Thursday, August 30, 2007

Movie review: Balls of Fury

It's been hard getting through the first 25 years of my life. It's been hard waking up every morning knowing that the greatest and most important story in the history of the world was not being told. Do you know how hard it is to survive in the modern world without a film that explores the complicated and dangerous sport of ping pong, known to some as table tennis? Thank God, I no longer have to go another day with that hanging over my head!

Balls of Fury is our introduction to the world of underground table tennis, which was briefly touched upon in Forrest Gump but never given the proper recognition. It is a glorious story of a boy disgraced at a young age but who finds courage by going undercover for the FBI to bring down an evil Triad leader played by Christopher Walken by infiltrating his play-to-the-death tournament of ping pong and by falling in love with a way-out-of-his-league Asian-American girl who kicks ass at ping pong and kung fu and who looks a lot like the hot Asian chick from Mission: Impossible III, Maggie Q. Phew! What a sentence, and what a story to be told!

In reality,Balls of Fury is an extremely dumb and ludicrous film that never takes itself seriously. There's not much to say... the people who go see this film, like me, are not expecting an award-winning movie, or even a good movie, or even a mediocre movie. We're expecting to laugh at cheap jokes and nothing more, so anything I say here is going to be disregarded. Still, the review must go on...

Balls of Fury has its funny moments, and honestly, though I admit it's one God-awful movie, it is just entertaining enough to last eighty minutes. That being said, director Robert Ben Garant apparently thought that he could just film a bunch of completely random scenes and piece them together at the last second to form what can only be described as a chronological montage. Actually, it looks more like his kids got a hold of the footage, applied the paste they hadn't already eaten to a bunch of cut up reels of film and assembled Balls of Fury. Many of the scenes are so random and so unfunny, you honestly have to scratch your head to figure out why they were filmed in the first place. Surprisingly, people in the audience were laughing non-stop at some of these sequences, even while my buddy and I were trying to understand the joke.

Balls of Fury is made for a special type of audience member, but is a good film to watch with a big group of people while drunk. Very, very drunk. I don't feel like I wasted my time watching the movie, yet at the same time it is a complete waste of time. And that is the logic of Balls of Fury. Good night.

The Comebacks movie looks God-awful

Has anyone seen the movie trailer for The Comebacks? If not, you can watch the movie trailer here. Then again, stop that mouse click right now and save yourself some brain cells, as The Comebacks, a cheesy spoof of sports movies, looks like it has studied every bad spoof in recent years (Epic Movie and Date Movie come to mind).

David Koechner stars as the coach, and this guy seems to be in just about every bad movie there is. The guy isn't funny, and I can hardly stand to listen to him most of the time. From the commercials for Comedy Central's "The Naked Trucker" to roles in Reno 911: The Movie, Let's Go to Prison and Balls of Fury, this guy is trying to scrape a career together without any talent or sense of a good film.

And again, the movie previews are just full of some of the dumbest jokes ever shown to man. Even the previews for Epic Movie and Date Movie had some "funny" moments (even though you knew they were going to suck), but The Comebacks can't even manage that.

G.I. Joe movie enlists a writer

Paramount Pictures recently announced they would be making a live-action adaptation of the popular Hasbro action figures, G.I. Joe. Last week, Stephen Sommers was signed to direct the movie, and now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Stuart Beattie has been enlisted to write the film.

The 2009 film will likely have different branches of the military joining forces to fight the evil terrorist group Cobra.

So with Beattie writing the film, will G.I. Joe be any good? Well, he wrote Collateral, so that's good news, and he also wrote Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the only well-written movie of the trilogy. He also has the upcoming flick 30 Days of Night to look forward to, so this guy's career is certainly taking off.

New No Country for Old Men Pic

Here's a new photo/still/picture/pic (whatever the hell you want to call it) for No Country for Old Men, the awesome-looking action-thriller from the Coen brothers, starring Javier Bardem as a psychotic but intelligent hit man who goes looking for some stolen cash.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

3:10 to Yuma Sneak Peak

This Sunday, September 2nd, Lionsgate is providing sneak peaks across the country of the cool-looking 3:10 to Yuma, about a law-abiding cowboy (Christian Bale) who attempts to transport a highly skilled and insidious bank robber (Russell Crowe) to another town, but ends up becoming the target of the man's henchmen.

3:10 to Yuma opens wide on September 7th.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The sound of the Cloverfield monster revealed

The official Cloverfield website has posted a sound of its mysterious monster, but you have to wait exactly six minutes to hear it. That's right - if you just let the official site sit there for six minutes, then the sound will go off. Might be a little scary if you forget about it...

Of course, I'm inpatient and not so desperate as to actually sit there for six minutes waiting for the sound, so thankfully has posted the sound for your immediate listening pleasure: Cloverfield sound file (MP3)

The Cloverfield monster is... the monster from Lost?

We all know J.J. Abrams is the man behind the hit television show Lost (one of my favorite TV shows ever), and that he is also producing (and getting all the credit even though he isn't the director) Cloverfield, the unnamed monster movie that comes out on 1-18-08. Lost has a monster of its own, and we still have yet to truly see what its origin is or what its purpose is. But soon, we will...

The Cloverfield monster is the Lost monster:

1. In its early stages, Cloverfield was rumored to be a Lost movie.
2. J.J. Abrams is intimately involved with both projects
3. The only picture of the Cloverfield monster is the questionable outline of something in a fireball at the center of New York, though there is no clear shape. Lost's monster is a black, nebulous cloud.
4. How does the monster travel from the center of the city to the street where the party kids are so quickly? The Lost monster can move quickly.
5. Cloverfield has a small budget. The Lost monster already works on a TV budget, and can be created just by lighting plastic on fire.

Of course, I'm completely BS-ing this, but I haven't heard it brought up before, so why not? (other than that it would be a completely stupid idea)

First Sweeney Todd movie photos

Here are some new Sweeney Todd pics. The movie, directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman.

Transformers coming to IMAX

There's not much to say here, other than that Transformers, the box office slaughterhouse that ruled through the summer, is coming to IMAX screens on September 21st. A lot of people were annoyed or simply baffled that a movie destined for IMAX didn't come to IMAX over the summer.

I've never watched a Hollywood movie at an IMAX theater before, and I did want to see Transformers again, and I did want to take my dad to Transformers, so this might be a perfect opportunity...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Assassination of Jesse James Trailer

The full trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is now online, and the film looks pretty good - especially one that has been delayed as long as it has been. Starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck as the title characters, the movie is one of several good western flicks coming out this fall.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why Justice League of America the movie won't work

In what is probably a smart move from a financial perspective but disappointing from a fan boy's viewpoint, Justice League of America (JLA) may be coming to the big screen as a motion capture CGI movie rather than a live-action flick.

