Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: African Cats (**1/2)

African Cats is Disneynature's new documentary. It is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. It follows the lives of three different cats. Kahil is the leader of the lions in Kenya in his group are Fang a lion who lost a tooth after a battle. Mara who after her mother dies gets lost from the group. And the final cat that is focused is Sita a cheetah that raises five cubs, one day Sita loses three of her cubs to hyenas. Throughout the film the lions hope to reunite together and they hunt for food

In my opinion there were parts that were cool but there were a few parts where it got boring. For fun I mocked Sam Jackson's Snakes On A Plane (an example is a lot of flies would go on to the lion's face so every time I saw that I would go "I've had it with these motherfuckin flies on my motherfuckin face.") There was a credits scene that was a bit silly. Overall if you care about our planet see this movie. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Important dates for the 84th Oscars

Thursday, December 1, 2011: Official Screen Credits forms due
Tuesday, December 27, 2011: Nominations ballots mailed
Friday, January 13, 2012: Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Tuesday, January 24, 2012: Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT,
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, February 1, 2012: Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 6, 2012: Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2012: Scientific and Technical Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2012: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 26, 2012: 84th Academy Awards presentation

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jeremy Renner is the New Bourne

...according to The Hollywood Reporter:

There's barely enough Jeremy Renner to go around.
The Hurt Locker star, who was also Oscar nominated for his work in The Town last year, has been handed an offer for the starring role in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy, who wrote or co-wrote the first three films in Universal's Bourne saga, has been testing actors for the last few weeks to play a brand new lead character distinct from Matt Damon's Jason Bourne (Damon isn't returning). But Renner is the guy everybody wants right now.
The problem, as always, is scheduling. It took a while to work out his ability to star in Paramount's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which he's shooting now for a March release. That followed filming his role in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, also for Paramount, which hits theaters in December.
Then there's the little movie The Avengers, in which he plays Hawkeye for Marvel Studios and Disney. That comes out in May next year, but audiences will get a sneak peek at him in Thor, which Paramount hammers into theaters in two weeks to kick off the summer. Avengers starts shooting soon and will continue filming into August and September with Joss Whedon at the helm and a slew of other superheroes on set.

But Renner had been considering starring opposite Eric Bana in Sheldon Turner's revenge thriller By Virtue Fall in the fall. It's a project Renner has been flirting with for most of the last year. Now it looks like he will instead jump from Avengers right into his third (!!) potential franchise with Bourne, then shoot Virtue after the New Year.
Given his packed schedule, Renner, who's repped by CAA and Untitled, may need to be superhuman after all.

John's two cents: With this and Mission Impossible I think he is trying to typecast. Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Change-Up Red Band Trailer

John's two cents - looks good thoughts

"Restrepo" Co-Director Reportedly Killed in Libya

The news was first reported by Business Insider, but has now been picked up by Huffington Post (article below) and confirmed by the Associated Press:

Two highly acclaimed photojournalists have been killed in Libya, it was reported Wednesday.
Tim Hetherington, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and photographer, and Chris Hondros, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist, were reported to have been killed in the city of Misrata while covering fighting between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels. Andre Liohn, a fellow photographer who was injured during the same battle, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that the two had died "when covering the front line." Liohn initially said that Hetherington had died, but soon wrote on his wall, "Chris Hondros died now."
Further details are sketchy. It is not clear what exactly happened, or how the two men died.
Hetherington was a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair, and co-directed the Afghan war film "Restrepo" with author Sebastian Junger. Hondros' war photography has appeared in countless publications, and he was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2004.
The war in Libya has been intensely dangerous for journalists. The deaths of Hetherington and Hondros bring the number of journalists killed to at least three.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trailer for The Help

John's two cents: An Oscar contender? I'll wait till the reviews come out

John's DVD Pick of the week (April 19th 2011)

It's Tuesday and that means my Dvd pick of the week comes this film was just a play at my school IT'S

Rabbit Hole.

Yes Rabbit Hole the story of a married couple trying to get over the death of their son.

Other films out this week are The Best Picture winner The King's Speech, Peter Weir's The Way Back, Sofia Coppla's Somewhere, and The horrid modern day telling of Gulliver's Travels.

