life.

According to the film blurb, thirty million surveillance cameras now produce more than four billion hours of footage every week with the average person being filmed some two hundred times a day, and that's in the United States alone. Look uses this medium to reveal a group of interweaving storylines.

Adam Rifkin's Look has been gathering some praise for the inventive way it tells five separate stories. Using the points of view of surveillance cameras he follows several storylines in a random week, in a random city, storylines which connect and pass each other, and are all caught on camera. Someone is watching.

From the blurb:

A high school English teacher tries his best to be a decent husband; a department store floor manager uses the warehouse for more than just storage; a Mini-Mart clerk has big dreams; a lawyer struggles with a sexual dilemma; and two sociopaths thrive on ruining the lives of random strangers.
Not only is this an inventive piece of drama, but it also looks set to remind you that you're being watched continuously, and if someone could piece together the footage or even had the time to watch, what would they see? What would they see of your private life, a life that you thought was lived without anyone seeing?

You can see the trailer over at Apple Trailers [Quicktime:iPod:L].

This does look like it has the potential to be very strong, particularly with the way it could make you think about your own privacy and just who is looking, and how often.

However it also needs to be carefully cut, and the footage worked hard on to make it look like it's a secret camera and not a film camera trying to look like a secret camera - something that I've seen in films before and has often given the wrong effect. From the word so far though, it's done that well.

Look at it here

Cloverfield TV spot

From CHUD, Yesterday we showed you the first TV commercial from Cloverfield, and some folks on our message board commented that it didn't seem like the spot was selling the monster. Well, Paramount ain't that dumb - they've got a second spot and it's all about the monster. It's mostly iterations of the same footage we've seen, but this does include something new - a woman who has been bitten and then explodes. That's actually not totally new - when I ran my trailer description I thought I saw two little monsters tearing this woman apart when it was in fact two guys in hazmat suits around here as she explodes - but in this commercial we hear a guy shouting 'A bite! We've got a bite!' and then everybody else in this makeshift hospital tent freaks out.

I think we're mostly out of the viral marketing woods, and I'm glad to see strong, attention grabbing, Mr. Voice filled commercial selling the movie in the right way.

See spot here

The Ruins looks creepy

From worstpreviews, The trailer for the horror film "The Ruins" has been released. The story revolves around a group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist, embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.

The trailer doesn't show what exactly lives in the ruins, but an article in USA Today revealed that the villain of the movie is a plant. As the resilience of the characters is worn down, the plant reveals itself to be more of a foe. A foe with intellect and abilities beyond those of the average Venus flytrap.

Check out the trailer here

Bond Taking On Three Villains This Time

From cinemablend, We all know that it didn’t turn out well for Spider-Man 3 when it chose to include three villains, but Bond 22 might be headed the same direction when it comes out next November. Mexican actor Joaquin Casio told the Mexican newspaper El Diario (as reported by that he has been cast as General Medrano, Bond’s enemy in Latin America. This in addition to Mathieu Amalric and Anatole Taubman, European actors who are already confirmed cast members.

Casio also said he would be filming in Bolivia, which adds another location to Bond’s globe-trotting shoot. Taubman will be joining him there, according to Commander Bond, which indicates the two baddies will be in cahoots. I mean, aren’t most Bond villains usually in cahoots anyway?

I’m late to the news that Amalric, who is currently in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, will be playing a baddie; I loved him in Diving Bell, and kind of relish the idea of what he could do with a super-villain rather than a paralyzed man. Also, given that Bond movies usually have plots far more complex and intertwined than any given superhero epic, I’m assuming they can do what Spider-Man 3 couldn’t and actually make this one coherent.

Vatican Still Hates Golden Compass

From cinemablend, The Vatican continued to bring attention to something they hope will go away by exulting in the poor box office showing of The Golden Compass. The official Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano wrote an editorial hoping that the reception the fantasy movie has received will force New Line to stop plans to make the next two movies in the trilogy. “If that should happen, it wouldn’t be a big loss.” God himself (or herself, or itself) did not comment on the record, but has previously noted that there are just too many of these movies with talking polar bears and the line has to be drawn somewhere.