Obviously, there are some issues with releasing a full, live-action JLA movie:
  • It will be expensive
  • If JLA is to feature Batman and Superman, a live action film would probably require some consistency among actors, namely Christian Bale as Batman and Brandon Routh as Superman
  • Wonder Woman and other properties are potential other franchises coming soon
But a "real life" motion capture in CGI also has its drawbacks:
  • So far, this technology has produced creepy crap (The Polar Express) and just doesn't look that good
  • Why shouldn't Justice League of America try to compete with X-Men?
  • The visuals suck
Personally, I have some issues with Justice League of America the movie anyway. It's not that I wouldn't have fun watching the movie, but here are some reasons why it won't be as good of a movie as fans think it could be:
  • It will be compared to X-Men, a very good and very profitable franchise.
  • Unlike X-Men, the superheroes who make up the team all have their independent comic books and stories. They are not a cohesive team because they were not designed to be on a team.
  • For a movie, if all of the characters have separate costumes may cause a problem and will probably look cheesy.
  • You can't give them all the same uniform like in X-Men, because you can't very well change Batman's costume or Superman's.
  • Even as a CGI, won't there be some preference to have Christian Bale play Batman?
  • For consistency's sake, let's through Brandon Routh into that argument, too.
  • D.C. characters work better on their own.
  • Batman was always a silly member of the JLA. Awesome character, but completely out of place.
  • Justice League of America will likely be more sci-fi oriented than the more serious approaches the Batman and Superman franchises have been trying to establish.
  • I'd rather see D.C. invest the movie in high quality individual superhero flicks than an extravaganza such as this.

Jurassic Park IV casting update

And the update is... there is none, nor has there ever been. Jurassic IV has been "in the works" for years now, and while there have been rumors of Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern signing on, those rumors are apparently not true according to

The fan site reported this:

Steven Spielberg's personal reps at Amblin Entertainment (co-producers of the Jurassic Park franchise) have told that casting has not commenced on the film, as the story and screenplay are still in development. While there's been talk over the years with series stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and most recently, Laura Dern, the property is still not ready to move forward toward production and no casting is taking place.

Personally, I'd like them to crush this project once and for all. The Lost World wasn't great but entertaining, but Jurassic Park III was just an embarrassment a hundred times over. Why they would continue to ruin a good product by milking this cash cow is a real shame.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Airplane at Japanese airport explodes

This is old news by now, but this footage is just terrific... a plane explodes and no one is seriously injured, so I think it's okay to call it "terrific". The airplane bursts into a fireball just as the last of the passengers leaves the emergency slide, and you can also see the pilots jumping out of the cockpit windows as the craft is torn apart.

7 New Movie Reviews

I had a busy weekend writing seven new movie reviews, and several more coming soon (The Last Mimzy and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). Some were good and some were downright bad...

Movie review #1: Superbad

Superbad is here, and it's every bit as good as I was expecting. While it has a few slow parts midway through, the movie certainly does not live up to its title and easily ranks right along with Knocked Up for funniest movie of the year.

To think that just a few months ago no one knew who Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen were is pretty amazing. Sure, they'd done The 40-Year Old Virgin, but Steve Carell got all the credit for that one. Then came Knocked Up, an inexpensive, critically reviewed box office smash that remained in the top ten for ten consecutive weeks. Two months later, here comes Superbad, and it's more of the same: raunchy but "sophisticated" humor, a sharp screenplay and a great, little-known cast. Apatow, Rogen and others have, in one summer, cemented themselves as the guys to go to when it comes to comedy. Read the rest of the review...

Movie Review #2: The Darwin Awards

There's stupid, and then there's The Darwin Awards. A stupid movie about stupid people, the film is poorly executed and looks like it was built on a budget of $10 - $10 Canadian, that is - yet oddly features a cast that includes Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder and other recognizable and talented actors.

The Darwin Awards is, of course, based on the unofficial awards that highlight the dumbest deaths ever reported. These are deaths that could have been so easily avoidable that the only logical explanation is the people who "killed themselves" were so stupid that their deaths actually helped improve the gene pool - hence the Darwin Awards. The movie, however, pieces together some of the most well known deaths ever reporting (an idiot, played by David Arquette, straps a jet engine to his car and ends up crashing into the side of the cliff) by following a shy, awkward but intelligent ex-cop who starts working for an insurance company to investigate a bunch of weird deaths. Read the rest of the review...

Movie review #3: Scoop

I went to China in October 2006 and purchased Woody Allen's Scoop off the street for $2. It was a pretty crappy copy, but the movie had never intrigued me enough to actually go out and legitimately rent it, so I figured this was the way to go. Still, it took me ten months to actually watch the movie, and now, as the summer of 2007 rolls to an end (already!), I am writing this review. Read the rest of the review...

Movie review #4: The Ex

Wow. You'd think Zach Braff, Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman could make a funnier movie than this. It's not that I consider any of the three to be comedic geniuses, but even Terry Schiavo could have done better. The Ex will want you to file for divorce from your TV. Read the rest of the review...

Movie review #5: Redline

Redline is about as clear of a rip-off of The Fast and the Furious as you're ever going to get, but considering that I hated Fast and the Furious and expected Redline to be even worse, I have to admit I found this one a bit more entertaining and fun to watch. Call it the law of gutter expectations, because that doesn't mean Redline is a very good movie at all. Read the rest of the review...

Movie review #6: TMNT

TMNT marks the return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, only this time, instead of comic book, cartoon or live-action format, they are in CGI. Without the limitations of live action or the childish appearance of a standard cartoon, TMNT had the ability to be a kick-ass homage to the comic books I never read. It doesn't quite live up to the hype, but is still a refreshing change of pace. Read the rest of the review...

Movie review #7: I Think I Love My Wife

Give Chris Rock props for trying something new. Sort of new. Almost. I Think I Love My Wife is a comedy and almost-drama about a man who meets a crossroads in his marriage when he suddenly finds himself so unsatisfied with his sex-depriving wife that he starts to consider an affair with an attractive friend. And by attractive friend, I mean the scorching hot Kerry Washington. Read the rest of the review...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend box office: Superbad makes $31 million

Superbad made $31 million over the weekend to claim the number one spot, and is anyone really surprised? Sure, the movie has no big stars and a title asking for negative reviews, but after Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen delivered Knocked Up earlier in the year to great success and stunning reviews, this one had success written all over it. After all, both are behind Superbad to some degree or another (Rogen wrote the movie and Apatow produced - and Rogen also has a supporting role).

Superbad cements the crew as the new "It" factor in comedy, as once again the movie has a miniscule budget, little-known actors and a sharp, critically popular screenplay.