My vintage pick is in honor of this weeks release of African Cats I'm recommending Disneynature's Earth. It is a beautiful and visual telling of wild animal life on our planet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Source Code (**1/2)

Source Code is the new film from director Duncan Jones (Moon.) It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens, who is on a train and does not know anything and is con fused until the train blows up. He goes back and meets a woman (Vera Farmiga.) She says he is in the source code, which would enter the last 8 minutes of a man's life. If he failed he would blow up and die and would have to restart again. During his time in the code he befriends a woman named Christina (Michelle Monagan) who he falls for every time he restarts.

In my opinion I thought the first time he tried to catch the bomber was pretty racist. There is a bit of a twist. Overall it's a decent sci-fi flick, however I cannot Recommend it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

John's DVD Pick of the week (April 12th 2011)

It's Tuesday and new dvds come out. My pick this week does not come out until Friday It's

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Again this film does not come out until Friday but this film had one of my favorite scenes of last year. The other big release this week is The Gwyenth Paltrow melodrama Country Strong.

My vintage pick is: In honor of this weeks release of Scream 4 I am recommending the first Scream the one that started it all

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Michael Shannon cast as General Zod in Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel.

Via The Wrap

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Michael Shannon will star in the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, titled “Man of Steel.”
Snyder stated, “Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don’t.  Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.”
As General Zod, Shannon will go toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill, who plays the new Clark Kent/Superman in the film.  The main cast also includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.
Michael Shannon was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.  Shannon was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire,” from executive producer Martin Scorsese.  He will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics', "Take Shelter," from director/writer Jeff Nichols.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film.  The screenplayis being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan.  Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.
“Man of Steel” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

John's two cents: Not a bad choice as i liked him in Revolutionary Road. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

RIP Sidney Lumet

Via The New York Times

Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Verdict,” “Network” — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

His stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel, said the cause was lymphoma.
“While the goal of all movies is to entertain,” Mr. Lumet once wrote, “the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.”
Social issues set his own mental juices flowing, and his best films not only probed the consequences of prejudice, corruption and betrayal but also celebrated individual acts of courage.
In his first film, “12 Angry Men” (1957), he took his cameras into a jury room where the pressure mounted as one tenacious and courageous juror (Henry Fonda) slowly convinced the others that the individual on trial for murder was in fact innocent. (Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court said the film had an important influence on her law career.)
Almost two decades later, Mr. Lumet’s moral sense remained acute when he ventured into satire with “Network” (1976), perhaps his most acclaimed film. Based on Paddy Chayefsky’s biting script, the film portrays a television anchorman who briefly resuscitates his fading career by launching on-air tirades against what he perceives as the hypocrisies of American society.

