Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Movie Briefs: Cera Signs on Development, Andy Signs on Conan, Gondry Signs on Green Hornet

  • ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT MOVIE A GO! It is basically 100% official. It now looks like Michael Cera has signed on, and everyone else already has and awesome! There's no word on when they'll start filming or anything, because it hasn't actually been confirmed. But it basically has. Get very excited people









  • In the third piece of insanly great news today, Michael Gondry will be directing The Green Hornet. Yes, that Green Hornet, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg of Superbad and Pineapple Express fame. And starring Seth Rogen and Stephan Chow. It's kind of cool that, first, Seth and Evan's Express is directed by arthouse-hero David Gordan Green. And now, for their next big-screen blockbuster, they bring in the opposite of a blockbuster-director. Some are worried that the story of the Green Hornet doesn't give Gondry enough room to play, but that's why he's Michael Gondry! Because he can do amazing things, remember? I loved Eternal Sunshine, and it's currently one of my favorite of the decade. I also liked Be Kind, Rewind a lot more than most people. Paint me excited.

DVDs/Blu-Rays This Week: February 24th, 2009

I'VE SEEN:

Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season
Creator. Vince Gilligan
(DVD)

To be honest, I only saw the first episode. Then, they started deleting from the DVR faster than I could watch them. However, I loved the first episode, and will definetly rent this in order to be caught up for the new season. Bryan Cranston is unbelievable in this, as is RJ Mitte as his kid. And the rest of the cast. After this and Mad Men, I can't wait to see when genius AMC spits out next.





I HAVEN'T SEEN:



Akira
Dir. Katsuhiro Otomo
(Blu-Ray)

The animation classic about a post-WWIII Tokyo and bikers and all that. To be honest, I don't know much about this film but I do know I want/need to see it. It is a classic after all.







The French Connection
Dir. William Friedkin
(Blu-Ray)

Another "need-to-see" movie coming out on Blu-Ray. There are so many movies out there that I need to see that I am going to start only with the ones on Blu-Ray. It makes it much more manageable, at least for now. Then I 'll go for the classics not on Blu-Ray, and finally start to delve more into specific genres and directors and all that. I just thought I'd throw that in there.



Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Dir. Kurt Kuenne
(DVD)

Supposedly one of the most emotional films of last year, if not the most tear-jerker of a documentary ever made, Dear Zachary was filmed by Kurt as he tried to memorialize his late friend. While filming, he finds out that the woman who killed him was pregnant with his friend's son, Zachary of the title. The plot just typed out is hard to read, and I can't imagine it's a fun movie to watch, but a powerful one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out This Week: 3rd Week in February, 2009












Fired Up!
(Dir. Will Gluck)
[Wide Release]

Plot: Two high school jocks (Nicholas D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen) can't stand the thought of another summer at football camp. So, they decide to go to cheerleading camp instead! They figure, more hot babes equals better summer, right? Well, it all goes according to plan until one of the guys falls in love with a cheerleader.

My Excitement Level (1-10): 3
Why?: C'mon, look at the plot. And D'Agosto sucked the big one on Heroes who stood out as uncharismatic among a sea of lameos. Plus, the commercials look really dumb (except for the "we are crashing/we we are crashing" line. That was pretty funny). Despite rave reviews from Ain't It Cool, I think I'll skip this one.
Current RT: 22%













Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
(Dir. Tyler Perry)
[Wide Release]

Plot: A lot of black stuff happens to black people and Tyler Perry dresses up as a woman again.

My Excitement Level: 0
Why?: Not even going to bother.

Current RT: N/A













Must Read After My Death
(Dir. Morgan Dews)
[Limited Release]

Plot: A documentary about Dews' grandmother, Allis, who over her life collected a large amount of audio recordings, silent films, pictures and journals of and about her family's tough history. After her death, Dews discovered these treasures and created this film following the life of his grandmother, and her hisband and four kids. As their lives turn darker, so do the recordings, and Dews plays these tapes in contradiction with the home movies which create a much simpler and nicer facade.