Then there's The Invasion, which has a near A-list pedigree of Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig... the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers opened with such little marketing and horrid reviews that the sci-fi flick only managed to garner $6 million in the bank. Yes, another disaster for Kidman.

The Last Legion opened to 2,000 theaters but finished outside the Top Ten with less than $3 million. Since the movie looked like a tiny step up from a Uwe Boll film, this doesn't shock me in the least.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Top 6 Scarlett Johansson movies

Sure, there's Jessica Alba, but if you're more into the curvaceous hotties, Scarlett Johansson lands right near the top of the list. And, with a slew of new upcoming Scarlett movies including The Nanny Diaries, The Other Boleyn Girl, He's Just Not That Into You and The Spirit, I thought I'd cover the best movies that this rising actress has contributed to the world. She's had a few disasters - The Perfect Score and Girl with a Pearl Earring - but she's done some great films as well. And we wanted an excuse to look up some pictures, too.

Without further ado...
  1. Match Point
    Woody Allen's modern day masterpiece (when was the last time he did a truly great movie?) is about a young social climber who finds a wife only to start an affair with a super-hot beauty (Johansson) - but when she starts going a bit crazy on him, he realizes there is only one way to guarantee his family isn't ruined in the process. By far the best movie Johansson has ever starred in, she delivers a good performance as a woman who falls in love with the wrong guy, even though he isn't that bad of a guy. I think I may watch this movie later tonight...

  2. The Prestige
    OK, Johansson isn't that great in this one as she doesn't get much of a role, but still looks wonderful playing the woman two rival magicians are lusting after (well, technically three). It's a shame she didn't get a more developed part as the movie is otherwise extremely good and powerful, but she plays her part effectively nonetheless. This film shows Johannson's knack for choosing darker and more character-driven stories that can still entertain, engage and excite.

  3. In Good Company
    This Topher Grace/Dennis Quaid film never got the recognition it deserved, but this comedy-drama was surprisingly good and quite funny. Johansson once again plays the love interest (and daughter of Quaid), and as she is the love interest in just about every film, she does it quite well. While her character would normally be one-dimensional, she manages to make an intriguing and likable one nonetheless.

  4. Ghost World
    I don't remember much about this movie other than that I liked it and that it was the first film where I noticed Scarlett. At age 17, I remember her being quite attractive, even though she didn't have the look she has now. This is probably the least known quality Ghost World film.

  5. Lost in Translation
    Probably the most popular Scarlett film and the one that marks her most memorable role, Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray as... hell, everyone knows what this movie is about. Personally, I liked it but didn't love it (which means everyone should like it but not love it), but Johansson is a surprisingly good counter balance to Murray.

  6. The Island
    This is a love-it-or-hate-it film, as some people who despise Michael Bay for everything he has ever done (though they were conveniently lenient on Transformers) refused to watch The Island, while the few who actually saw this movie found it relatively entertaining, despite going a bit over-the-top at times. It's not a perfect film by any means, but from an action perspective it's quite good, and Scarlett looks as hot as ever.

Now that I think of it, despite Scarlett's knack for choosing quality films, she essentially has just played the love interest in every movie, and has a tendency to choose movies where the guy doesn't get the girl. Out of all the movies listed above, only in The Island does she ride off into the sunset with her man.

And let's just show one more picture for the hell of it...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Judge still wants $54 million for his dry cleaner problems

Judge Roy Pearson is an idiot. A sick, deluted, trigger-happy, exploitative idiot. And a jerk.

The infamous judge, now known around the world as a symbol of America's lawsuit-crazy society, sued a dry cleaner's that lost his pants for $54 million, claiming that their "Satisfaction guaranteed" sign was misleading and not fulfilled. How someone can sue for $54 million over a pair of missing trousers is beyond me, but included in the costs were ten years worth of rental cars that he used to visit another dry cleaners. What an idiot.

Now, after a judge ruled that he took the "Satisfaction guaranteed" sign too literally and ordered Pearson to pay the dry cleaner's legal fees, he is appealing the ruling and continuing to seek payment. What. A. Fucking. Idiot. How can a man so deeply involved in the legal system seek to waste the courts' time with a stupid case like this, destroy the lives of a couple of business owners and ruin his own reputation. Rumors have it that he may lose his job at the end of the year because of this very issue.

I don't get it. What can he appeal? How can he appeal? I hope the judge throws out the case immediately, for everyone's sake, including Pearson's.

Monday, August 13, 2007

26 movies to watch (or not watch) in September

September is a surprisingly full month for movies, despite kids returning to school, summer still lingering around and its reputation for being a dump month. But never fear, because Erik the Movie Review Guy is here to tell you exactly what to watch this September. Stray from this list and I may hunt you down (and subsequently throw a pillow at you), so be warned.

(click on the title to see release dates, cast details and more)

  1. Eastern Promises

    The latest film from David Cronenberg, the director of the awesome A History of Violence, Eastern Promises pulls Viggo Mortensen out of hiding to co-star with Naomi Watts in this drama-thriller about a woman who digs a little too deep into the Russian mafia. With all of the ingredients prepared and a kick-ass trailer to boot, this one looks like a repeat of the success of Violence. I can't wait.

  2. 3:10 to Yuma

    This western flick stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as two men on different sides of the law. Gritty and definitely not like the westerns your parents grew up with, 3:10 to Yuma is about a vicious robber (Crowe) who is captured by the law (Bale) and then transported to another town for execution. Along the way, Bale's character runs into his defiant son, and Crowe's men show up to rescue their fearless leader. Based on the trailer, we're looking at some great drama by two excellent actors and some intense action sequences to boot. If this one isn't good, I will be highly disappointed.

  3. The Kingdom

    I've been anticipated this action-thriller set in Saudi Arabia for quite some time. While the push from its original release date in the spring to September is a little unsettling, this Jamie Foxx/Jennifer Garner movie looks to have plenty of intrigue and action, and has the budget to back everything up. It could end up being more of a drama than the previews let on, which might turn off some viewers, but I'm still looking forward to a quality action movie set in the Middle East.

  4. The Brave One

    Jodie Foster doesn't do a lot of movies, but she's back and The Brave One certainly looks to be one of her darker films. Following late August's Death Sentence, this thriller will be the second revenge flick in less than a month, but the previews have been stellar for both. It doesn't look like there will be much comedy in this one, as Foster becomes a real-life vigilante who kills criminals whenever she feels like it. These revenge movies can often end up being not so good, but when done right, boy do they kick ass.

  5. Lust, Caution

    The latest film from Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), this Chinese drama-thriller is about a woman who seduces a man (Tony Leung) with the eventual intent to kill him. Presumably, the movie is in Chinese, so the trailer for the film features no dialogue but instead a moving and powerful soundtrack and lots of brief shots of the progression of the story. Lee has shown a knack for quality when his main character is not a green comic book character, and this one has all the makings of an early Oscar contender.