In a repeat of the comments made before the movie was released, the l’Osservatore said that the movie was “the most anti-Christmas film possible”. They have obviously never seen that terrible Christmas movie with Ben Affleck. You know, the one where he is hit by a shovel. That made me want to give up Christmas altogether. The newspaper also said the film was “devoid of any particular emotion apart from a great chill.” Something tells me these guys won’t be buying the special edition DVD.

All that needs to be said about this has probably been said. Kicking a film when its down is kinda bad sport and a little more Christian charity is probably called for. That said, I don’t have any problem with the Vatican or anyone else being against a film and trying to convince people not to see it and being happy when they don’t. The author of the series, Phillip Pullman, wrote about the beliefs these people hold in a negative and derisive way and people have a right to take offense. Either way, let’s all hope that the God of your belief gets something else to focus on before the next movie shows up…if it does.

Cool trailer but terrible poster!

See creepy trailer here

'Sweeney Todd': A sharp adaptation with a comedic edge

By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY
There will be blood — seeping, spurting and splattering — in this mesmerizing and highly entertaining film adaptation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
But unlike more realistic violent fare, the gore in this gloomy Gothic marvel feels exaggeratedly theatrical and a vital part of the melodramatic mayhem. Sweeney Todd is the perfect marriage of filmmaker and material. Director Tim Burton has adapted Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical in a darkly clever and comical fashion.

Johnny Depp is ideally cast as the barber who transforms himself from the embittered, falsely imprisoned Benjamin Barker to the demonic, vengeful Sweeney Todd. He's undeniably one of the best actors of his generation, and there are hints of his past collaborations with Burton in his performance. You'll catch glimpses of Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Victor from The Corpse Bride.

The production design is intriguingly monochromatic and grimly gorgeous. The musical numbers play out compellingly. It's notable that some of the best musical performances are by actors who are not trained singers, such as Depp, Alan Rickman (as the nefarious judge who preys upon the barber's wife and daughter) and Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen, as Pirelli, a flamboyant Italian barber and Todd's archrival, nearly steals the show.

Rounding out the cast is Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. The musical interlude in which she decries her inedible meat pies and rhythmically swats away large insects is a hoot.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Johnny Depp | Sweeney Todd | Stephen Sondheim | Edward Scissorhands | Helena Bonham Carter | Corpse | Fleet Street | Pirelli | Demon Barber | Mrs. Lovett
After escaping from 15 years in prison, Barker is intent upon wreaking vengeance on Judge Turpin (Rickman) and his sycophantic henchman, Beadle Bamford (Timothy Spall), who sent him away on a trumped-up charge in order to steal Barker's wife (Laura Michelle Kelly) and baby daughter, Johanna.

For the rare person who is not familiar with the squeamishly funny plot, set in the late 1700s, the real fun begins when Barker/Todd panics and slits the throat of Pirelli after he threatens to reveal Todd's true identity as an escaped prisoner. Mrs. Lovett, ever lamenting the high price of meat, sees the fleshy corpse as an opportunity to augment her pie fillings. Thus, her meat pie business is rejuvenated as a result of Todd's murderous barbering enterprise. The musical crescendos on a wave of witty cannibalistic references, including the best production number, A Little Priest.

Fleshing out the cast is Toby (Edward Sanders), Pirelli's former child assistant who ends up helping Mrs. Lovett in her thriving pie establishment.

There also is a romance between Johanna (Jayne Wisener), now a young lady, and a young sailor (Jamie Campbell Bower). It's an emotional story about the madness of revenge, but the romantic elements are a distant second to the tale's horrific goings-on.

Burton's fascination with the macabre and the mischievous has found a perfect outlet in this lavish Grand Guignol slaughterfest.