The film starred William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch as the commentator-turned-attack-dog whose proclamation to the world at large — “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” — became part of the American vernacular.
“Network” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best film and best director, and won four, including best actor (Mr. Finch), best actress (Ms. Dunaway), best original screenplay (Chayevsky) and best supporting actress (Beatrice Straight.)
Yet for all the critical success of his films and despite the more than 40 Academy Award nominations they drew, Mr. Lumet himself never won an Oscar, though he was nominated four times as best director. (The other nominations were for “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon” and “The Verdict.”)
Only in 2005 did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences present him with an honorary Academy Award. Manhola Dargis, writing in The New York Times, called it a “consolation prize for a lifetime of neglect.”
In 2007, in an interview that was videotaped to accompany this obituary online, Mr. Lumet was asked how it felt to win an Academy Award at long last. He replied, “I wanted one, damn it, and I felt I deserved one.”
That he was more a creature of New York than of Hollywood may have had something to do with his Oscar night disappointments. For Mr. Lumet, location mattered deeply, and New York mattered most of all. He was the quintessential New York director.
“Locations are characters in my movies,” he wrote. “The city is capable of portraying the mood a scene requires.”
He explored New York early on in “The Pawnbroker” (1964), the story of a Holocaust survivor (Rod Steiger), numbed and hardened against humanity by the horrors he has endured, who deals with racketeers in his Harlem pawnshop until his conscience is reawakened by a vicious crime on his doorstep.
The city loomed large in Mr. Lumet’s several examinations of criminal justice system. Police corruption particularly fascinated him, beginning with “Serpico” (1973). The film, based on a book by Peter Maas, was drawn from a real-life drama involving two New York City police officers, David Durk and Frank Serpico, who told David Burnham, a reporter for The New York Times, that they had ample evidence of police graft and corruption.
Publication of their story led to the mayoral appointment of a commission to investigate the charges and ultimately to major reforms. Both the book and the film concentrated on Detective Serpico, played by Al Pacino, and his efforts to change the system. Mr. Pacino’s performance brought him an Oscar nomination.
Mr. Lumet returned to the theme in 1981 with “Prince of the City,” for which he shared screenwriting credit with Jay Presson Allen. Based on the book by Robert Daley, the film dealt with an ambitious detective (Treat Williams) who goes undercover to gather evidence for an investigative commission and who winds up alienated and alone after being manipulated into destroying the lives and careers of many of those around him. Even the teeming cityscape has turned barren.
Mr. Lumet focused on criminals, rather than police, in “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975), telling the story (again based on fact) of a botched attempt to rob a Brooklyn bank. Mr. Pacino again starred, this time as Sonny, the leader of an amateurish gang of bank robbers whose plans go awry and who winds up taking hostages and demanding jet transport to a foreign country. It turns out that Sonny, although he has a wife at home, had planned the robbery to pay for his boyfriend’s sex-change operation. In 2009 the film was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
New York, or at least a fantasy version of it, was even the backdrop for Mr. Lumet’s most uncharacteristic film, “The Wiz,” his 1978 musical version of the “The Wizard of Oz” starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Roundly panned, it was also a box-office failure.
By the time he finished shooting “Night Falls on Manhattan” in 1996, Mr. Lumet had made 38 films, 29 of them on location in New York City. That film, written by Mr. Lumet and based on another Daley novel, “Tainted Evidence,” once again looked at the justice system as it moved from a shootout with drug dealers into a revealing courtroom trial.
The courthouse was one of Mr. Lumet’s favorite arenas for drama, beginning with “12 Angry Men.” He returned to it again in “The Verdict” (1982), with a screenplay by David Mamet and a cast led by Paul Newman as a down-at-the-heels lawyer who redeems himself and his career when he represents a malpractice victim in a legal battle with a hospital.
But his concerns could also range more broadly, to issues of national survival itself. One of the most sobering films of the cold war era was his 1964 adaptation of Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler’s novel, “Fail-Safe,” a taut examination of the threat of accidental nuclear war with Henry Fonda as the president of the United States and a young Larry Hagman as his Russian-speaking interpreter. The film concluded with a harrowing suggestion of an atomic blast on American soil, rendered as a series of glimpses of ordinary life — children playing, pigeons taking wing — simply stopping. The scenes were from the streets of New York.
Sidney Lumet was born on June 25, 1924, in Philadelphia. His father, Baruch, an actor, was born in Poland and moved his family to New York when Sidney was a baby and joined the Yiddish Art Theater. By the time he was 4, Sidney was appearing onstage with his father, and he went on to make his Broadway debut in 1935 as a street kid in Sidney Kingsley’s “Dead End.” He appeared in several more Broadway shows, including Maxwell Anderson’s “Journey to Jerusalem” in 1940, in which he played the young Jesus.
After wartime service as a radar technician in the Far East, Mr. Lumet returned to New York and started directing Off Broadway and in summer stock. His big break came in 1950 when he was hired by CBS and became a director on the television suspense series “Danger.” Other shows followed, including the history series “You Are There.”
His career soared in 1953 when he began directing original plays for dramatic series on CBS and NBC, including “Studio One,” “Playhouse 90” and “Kraft Television Theater,” eventually adding some 200 productions to his credits. He also returned to the theater to direct Albert Camus’s “Caligula,” with Kenneth Haigh as the Roman emperor, and Shaw’s “Man and Superman,” among other plays.
Among the highlights of Mr. Lumet’s television years were a full-length production of Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Iceman Cometh,” with Jason Robards as the salesman Hickey and “12 Angry Men,” which he directed for television before turning it into his first film.
Some of Mr. Lumet’s early films had their origin in the theater. He directed Anna Magnani and Marlon Brando in “The Fugitive Kind” (1960), an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s play “Orpheus Descending”; he traveled abroad to film part of Arthur Miller’s “View from the Bridge” (1962) in Paris, with Raf Vallone, Maureen Stapleton and Carol Lawrence, completing the film on the Brooklyn waterfront; and he returned to the world of O’Neill to film “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (1962), with Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson as the tormented Tyrones. His 1968 adaptation of Chekhov’s “Sea Gull,” however, was generally deemed uneven despite a stellar cast that included James Mason, Simone Signoret and Vanessa Redgrave.
A trainload of stars turned out for Mr. Lumet’s 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” a project that took him abroad again, this time to Britain, France and Turkey, to film the famous whodunit in which the detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) must single out a murderer from a crowd of suspects that included Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery and John Gielgud.
There was a run of less than successful films, including “Running on Empty” (1988), with Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti as ’60s radicals still in hiding from the F.B.I. 20 years after participating in a bombing; the police drama “Q & A” (1990), with a screenplay by Mr. Lumet, about a racist New York detective (Nick Nolte); and “Critical Care” (1997), a satiric jab at the American health care system.
In 1995 Mr. Lumet published a well-received memoir, “Making Movies,” in which he summed up his view of directorial style: “Good style, to me, is unseen style. It is style that is felt.”
In 2001 he returned to television as executive producer, principal director and one of the writers of a new courtroom drama for cable television, “100 Centre Street” (the title was the address of the criminal court building in Lower Manhattan). The series, which ran for two seasons on A&E, had an ensemble cast with Alan Arkin as an all-too-forgiving judge known as Let-’em-Go Joe.
The director seemed immune to advancing age. Before long, he was behind the camera again. “Find Me Guilty” (2006), which starred Vin Diesel, was a freewheeling account of the events surrounding the federal prosecution of a notorious New Jersey crime family.
And he marked his 83rd year with the 2007 release of his last feature film, “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” the bleakly riveting story of two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) propelled by greed into a relentless cycle of mayhem. The film drew raves, and some critics thought he deserved a fifth Oscar nomination for his directing.
Mr. Lumet’s first three marriages, to the actress Rita Gam, Gloria Vanderbilt and Gail Jones, the daughter of Lena Horne, ended in divorce. He married Mary Gimbel in 1980. She survives him. Besides his stepdaughter, Ms. Gimbel, he is also survived by two daughters he had with Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and Jenny Lumet; a stepson, Bailey Gimble; nine grandchildren and a great grandson. Mr. Lumet also had a home in East Hampton, on Long Island.
Ms. Dargis called Mr. Lumet “one of the last of the great movie moralists” and “a leading purveyor of the social-issue movie.” Yet Mr. Lumet said he was never a crusader for social change.
“I don’t think art changes anything,” he said in The Times online interview. “I think we are primarily camp followers. We’re not in advance of anything.”
So why make movies?, he was asked.
“I do it because I like it,” he replied, “and it’s a wonderful way to spend your life.”
-Rest in peace...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Hanna (**)