  6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    This Brad Pitt film has been pushed back over a year, which does not bode well for its chances at being good, but that aside, everything I've seen thus far has me wetting my pants. The teaser trailer is short and to the point, and makes my hair tingle every time I watch it. And how can you beat that title? Compared to 3:10 to Yuma, the other western of the month, I don't expect it to be as good, but it definitely has the marketing intrigue going for it.

  7. Across the Universe

    This Julie Taymor movie looks like a combination of Moulin Rouge, Yellow Submarine, Platoon and perhaps Forrest Gump (only not funny), as it takes a look at a love story set against the turbulent 1960's and the Vietnam War. Taymor, never known to do "normal" movies, has apparently added a musical element to the film, so who knows what the final product is actually going to look like. Either way, the film stars Evan Rachel Wood, who I like for multiple reasons, not all of them innocent, and certainly seems to have a grasp on its subject matter. It's just a question on whether Taymor manages to piece everything together.

  8. Fierce People

    Every year a couple of these movies come along, about some young man getting thrust into a strange setting and growing up really quickly as a result. Not unlike Almost Famous, Fierce People looks to have the intrigue of a bug-on-the-wall perspective on the upper class, as one young guy gets lucky and lands a room in a mansion owned by Donald Sutherland, who seems to be screwing his mom, played by Diane Lane. He then runs into an elite brother and sister, the brother being the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and the daughter being the ever-so-attractive-and-apparently-sort-of-crazy Kristen Stewart. Fierce People looks like a dramatic blast, or like a serious version of Mean Girls.

  9. Run, Fatboy, Run

    Certainly not an Oscar contender, Run, Fatboy, Run is on this list for one simple reason: Simon Pegg. Pegg, the star of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, is gold right now, and this movie, with its hilarious title, looks pretty damn funny, even if the trailer just shows Pegg getting hurt and running around in his nasty underwear. It might not be rocket science, but the previews cater perfectly to Pegg's audience.

  10. Good Luck Chuck

    This comedy could easily end up being bad, especially considering the fact that neither Jessica Alba or Dane Cook have much of a record for choosing quality comedies, but, then again, the movie stars Jessica Alba and Dane Cook. Alba looks about as good as she has ever looked, which is enough to draw me to theaters along with millions of other desperate men; I'll leave the women to comment on Cook. The movie is about a guy who women sleep with because there is a rumor that after they sleep with him, they will find the love of their lives. This works out well for Chuck until he meets the girl of his dreams - but if he sleeps with her, will she fall in love with someone else? The concept is funny and... it stars Jessica Alba.

  11. The Darjeeling Limited

    The latest Wes Anderson film doesn't look as funny as his previous efforts, but the more I watch the trailer the more I want to see it. About three brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman) who ride a really weird train around India, The Darjeeling Limited looks like it has all the odd ball things one has come to expect from Anderson. My highlight is a scene where the train gets lost, and Schwartzman points out that trains can't get lost because they're on rails.

  12. In the Valley of Elah

    Tommy Lee Jones does what he does best in In the Valley of Elah, by playing a man investigating a crime. He has worked the role to perfection and then some, and even though he's not playing an official investigator here, he seems made for the role of a retired Army man looking into the disappearance of his soldier son. A military cover-up ensues. While the ending of the trailer may suggest this is more of a character drama than a suspense film, the movie looks pretty fast-paced and intriguing. Also note how many times Charlize Theron knocks papers off of desks in the trailer.

  13. The Savages

    Starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages looks to be a promising drama-comedy about a brother and sister trying to reconcile after years of fighting. The movie promises lots of fighting between the two, which should be entertaining, but overall looks pretty good. This film probably isn't Oscar caliber, but if done right could get some votes for the talented actors involved.

  14. Resident Evil: Extinction

    The two previous Resident Evil movies haven't been great, but they haven't been terrible, either. Probably one of the most successful video game adaptations, the movies have been restrained by unnecessary video game elements (flashy action sequences and over-the-top stunts), but you can see signs that it wants to break the mold. Extinction looks to be set sometime later in the wasteland that was once Las Vegas, and has a Mad Max aura about it. That's not a bad thing, as it gives the movie a fresh look without completely departing from formula. Extinction probably won't be great, but it could be a fun ride.

  15. Into the Wild

    This Sean Penn-directed movie doesn't look amazingly exciting, but it could still end up being quite good if done right. About a young man who leaves everything he has to go live in the wild (though he eventually meets a girl who is thankfully not an animal), Into the Wild will have lots of beautiful scenery and hopefully some good acting from rising stars Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart. I'm not a huge fan of these self-exploration flicks, but Into the Wild still looks pretty good (I'm getting quite sick of saying "looks pretty good" but I can't think of any better way to describe most of these movies).

  16. The Hunting Party

    About a couple of overly ambitious journalists in the middle of a war zone, The Hunting Party looks like it will be one of this year's first mainstream films to address unrest in another part of the world. Based on a true story of what I can't remember, the film stars Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg as three reporters who attempt to track down an elusive fugitive terrorist for an interview, but, as one might imagine, end up stepping on a hornet's next in the process. Political intrigue, action and government conspiracy ensue.

  17. Trade

    I thought this movie had potential... when it was supposed to be released in 2006. Now that it's been pushed back almost a year to a month that is not known for Oscar-worthy films, I have to question how much of a disaster Trade is. Still, this look into the black market trade of humans is intriguing, so I'll give it a chance, but my guess is that it isn't going to be all that good.

  18. December Boys

    Harry Potter returns, but this time in a drama about four boys who are looking to be adopted. This movie marks the first semi-big film for Daniel Radcliffe that does not include magic wands, and that alone should draw people to theaters. The movie looks halfway decent, though it's certainly a story that has been done before in some form or another. Still, it's a good choice for Radcliffe who would be smart to stay away from mainstream films as much as he can to avoid the inevitable typecasting he is going to receive.

  19. Feast of Love

    This quirky romantic comedy-drama starring Greg Kinnear, Morgan Freeman and a slew of others (don't worry, Kinnear and Freeman are not love interests of one another) looks like it has promise, though the trailer really isn't funny enough to have me heading to theaters. More than likely, Feast of Love will be forgotten before it reaches DVD, but good reviews could save this one.

  20. Mr. Woodcock

    Seann William Scott stars as a young man who was tormented as a child by his coach, Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton). To his horror, he finds out that the evil man has moved in with his mother. The two roles are perfect for these two actors, and I look forward to them sparring for an hour and a half. More than likely, Mr. Woodcock is not going to be a great comedy, but it has enough funny scenes in the trailer to draw some audiences to theaters.