Sweeney Todd is a bloody good, even haunting, re-imagining of the Broadway musical, with its emphasis on the jugular, not the heart.

'Book of Secrets' is for 'Treasure' hunters

By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY
For those who like their history lessons light and airy and infused with a generic sense of excitement, there's National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
This movie and its 2004 predecessor, National Treasure, offer nothing challenging or stimulating (and may play fast and loose with historical accuracy), but they provide audiences with a sense that they have learned a thing or two. Whether they have or not is immaterial. What these movies really are about is a kind of retro escapism, a family-appropriate adventure saga that just wants to entertain, not break new ground.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who seems to have the Midas touch in a multitude of venues, has cleverly hit on a hit formula: old-fashioned entertainment with modern production values and underlying themes of patriotism and family loyalty. The movies don't stint on the excitement expected in the action-adventure genre — harrowing car chases, perilous stunts — but they have a wholesome quality lacking in current mainstream fare. A Disney action film with a PG rating is a sure winner, particularly for the holidays.

There's nothing new or terribly creative about these movies, but they follow a pattern that diverts and satisfies audiences.

Nicolas Cage reprises his role as treasure hunter Ben Gates, as does Jon Voight, who plays his historian father, Patrick Gates. Diane Kruger is back as his love interest, as is Justin Bartha, as sidekick Riley Poole. New to the genre are Ed Harris, as a villainous antiquities dealer who wants to drag the Gates name through the mud, and Helen Mirren, as a linguistic professor who also happens to be Ben's mother and Patrick's contentious ex-wife.

This tale focuses on a missing page in the diary of John Wilkes Booth that implicates Ben's great-grandfather in Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Ben is hell-bent on restoring his ancestor's reputation and endures a series of close calls and near-escapes to do so. Bruce Greenwood plays the U.S. president, who figures into the proceedings in a far-fetched way. Greenwood ought to just throw his hat into the ring for 2008 since he seems to be filmmakers' go-to guy for residence in the White House.

This sequel is what you would expect: If you liked the original, you'll probably enjoy this retread. But be warned: It bogs down in a drawn-out scene near the end. There's certainly nothing to treasure about this movie, but if a popcorn movie with moderate intrigue and occasional humor is what you're after, this is just the ticket.

Hellboy 2 trailer

Go here for trailer.

Cuteness overload!!!

I wonder what the duck is thinking?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

AM Poster Post: 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' Bursts with Comedy

From iwatchstuff, Sometimes a movie is so engorged with raw comedy that it transcends its own wallpaper-style poster, bursting through it with hilarious props, the gut-bustingly funny yet critical, uneven eyebrows of The Rock, and Adam Sandler. So much hilarity simply can be held within the thickness of a sheet of glossy paper, and Sandler dares you to stare down the glowing, strangely-cordless barrel of comedy. Will you dare? Warning: daring will cost you around $11, and provides about the same level of fulfillment as a saltine.

'Kung Fu Dunk' Trailer Like 'Shaolin Soccer', Only Basketball

From iwatchstuff, Kyle, who sent this in, described it as "Shaolin Soccer - Soccer - Stephen Chow + basketball," (i.e., basketball, but with near-flight and the ability to run so hard that your shoelaces snap) and that pretty much sums it up. The only thing I have to add is that I was pretty disappointed a movie called "Kung Fu Dunk" wouldn't involve Shaq.

Check it out here

What the hell?

From moviesonline, We just got the poster for Hottie & The Nottie from IMPAWARDS. This wonder film stars Paris Hilton so be sure to go get in line now for this future classic. The plot from IMDB goes like this; Nate (Joel David Moore) moves to L.A. to track down Cristabel (Hilton), the woman he's been in love with since childhood, only to discover that his plan to woo her only has one hurdle to overcome: what to do with June (Lakin), Cristabel's ever-present, not-so-hot best friend? What's even more complicating is Nate's growing feelings for June, whose true beauty starts to emerge. Poster is below.