My Excitement Level: 9
Why?: Maybe it's just because this film happens to come out the same weekend as the previous two movies I mentioned, but it seems very unique and quite possibly (and hopefully) heartbreaking. It reminds me of My Winnipeg, if not quite (or nearly) as weird, in the way that it strips the memories we create to show the truth of the pain we have stored in our past.

Current RT: 100%

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

DVDs/Blu-Rays This Week: February 10th, 2009

I'VE SEEN:

W.
Dir. Oliver Stone
(DVD/Blu-Ray)

This film had some major flaws, including a disjointed story, and a lack of cohesiveness between the politics and the personal life of Bush. However, Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks (and Richard Dreyfuss, and James Cromwell and a lot more) are astoundingly amazing. Brolin creates a deep and moving character where he could have easily made a caricature. And the scene near the end, the conversation about Cats (and more) in the Bush bedroom, is one of the best scenes of last year. It is definetly worth seeing, but don't expect a masterpiece.

Film Grade: B-



I HAVEN'T SEEN:

Chocolate
Dir. Prachya Pinkaew
(DVD/Blu-Ray)

This film sounds awesome. An autistic girl can do any martial arts moves she sees in movies, and uses them to stop the evil creditors coming after her cancer-ridden mother. Seriously, how is that not one of the best plots ever? I definelty plan to rent this one.





Frozen River
Dir. Courtney Hunt
(DVD/Blu-Ray)

I mainly want to see this because of Melissa Leo's Oscar-nominated performance. The film itself looks good too, with illegal immigration and all that.


Movie Briefs: Inglorious Trailer Preview, 'Licoln' Gets Rushed, Krasinski & Baldwin & Streep & Martin


Monday, February 9, 2009

Movie Briefs: Dreamworks & Disney Get Cozy, Inglorious Trailer(?), Tom Tykwer is the What

  • In very big news, Disney has bought Dreamworks from Universal. JoBlo reports that the deal will mean the Disney's Touchstone Pictures will release six Dreamworks films a year. While their animation department can't hold a candle to Pixar, they've made a couple good ones. Plus, this deal is all about the live action, and Dreamworks is pretty good there. The problem is that they're going for family films, and Touchstone pictures completely lacks in quality there. Hopefully everyone will work together and make great movies. Because we don't need another Swing Vote.
  • According to /film, director Tom Tykwer (the upcoming The International) is adapting Dave Eggers' novel What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng. The novel is a lose telling of the story of Valentino, one of the Sudanese Lost Boys. As a Lost Boy, he "was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom", according to book description. I've always wanted to get into Eggers, and think this would be a good reason to start.
  • I'm really, really hoping Inglorious Basterds is not just good, but great. I'm counting on the trailer to give me hope. Even though trailers often give very different impressions then the actual film, it'll be nice to at least see the style of the movie. /film says that it's looking like we'll be seeing this teaser trailer as early as this week. Even though it's quite a while until its supposed debut at Cannes in May, the trailer may be featured with the Friday the 13th remake because, you know, they're both movies.

Review: Coraline

Coraline, an early contender for the best film of the year, creates not only a world to get lost in, but a world to get lost in within that world. Coraline follows the titular character as she moves to a new town without any friends and with parents who are much too busy for her. Add in an annoying boy down the road and oddball performers as neighbors and Coraline’s life is terribly unpleasant. Eventually, she discovers a tiny door in her new house, which leads to a world much like her own, except that every flaw of her original world is fixed. All she needs to do to stay? Sew buttons onto her eyes.

The film compares the world we live in with the world we dream of. While our own lives may seem dreary and depressing, the perfect world we envision is best left a dream. The reason is because there is always a price to pay for perfection. Most often we are not asked to sew buttons on our eyes, but this is merely a way of showing the sacrifices necessary to having everything we want.

John Hodgman proves that voicing is an art as much as acting is, by bringing a loving and comical quality to Coraline’s father. The film combines creepiness with its magical wonderment, creating an even more frightening spin by turning the colorful worlds we imagine into nightmares. And director Henry Selick’s stop-motion animation is perfectly used as a beautiful alternative to the common-place CGI.

Coraline
expresses the belief that a perfect world cannot exist, but proves that a perfect film can.

Grade: A