  21. The Brothers Solomon

    Certainly the dumbest movie of September, The Brothers Solomon stars the pretty funny Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") and Will Forte as two sheltered men trying to get with women - unfortunately, they don't have a clue how to do it. The movie won't appeal to everyone, but the trailer has enough goofy gags to interest certain audiences. I'm on the fence, and more than likely will wait until DVD. After films such as Knocked Up and [maybe] Superbad, expectations for male-oriented comedies have gone through the roof. Will The Brothers Solomon fulfill those expectations? I highly doubt it.

  22. The Signal

    It's hard to rate a film where the teaser only has a really annoying sound and a few creepy clips of random things, but The Signal is definitely trying to play up its similarities to The Ring. Hell, I received a DVD in the mail a month or two back - I thought it was a screener for the film, and instead it turned out to be nothing more than thirty seconds of the horrid "signal". The tagline, "Do you have the crazy?" is pretty cool, though, so I'm a bit intrigued.

  23. Romance & Cigarettes

    This comedy-drama from John Turturro that stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker and more certainly has the talent, but the previews aren't all that amazing. The movie looks like a midlife crisis kind of flick, but while there are a few funny moments, there isn't enough here to have me heading towards theaters.

  24. Shoot 'Em Up

    Normally, I would jump all over a Clive Owen-starring action movie that also features Paul Giamatti, but Shoot 'Em Up just doesn't look that good. There'll be plenty of action, but an action movie without a story to piece everything together is just stupid, and Shoot 'Em Up definitely seems to fit that mold. Who knows - maybe it'll be a blast - but I'd rather see Sin City 2 come around one of these days. Oh, and the title is God-awful.

  25. The Jane Austen Book Club

    It's a chick flick about women who really like Jane Austen. As they discuss books, they also look at ways to get their relationships and lives on track. Might be okay, but I'm in the wrong demographic, and hence unless I get dragged unwillingly to theaters on a date, my eyes will never meet this movie.

  26. Dragon Wars (D-Wars)

    Wow. How is this one actually making it to theaters? While the concept is fine (dragons attack the world), the visual effects just don't look up to snuff. This one should be heading direct to DVD, but for some reason Freestyle Releasing thinks they can make some money off of this piece of crap. Pump another $10 million into the visuals and you might have something here, but as is this looks like a destruction film that was made thirty years ago.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Top 7 Indiana Jones titles, ranked by goodness

Indiana Jones 4 hits theaters next summer, and Lucasarts just registered several titles with the Motion Pictures Association of America Title Registration Report (according to And so now, without further ado, I'm going to rank these titles in order of what would make the best, most impactful... title. Number one is a bit of a surprise, but I think it's the best choice.

7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
This one sounds like the title for a Uwe Boll movie. What the hell are they thinking?

6. Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Covenant
Indiana Jones has always dealt with items of a religious nature, but this one sounds more like a title for the Christian alternative hero, Indiana Jesus.

5. Indiana Jones and the Fourth Corner of the Earth
Since when does the Earth have corners?

4. Indiana Jones and the Destroyer of Worlds
This one is sort of cool, but sounds more like something for a Fantastic Four sequel (granted, that would have been a cool title for the movie that came out this summer) than an action-adventure-comedy.

3. Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Gold
The "Lost City of Gold" is always a good fallback, but it seems so cliché. Hasn't "Lost City of Gold" been used in other movies before? And for some reason, The Phantom comes to mind.

2. Indiana Jones and the City of Gods
This has been the title that has been referenced quite a bit in recent months, so the assumption is about as safe as it could be that this will end up being the title of the new Indiana Jones movie. That being said, it's a pretty cool title with a lot of mystique. Still, it doesn't hold up to our pick for the new Indiana Jones movie...

1. Indiana Jones and the Advent of Viagra
How can you top this one?

You can read more about Indiana Jones 4 here.

Blades of Glory DVD release party... in Second Life

Okay, I'm shameless, but at least I admit it. I normally don't promote things like this, but I get a review DVD copy out of it, so I'm going to sell my soul to the devil and do it anyway. At least it's for a good cause - starving African children - or something along those lines (and no, it's not actually for starving African children).

Paramount Home Entertainment is celebrating its August 28th DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD release of the hit Will Ferrell and Jon Heder skating comedy Blades of Glory with a week-long celebration that will take place simultaneously in 12 skating rinks within Second Life. So, who cares, right? Well, if you are a Second Life junkie (I'm not - I don't understand Second Life personally), this is what Paramount is offering:

Visitors to the party will be able to don free virtual replicas of the outrageous costumes seen in the film, as well as ice skates that will allow avatars to perform signature Blades of Glory moves on the ice in singles or pairs. Users who skate at all 12 rinks during the week of August 24-31 will be entered into a prize drawing in which the grand prize includes 10,000 Linden dollars, a gift certificate to a sporting goods store and a Blades of Glory DVD. Second and third prizes will be 1,000 Linden dollars and a Blades of Glory DVD.

And here's a bit more from the press release:

Blades of Glory stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rival skaters forced to compete together as a pairs team in order to return to the ice. The sensational send-up of the world of professional figure skating also stars Will Arnett ("Arrested Development"), Amy Poehler (Shrek The Third), Jenna Fischer ("The Office") and Craig T. Nelson (The Family Stone) and features appearances by real-life skating stars Scott Hamilton, Nancy Kerrigan, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano and Peggy Fleming. The Blades of Glory DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD presentations feature an avalanche of bonus material including "Return to Glory: The Making of Blades", "Celebrities on Thin Ice", "Cooler Than Ice: The Super-Sexy Costumes of Skating", "Arnett & Poehler: A Family Affair", "20 Questions with Scott Hamilton", "Hector: Portrait of a Psychofan", deleted scenes, a gag reel, alternate takes, a music video and more. Please visit for more information.

The Top 6 Worst Jessica Alba Movies

Jessica Alba in Sin CityLet's face it, guys. Jessica Alba is hot. In fact, she is so hot that if she made a move on you, some of you would even leave your wives or girlfriends just for one night with her. Hell, there are some women who would leave their husbands for a night with her. With a slew of new movies coming out, including Good Luck Chuck and The Love Guru, I'd like to take a look at her accomplishments... or lack thereof. While I truly believe that most actors who make it to the A-list do have talent whether we actually see it or not, it certainly seems like Ms. Alba is riding on her looks thus far, as her career choices suggest...

Here are her top six worst movies, with number one being the worst:

6. Sin City

How could Sin City end up being in a "Worst" list? Easy: when an actress has only starred in six or so films, even good movies end up on the list. Sin City is an awesome movie, with great visuals, acting and plot. Jessica Alba looks hot and pulls off her part well (and her clothes) - in fact, this is her best performance to date. And in reality, it was her sex appeal that pulled a lot of people into theaters, where they then witnessed a wonderful experience (by that I mean a good movie, not a more "personal" wonderful experience). There is nothing wrong with Sin City, and Sin City 2 is on the way (presumably).