Janine Turner became a nut

Surprise! The 45-year-old blonded devout Christian turned up at a film screening in NYC on Tuesday, looking like a young Carol Channing.

It's funny how "devout Christian" = crazy eyes

Stan Lee gives updates

From collider,

Collider: I was just going to ask but like do you have a preference with all the Marvel characters being made into big movies, are you hopeful for one character that hasn’t been done…?

Stan Lee: They’re all being done. Every one of them. I can’t think of an important Marvel that isn’t being primed for a movie.

Collider: Well, let’s talk about… there was a sort of joke and then it became sort of serious online about Power Pack or like a kids kind of Marvel thing?

Stan Lee: They’ve been talking about…now they’re not working on it but they have been discussing whether to do it—Power Pack.

Collider: So is it really going to be… we’re going into the vault and we’re taking it all?

Stan Lee: Yeah, they’ll be doing “Submariner”, “Captain America”, “The Avengers”, “Nick Fury”, “Shields”.

Question: And you’re going to star in every single one of them.

Stan Lee: Well, sure they want people to come to the theatre.

Question: You’re going to be the ‘Submariner”…you’re going to be all of them.

Stan Lee: No, but I’m going to do a cameo. I’ll probably be one of the fishes.

Collider: So what was your reaction…have you actually…has Jon showed you any of the footage of “Iron Man”?

Stan Lee: No. I haven’t seen it.

Collider: Now, you’ve heard though that Sam Jackson is playing “Nick Fury”?

Stan Lee: He’s a great guy. I met him the other night in Las Vegas. What a nice guy. I can’t think of a better guy to be “Nick Fury” than Sam Jackson.

Collider: Are you hopeful that that’s going to be possibly one of the sooner than later of the films to come?

Stan Lee: I don’t know because I don’t know their schedule and they can only do so many at a time. But it will come whether it’s earlier or…I hope they’ll all be…I wish they’d all come out at one time. I mean, I love them and I can’t wait but it’s up to the studio to determine. I have nothing to say about when they come out.

Goofy's back

From cinemablend, I’m not sure this is news, but it’s a good excuse to talk about how much I love John Lasseter. I saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Disney’s latest live action blockbuster, at an advance press screening tonight. The movie was entertaining, but it was completely outdone by something that came before it: A brand new, animated Disney short starring Goofy.

The short will apparently be playing before all showings of National Treasure. It’s all part of the new attitude of Disney that Lasseter is pushing. By new attitude I mean remembering that they’re Disney and getting back to doing all the things that made us love the Mouse in the first place. Awful direct-to-DVD sequels is not one of those things, but cartoon shorts starring Micky, Goofy, Donald and the gang definitely are.

It really kicked off earlier this year with the showing of a classic, old school Chip n’ Dale short before Meet the Robinsons. Lasseter’s way of giving a nod to classic Disney. But this is a brand new short starring Goofy… how long has it been since Disney made one of those?

And the short, as you’d expect, is hilarious. It’s called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”, and it’s a riff on one of those old style instructional videos, the type of parody Disney used to do so well in their animated shorts. It’s also in old fashioned, 2-D animation, and utterly entertaining. They’ve taken classic Disney style and meshed it with modern technology problems to create a genuinely funny piece of film in which Goofy struggles to navigate his way through setting up the ultimate home video system. There’s an awful lot of cables.

When it’s over and the big, grand Disney logo rolls out on screen to start Book of Secrets, suddenly seeing Goofy beforehand makes Cinderella’s castle just a little bit shinier. And we owe it all to John Lasseter, the guy who is saving Disney. Thanks John. We love you.

Even if you’re not interested in seeing National Treasure: Book of Secrets this weekend, buy a ticket or sneak in to the beginning for the big screen return of Goofy. It’s good to have Disney back.

AVP-R bad?