Hanna is the new movie from director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice.) It stars Saoirse Ronan (Atonement.) as a girl living with her father (Eric Bana) on a remote place in Germany. One day her father gives her a switch that once she turns on there will be no going back. One day Hanna flips the switch and her father is on the run. Her father goes and Hanna stays. Their house is raided by the feds and she goes into a prison facility where she meets Marrissa (Cate Blanchett). She successfully escapes  and finds out she's in Morocco. There she meets a family from Australia, they spend the night with each other and the next day they take a ferry to Spain. That's when the shenanigans begin.

In the end I thought there were parts of the movie that were terrible, but there was one part that was kick-ass. I personally thought this was Joe Wright's worst film. But I believe he can redeem himself in his next picture.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

John's DVD Pick of the week (April 5th 2011)

My pick for this weeks dvd release was on my top ten films of 2010 it's

I Love You Phillip Morris
That's Right Jim Carrey gave his best performance since Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and
Ewan Mcgregor is amazing in this true story comedy drama about two gay men serving time in prison. Also out is the long awaited sequel Tron Legacy, The threequel The Chronicles Of Narnia The Voyage Of The Dawn Trender (which doesn't hit stores till Friday), and the awful sequel Little Fockers which was #9 on my worst films of the year.

My vintage pick is: In honor of this weeks release of Arthur I'm recommending the original 1981 Arthur With Dudley Moore and got John Gielgud an Oscar.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Early Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II (****)

Believe it or not yes I did see the recent Harry Potter movie. At Sucker Punch last week a man came and gave me a invitation to a special movie screening to a big big movie. It wasn't until a few minutes until the movie started where I found out that I was watching this movie.

Ok on to the actual movie, the movie takes place right after the first one left off. I won't give away anything except Neville Longbottom and Professor Mcgonagall are pretty badass and the battle of Hogwarts is amazing.

The second part only takes up 1/3rd of the book. Unlike the previous Harry Potter movies this one lasts only two hours, this suprised me. The special effects were not 100% done therefore I'll see it again on July 15th to see the outcome. In the end it's not every weekend you get to see a movie three months in advance.