5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I went into this movie with really low expectations and came out moderately enjoying this film. It is funny, has some good action, and Jessica Alba is in it. Still, the movie is a piece of crap, and had it been made with an appropriate script and director, it actually could have been something. Alba, despite a PG-rated nude scene where she flops naked onto a sidewalk in front of dozens of people, is definitely not the highlight of the film, and in fact she's quite bad. She's never been good in the Fantastic Four movies and probably never will be. Oh, and her blonde hair makes her look less hot. It is amazing what makeup artists can do!

4. Into the Blue

This action-adventure starring Paul Walker wasn't an especially good movie, but it made up for a dreadfully boring first hour and a half with a halfway decent conclusion full of all kinds of action and death. That being said, the movie almost succeeds on Jessica Alba's looks herself; after all, she spends the entire movie in a skimpy bikini and seems more like part of the beautiful scenery than anything else. And this film is also remarkable for the fact that it actually features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it boob shot of Ms. Alba as she's trying to escape a man underwater. Still, the movie is as shallow as the water she's swimming in.

Jessica Alba in Idle Hands3. Honey

I don't remember much about this hip-hop dance movie, other than that Jessica Alba stretches her body in all kinds of unnatural yet seductive ways. Still, the movie isn't all that great as it's been done a hundred times before. Once again, the film seems reliant on Alba's hotness to piece together the story, as otherwise there would be no noteworthy reason to ever watch it.

2. Idle Hands

Idle Hands, the odd horror-comedy, was the first movie I ever saw Jessica Alba in, and I must say that she was the one positive thing I remember from the film. The plot has something to do about a kid getting an evil hand, but he's also trying to get the hot girl next door, a very young but uber-hot Alba. The movie sucked and was a dreadful waste of time, but Alba was nice to look at.

1. Fantastic Four

The first Fantastic Four movie had a lot going for it: cool special effects, a cool superhero team and Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman. Unfortunately, Alba ended up being not-so-good and the movie overall was one of the worst comic book adaptations ever. Cheesy, ludicrous and boring from beginning to end, this was the most disappointing film starring Jessica Alba. Ever. How it spawned a sequel amazes me.

As you may have guessed, the reason for this article was simply so we could find some good Jessica Alba pictures to go along with it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Movie Review: Descent (NC-17)

Rosario Dawson gets raped and then gets revenge in Descent, a dark and gritty drama about a woman trying to recover from an unspeakable crime. I've posted a movie review, so read it now. By and large, this is one of the most disturbing movies I've seen recently, and probably does deserve the NC-17 rating unlike most other films that get that kiss of death.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Movie review: Last Hurrah for Chivalry DVD

I made the mistake of watching John Woo's Hard Boiled before another of his films that was released under the Dragon Dynasty DVD label a couple weeks back, Last Hurrah for Chivalry. There might have been a time when this sword-slashing period piece might have been cool, but now is not that time. I didn't even make it through the entire film.

Last Hurrah for Chivalry is about two swordsmen who become pawns in a plot much larger than they first imagined, but I didn't get far enough to see the resolution of the manipulation. It's not that I watched this movie and thought it was bad; it just looked and felt dated like many old Asian films do, and didn't capture my attention. The audio and video didn't line up properly, a big pet peeve of mine, and the sets, while elaborate, just don't look that realistic.

The action is good and well choreographed, but once again just looks outdated. There is no intensity to the scenes, and it seems as though the actors are missing by a foot with every swing.

Fans of old Asian action movies and John Woo flicks should take pleasure in Last Hurrah for Chivalry's Special Collector's Edition DVD release (which features several interviews, a featurette and a commentary - not by Woo, however), but us non-diehards need something a little newer.

Movie review: Hard Boiled 2-Disc Ultimate Edition

Hard Boiled is now out in a "Two-Disc Ultimate Edition" DVD, and having never watched the film before, I must say that this was one of the most impressive action movies I've ever seen.

Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung star as two men stuck on opposite sides of the law - almost. After his partner is killed in a bloody gunfight with Triads, police officer Tequila (Yun-Fat) vows revenge on anyone who stands in his way. "Hard boiled", he gets in arguments with his superiors and colleagues, but no one's denying that he's getting results done. Bullets fly and blood splatters as he drills farther into the underworld, but things get really interesting when he meets a mysterious young man (Leung) who just happens to be an undercover cop. The two form an alliance to take down an evil Triad leader once and for all, but many innocent lives will fall before their mission is complete.

Hard Boiled is one of the most action-packed movies ever, and it reminds you of the director John Woo used to be. Woo used to be my favorite action director; after doing countless Asian flicks, he moved on to America to do a favorite-at-the-time, Face/Off, Broken Arrow and the so-so-but-certainly-entertaining Mission: Impossible II. Since then, though, he has done such disasters as Windtalkers and one of the worst movies ever, Paycheck. Thankfully, this 1992 flick was made during the peak of Woo's career, as the film is just loaded with bloody violence that is rarely over the top, other than the fact that about 500 hundred people die throughout the course of the movie.

Yun-Fat and Leung are great, and it's fun to see them at a younger age. The men have moved on to do more dramatic fare now, so it's great to see them in their action hero prime - hell, I didn't even know Leung was acting back then.

There's nothing much else to say. Hard Boiled is a great action movie, and fans of the film will take delight in a second disc of bonus features. Those who haven't witnessed this movie before... should.

DVD review: Darkwing Duck, Volume 2

I, like many of my friends and colleagues, like to reminisce on the cartoons we loved as children. As most of us now agree (and probably our parents before us), the quality of cartoons have gone heavily downhill, as companies have resorted to cooler effects and other gizmos at the expense of quality stories and fun, memorable characters. That conclusion, of course, comes from seeing the occasional commercial for today's children programming.

But think back to the 1990's, and you may or may not remember "Darkwing Duck". About twice a year I get on the conversation of what television shows I loved as a kid, and as we list off dozens (how the heck did we manage to watch so much TV?), we get lost in the memories of yesteryear. Alas, not once has "Darkwing Duck" been mentioned... at least not until I received an email saying that Disney's "Darkwing Duck: Volume 2" was coming to DVD (since I'm sure Disney, who sent me the DVD, wants me to pitch the film a little bit, I'll mention it hits stores Tuesday, August 7th at 12:56am. Don't wait in line, because I made that last part up and all stores will be closed).