From cinemablend, If you’ve somehow deluded yourself into thinking the new Alien vs. Predator sequel will be better than the first one, you might want to reconsider. Fox confirmed to us today that Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem is not being screened for the press.

You’re probably thinking: Well who cares if those bloated, spoiled film critics get to see it early? You should actually. When a studio hides their film from reviewers, it means they don’t have any confidence in it. It almost means even they know it’s bad, and they’re hoping to leak it out into theaters and earn a massive opening box office before the ill wind starts blowing. If the studio releasing it doesn’t have any confidence in AVP-R, then perhaps you shouldn’t either.

But for those of you who refuse to be swayed from this ill-timed, holiday gore-fest, in lieu of letting anyone review it Fox will be sending AVP-R out to special midnight screenings the night/early morning before it’s release on Christmas Eve. That’s right, instead of staying home to dress up in a Santa suit and deliver presents, you can hop in your car, drive to a movie theater, and watch a predator decapitate someone. Much as I think the movie will suck, I’ve gotta say, that sounds like a pretty great way to celebrate Christmas.

Unfortunately, you can only be a part of it if you live in New York or Los Angeles. Here’s what Fox’s official press release has to say about the upcoming AVP-R “Christmas Eve Midnight Mass-Acre”:

This Christmas Eve, as millions around the globe raise their voices in praise at midnight masses, New York City and Los Angeles-based fans of the iconic Alien and Predator can experience a very different take on the ritual… at special Midnight Mass-acre showings of AVP-R.

The events follow on the heels of Twentieth Century Fox servicing to press a special holiday gift: an AVP-R Christmas ornament promising that “This Christmas, there will be no peace on Earth.”

There’ll be little peace – but much fan anticipation – at the two Midnight Mass-acre locations: Hollywood’s renowned Chinese Theatre and New York’s Regal Union Square Stadium 14. The first 100 diehards in line at each Midnight Mass-acre will get a special stocking stuffer – commemorative shirts emblazoned with “I Survived Midnight Mass-acre Christmas Eve 2007.”

Raimi drags us to hell

From variety, After helming three "Spider-Man" films, Sam Raimi will return to his genre roots to direct "Drag Me to Hell," a supernatural thriller he wrote with his brother, Ivan Raimi.
The morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse will go into production early next year. It will be financed through Ghost House, a joint venture Raimi and Rob Tapert formed several years ago with Mandate Pictures.

Raimi and Tapert will produce with Grant Curtis, and Josh Donen will exec produce with Mandate's Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake.

Tapert said the Raimis penned the script well before the formation of Ghost House. It was originally written under the title "The Curse" and completed right after the siblings collaborated on 1992's "Army of Darkness," which Sam Raimi directed.

"Sam calls it a 'spook-a-blast,' a wild ride with all the chills and spills that 'Evil Dead' delivered, without relying on the excessive violence of that film," Tapert said. "When one has done three very expensive movies, they get used to eating caviar. Sam will have to ponder what it means to come down from the mountaintop for a moment."

"Drag Me to Hell" is the first Raimi-directed project for Ghost House, which has done very well in the genre game with the Sarah Michelle Gellar starrer "The Grudge," "The Grudge 2," the Stephen T. Kay-directed "Boogeyman," the Oxide and Danny Pang-directed "The Messenger" and, most recently, the David Slade-helmed "30 Days of Night." Ghost House is prepping a remake of "Evil Dead," the 1981 horror film that was Raimi's first breakout hit as a director.

After "Drag Me to Hell," Raimi is expected to go right back up the mountaintop and take the helm of "The Hobbit" films for New Line and MGM now that Peter Jackson has made it clear he won't direct.

"The appeal to Sam on 'Drag Me to Hell' was returning to what he had once done and loved doing, which was entertaining a very specific group of fans and providing a roller coaster ride for them," Tapert said. "He doesn't have the enormous pressure here that goes with handling a hundreds of millions of dollars franchise."