"Darkwing Duck" is as good as I remember it. Of course, now that I am 25, there is no possible way I'm ever going to watch all 27 episodes, let alone four or five, but parents should be taking full advantage of all these classic cartoons that are coming to DVD. "Darkwing" may not be as classic as some of the others, I'll admit, but how can you go wrong when you essentially turn Daffy Duck into a crime-fighting superhero, tack on a hot daughter (just kidding there) and a lovable sidekick named Launchpad McQuack? The show is funny, well-written and has an enjoyable, idiotic main character whose ego so gets in the way that often he boggles his crime fighting attempts. The show actually is a bit dynamic, as compared to the carbon copy shows of today.

I can't imagine that too many fans of the show are scooping these DVD sets up for the special features, which is probably why there are none (unless you count a French language track). So what you see on the cover is what you get, 27 episodes from the middle of the series.

Parents and children can enjoy "Darkwing Duck" together - why not let your kid watch some quality programming for a change?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Latest Cloverfield clues

These may not be "new" and they may not even be true, but I wanted to cover a couple of the theories that have been tossed around lately. As I'm not in the rumor business, I am too lazy to track down how substantiated these things are, but...

On Cloverfield being Godzilla...
Everything I hear continues to suggest that Godzilla is not the monster in the movie. After all, the company that owns Godzilla is not the company making Cloverfield. Legally, that's a problem. Also, rumors continue to circulate around other monsters, and not necessarily just one. Producer J.J. Abrams has also apparently confirmed that the movie is not a remake.

On Cloverfield having more than one monster...
It sounds like this could be a possibility. Some have rumored that Cloverfield will be about three biblical monsters, Behemoth on land, Leviathan in the sea, and Ziz in the air. Could it be based on the old arcade game Rampage? Unlikely, but you never know.

On Cloverfield being about Cthulhu, from the mind of H. P. Lovecraft
While I've never read his book(s), apparently everything that has been suggested bears no resemblance to Lovecraft's monster.

There's a lot more, but I got bored of writing this post. If you have any other Cloverfield rumors or smack downs, post them here!

The Bourne Ultimatum makes $70 million at the box office

Defying box office expectations, even after Friday's box office take, The Bourne Ultimatum earned $70.2 over the weekend, based on box office estimates.

The well-reviewed movie stars Matt Damon and returns Paul Greengrass to the director's seat, and the results are impressive. You can see the movie review farther down on this blog, or at

And so what's the big deal about $70.2 million? Well, it beats out Rush Hour 2 to become the biggest August opening ever. It continues to mark Jason Bourne as one of the most lucrative franchises out there. It's Matt Damon's second $100-million earner of the summer (after Ocean's 13). And the opening is much larger than James Bonds' Casino Royale's opening last year.

Movie review: The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum starts off right where The Bourne Supremacy ends, with director Paul Greengrass back at the helm, Matt Damon's Jason Bourne on the run from the CIA and the audience ready for another two hours of non-stop, camera-jerking action and suspense.

As one might expect, since the director, writers and actors have all returned for another bout, The Bourne Ultimatum stands up close to the quality achieved by its predecessor. Personally, I consider Supremacy to be one of the best action movies ever, and Ultimatum ranks pretty high on the list - but not as high. The movie is fast paced, action packed and intelligent, and also features the addition of one of my favorite actors, David Strathairn. The combination of the compelling soundtrack, gritty camera movements and non-stop attention to detail make it the best sequel of the summer, and that's saying a lot given the amount of high-brand sequels that have been unleashed upon audiences in the last couple of months.

Greengrass is quickly growing to become one of the best action/suspense directors around. Everything he touches turns to gold, from the gritty drama Bloody Sunday to the amazingly tense United 93, which should have received even more acclaim than it did. His ability to build and maintain suspense without cheating the audience is unrivaled, and, especially in the Bourne movies, he shows that action and smarts can go hand-in-hand. When the camera is on Bourne, you can literally see the spy breaking down his surroundings and building strategies in real time. When the action comes, it is fast, brutal and well choreographed. And when there is no action... well, when is there no action?

Damon once again shows that he can play bad ass hero. Some people still mock him for playing an action star, and I ask if they've ever watched the Bourne movies. He's gotten increasingly better with each film, and the trend continues here.

All that being said, since I am a big fan of both the Bourne movies and books, I have to point out a few minor issues I had with this film. First off, the plot isn't anything remarkable - it is almost too simple, though the writers and directors pull it off quite well. I don't quite get why this black hat operational team, led by David Strathairn, would want to just assassinate the CIA official who was leaking secrets - wouldn't they want to learn his motives and see if he had given the information to anyone else? Some of the plot developments, like that, weren't completely fleshed out. Furthermore, the film ends rather abruptly and not as explosive as I was hoping.

Lastly, once again, I'm disappointed the writers didn't take more pieces from the books. While the third book in Robert Ludlum's series wasn't the greatest, they still could have created a plot revolving around the real reason for Jason Bourne's existence - to weed out and kill Carlos the Jackal. Carlos, the main villain in all three of Ludlum's original trilogy, has yet to make an appearance in the Bourne franchise. If there is a fourth film, please, please, please (and please!) make the plot revolve around Carlos the Jackal. How awesome would that be?

My complaints aside, The Bourne Ultimatum is still a great action movie. It is intense and gritty, everything an action movie should be. A more developed story and a better ending would have set this one ahead of Supremacy, but it's still one of the best action movies of the last several years, if not longer.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Simpsons drops 73% from last weekend

All you Simpsons lovers out there might be disappointed to learn that The Simpsons Movie, which opened to an extraordinary $72 million last weekend, proved to be completely front-loaded as it appears as all the fans who turned out last week decided to move on to better things this week.

The Simpsons Movie took in only $7.9 million on Friday, based on figures from Box Office Prophets, which means that the film will end up with around $25 million over the weekend.

To $7.9 million from $30 million the week before, that's almost 73% of business washed away. Execs at Fox should still be happy with the overall performance of the movie, but I'm sure they were hoping for slightly better legs for this picture.

Yes, Homer, drink another bottle.

You can read my The Simpsons movie review here.

The Bourne Ultimatum to make $65 million over the weekend

Despite movies such as Transformers, Spider-Man 3, Die Hard 4, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Pirates of the Carribean 3 (not that I was anticipating that one at all) and even The Simpsons Movie, my most anticipated movie of the summer has always been - perhaps just barely - The Bourne Ultimatum.

Why? The Bourne Identity was a good movie. Not great, and definitely not perfect, but good, and it gets better with repeat viewing. The Bourne Supremacy, directed by Paul Greengrass, was a whole another story. The action movie starring Matt Damon was gritty, fast-paced and unbelievably suspenseful, and ranks among the top of my favorite action movies of all time.

Needless to say, with Paul Greengrass returning, I expect more of the same. It is noon on Saturday and I yet to go see this film, but it is receiving rave reviews and, according to Friday box office figures, getting lots of sold out theaters.