Tapert said no distributor has yet been set for "Drag Me to Hell."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's Voting Time

JPX has been bellyaching about going to see this movie, so I have decided to give him an opportunity to squeak out. I am putting JPX’s fate in your hands.
Who thinks JPX should not have to watch the chipmunks movie?
Who thinks JPX should have to watch the chipmunks movie?
Who thinks JPX should have to watch the chipmunks movie in the presence of screaming and peeing children (as JSP as cleverly suggested)?

Will anyone set JPX free?

I'm not sure whether to recommend this or not...

When I Am Legend opened last Friday, I scrambled to see the very first IMAX showing, at one in the afternoon. I was so desperate to see the movie that I considered forgetting about IMAX and seeing the 10:30 AM show, just because it seemed like a better option than waiting two and a half hours, but then I got a hold of myself. When I sat down in the IMAX theater and struck up conversations with the excellent folk around me, the first question I got asked was, "Are you here for Legend or for Batman?"


And then I remembered that there was supposed to be this intense IMAX The Dark Knight excerpt that Christopher Nolan had put together that only a privileged few would get to see. I had completely forgotten about that, and here I was about to see it, inadvertently. (I told my seat-mates about myself and octopunk taking long lunch breaks and buying tickets to Meet Joe Black just to the Phantom Menace preview. Memories...) Anyway, as I posted before, the six-minute Dark Knight prologue is so incredible that it will "make you feel like you're high even if your're not." As proof, here's the inevitable low-quality handycam bootleg, which even in this totally gelded form has people going bananas. Watch it, or don't watch it; you'll see it eventually. I recommend hitting the IMAX to see real thing. What's that? You don't have an IMAX theater eight measly blocks (a five-minute walk) from your house? Oh well. Too bad. I guess you live in a concrete-and-cactus wasteland that is magically devoid of snow this time of year. My condolences.

P.S. I feel like the only person who was completely aware at the time of how ridiculous Jack Nicholson's Joker was. Suddenly everyone's coming out of the woodwork yelling about how this new version is obviously the "real" Joker done "right" but back in 1989 there were maddenly few objections to Tim Burton's vision of a fat, mincing, prancing, wax-lips-wearing birthday-party-magician who -- gasp -- poisons Gotham's hairspray supply and -- gasp -- puts on a fun parade. (And dances around to Prince songs; don't forget that little detail. Remember Nicholson dancing around?) In the permanent candy-coated toy store inside Burton's mind (where the same capering figure is the protagonist of every single movie, most often played by Johnny Depp in pancake makeup), that's what a "menacing" supervillian is like. Anyway, it looks like we've all (or, everyone else has) wised up.

I'mnotmarc inspired this post

Recently i'mnotmarc text messaged me asking, "What's the best comedy of the past 10 years?" Initially a bunch came to mind but I quickly realized that they were all older than 10 years. After discussing the matter with JSP (who noted an excellent film), we concluded that marc's question is a good one given that there haven't been many memorable comedies of late. Sure, there have been a few funny movies here and there, but what I'm talking about are those movies where you laugh like a hyena. My pick? Stephen Chow's "Shaolin Soccer" (the original 2001 version, not the American edit, which removed many scenes, dubbed in English, and generally ruined Chow's film).

Granted I haven't seen this film in quite some time, however I recall having difficulty catching my breath when I first checked it out. Of course, I felt the same way when I watched Back to the Beach (1987) with Octo and, sadly, it's not funny at all. It's amazing what doesn't hold up. Have you tried to watch Austin Powers lately? Wayne's World? Bill and Ted (okay, that was never funny)?

AC's excellent pick is "Best in Show" (2000)

Jordan and Octopunk pick, "There's Something About Mary" (1998)

JSP's top choice is "Office Space" (1999)

Julie picks "Superbad" (2007)

I'mnotmarc chooses, Super Troopers (2001)

Anas Demens Purpurea likes Kung Pow - Enter the Fist (2002)