According to Box Office Prophets, a source I rather trust for box office analysis, The Bourne Ultimatum earned $23.7 million on Friday alone, which means it should come in at a minimum of $65 million (I am going to guess something a little closer to $70). That's not too shabby, especially considering Identity opened to "only" $27.1 million and Supremacy to $18.4 on Friday alone (I don't have the full weekend numbers before me and am too lazy to look).

Also remember that Casino Royale "only" opened to $40 million, which means Jason Bourne is kicking some British James Bond ass.

Other movies of the weekend include Underdog, which opened to $4.1 on Friday, Hot Rod, which only managed to earn $2 million on Friday, and Bratz, which an unfortunately high $1.7 (I was hoping audiences would steal money from movie theaters to give it a negative return).

Hilarious R-rated Superbad clip

Everyone! I just watched this new R-rated clip from Superbad, about a commonly known heterosexual syndrome known as dick drawing. What am I talking about? Watch this Superbad clip to find out...

This movie is going to rock.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets Trailer!

The full trailer for Nicolas Cage's National Treasure: Book of Secrets, the sequel to the unfortunately successful action-adventure movie National Treasure, is now online. Personally, I found the first movie to be rather boring and stupid, but a lot of people seemed to like it (including my mother, who scolded me for disagreeing with her).

This sequel really looks God-awful. The movie has the same colorful look, and the plot sounds even more ridiculous (Cage decides to kidnap the President of the United States to get a book of secrets). The action looks pretty minimal, and the best punch lines are used in the trailer (and they aren't even that good... the highlight is Cage doing that "something has grabbed my hand in the hole" trick).

Not only is the trailer dull, but it shows way too much. It reveals what the book of secrets is, what the plot of the movie is, and more. How could so many good actors (Harvey Keitel, Ed Harris, Jon Voight and even Helen Mirren) get involved with a picture like this?

Also, wasn't Jon Voight's father in Tomb Raider? Isn't National Treasure just a male rip-off of Tomb Raider? Why does he do so many bad movies?

Descent gets an NC-17 rating

Wow. Don't see these come along too often... Descent, starring Rosario Dawson, has received an NC-17 rating. The movie is about a woman who tries to piece her life back together after a brutal rape, and thus the movie is rated NC-17 for "a brutal rape".

I have a screener in the mail, so hopefully I'll be able to let you know soon if a) the MPAA overreacted like it does on so many sexually related sequences (though I usually have issue with their Republican censorship on consensual sex, not rape) and b) if the movie is any good.

You can learn more about the movie by visiting my Descent details page.

Another Tyler Perry movie? God is punishing me

Since I run a relatively successful movie website, I am obligated to include all wide releases in my movie database, and that includes the new Tyler Perry movie, the ego-boosting-titled Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?

I am promoting the film by even writing this blog post, yet I must point out that I despise his movies and the man himself for forcing unsuspecting audiences to watch absolutely dreadful pieces of crap. Why does Lionsgate keep making them? Because they make money. Why do they make money? Because people go see them, or rent them. Why do people do that? I have no f**king clue, but they're probably: a) religious and somehow got tricked into Christianity-can-make-even-bad-movies-good propoganda, b) absolutely stupid, c) have never heard of Tyler Perry or have never witnessed how bad his movies can be, or d) get a hard-on from watching a man dress up like a woman.

Nonetheless, he has a new movie coming out, and I'm tempted to email my contact at Lionsgate at demand that they drop this film from the release schedule or else I will never work with them again on a project.

Okay, so that might not work, but please, people, please, don't watch this movie! It only causes more Tyler Perry movies to be made!

New The Kingdom Trailer (and a review)

No, not a review of The Kingdom! A review of The Kingdom trailer. And not the first trailer, but the third. Remember way back when, when The Kingdom was set to open in the spring? That first trailer was absolutely awesome, the perfect balance of action and drama albeit with a cheesy sentimental bit at the beginning (with the little kid telling father Jamie Foxx that he's one of the good guys - everything's relative, people!).

The second trailer was so-so, and now the third is a definite step up - but still not nearly as good as the first one. This one for some reason shies away from showing much of the event that triggers the whole movie, and instead focuses more on the action. It feels a bit more chaotic, which is fine, but it lacks the dramatic tension that the first one captured so well.

Yet, once again, it shows Jennifer Garner flitching at the sight of people getting blown up - she's a terrorism expert, and she's flinching at a video? Is it because she's a girl? I bet Jamie Foxx doesn't flinch.

All in all, I'm excited about The Kingdom, but the release date push and the evolving trailers have me questioning whether the studio received a drama and then asked for some edits to make it more action-oriented. Uh-oh!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Am Legend 2???

I Am Legend, the Will Smith-starring sci-fi thriller, could be getting a sequel... and the first one hasn't even come out yet.

Apparently, original screenwriter Mark Protosevich, who originally wrote the adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 horror/sci-fi novel ten years ago, has pitched a sequel to Warner Bros., according to The Los Angeles Time. Protosevich originally wrote the screenplay for Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and was hired over the years to tweak the script for other directors.

However, Akiva Goldsmith was brought on in 2005 and re-tooled the film and moved its setting from Los Angeles to New York. Director Francis Lawrence's version is now coming to theaters in December.

I guess this means that Will Smith survives the first movie. I don't know what a sequel would entail, but the upcoming movie I Am Legend definitely looks cool. The movie trailer kicks butt, and Will Smith hardly fails in films like this.

Abbie Cornish to get laid by James Bond

Is Abbie Cornish the next Bond girl? Is Rose Byrne no longer in the running? Who is Abbie Cornish? Will Bond be goofier than its predecessor? So many questions, so little time.

The next James Bond movie, which returns Daniel Craig to the role of the rugged yet suave secret service agent, will apparently star Cornish according to Aussie friend Rose Byrne. Byrne, a rising star in the U.S. who has had big roles in such films as Sunshine, 28 Weeks Later and the newly premiered TV show Damages, had been rumored for the role for a while, but suggested that not she but another rumored Aussie had been cast instead. The speculation does have some wait, but confirmation from another actress is not enough to get me thinking too much about it (though I'll gladly think about both Cornish and Byrne whenever I want) - maybe she just wants the reports off her back.

Cornish is perhaps best known for her co-starring role in Russell Crowe's A Good Year, where she played the hot cousin or sister or what not. Apparently she is quite popular in Australia, but has yet to get her big break in the U.S. - James Bond would definitely do it.

That being said, the producers better not follow through with Craig's suggestion that they were leaning toward a goofier Bond the next time around, much like Roger Moore's films. If they do that, they will destroy everything the last film worked to create, a gritty re-imagining of our popular hero. Casino Royale was excellent - why mess with the formula?