Weekend Roundup: FlixChatter on BTR radio & Trailer highlights from SDCC – Wonder Woman, King Arthur & Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

weekendroundup

Happy Sunday everybody!

How’s your weekend? Mine is quite a busy one. I went to see Star Trek Beyond Friday night (review coming soon) and spent most of the day at the grand opening of the new Vikings stadium (US BANK stadium) in downtown Minneapolis.

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Hey I’m on the radio! 😀

Earlier this month I had a chat with BreakThrough (BTR) Radio host Taia Handlin who runs the Biology of the Blog podcast. It was an honor & privilege to talk about the origins of my blog and my passion for movies in general. So hope you take a listen…


comiccon_logoOk, I thought I’d post about a few highlights from San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. I can’t believe it’s been five years since I was at SDCC! I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get tickets to go there, nor do I have the energy to wait in line for hours again. Well I’ll always have the fun memory of being in Hall H!

I was pretty much blissfully ignorant to all the updates most of the weekend until late Saturday night when I watched some of the trailers.

Well, the two I posted here are two of the movies I most look forward to in 2017. I actually saw the Justice League trailer first but honestly it doesn’t change my mind from my ‘meh’ sentiment about it. It looks humorous but given Zack Snyder directing, can’t say I’m optimistic.

THIS trailer however, still gets me excited!

WonderWomanGalGadot

Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman is one of the few best thing about Batman V Superman, and goodness it’s about time we see a feature film showcasing a bad-ass female superhero!!

Yes I realize that despite having a female director Patty Jenkins at the helm, we’ve got four male writers (including Zack Snyder, yikes!) But I’m hoping they’d do the Amazon princess’ story justice. I LOVE that the film is a period piece set in 1920s, and this is an origin story I don’t mind seeing. We’ve got a glimpse of Themyscria, home of the Amazons. Oh and Chris Pine as the human boyfriend… interesting that the trailer debuts the same weekend as Star Trek Beyond.


Nice to see Connie Nielsen as Diana’s mother, been too long since she had a prominent role since Gladiator. Oh and speaking of bad ass women, Robin Wright as an Amazonian army general, yes please! The trailer ends in a comedic note, which I take it as a good thing as superhero movies ought to have a sense of humor.


CharlieH_KingArthur

I know it’s all about superhero and comic-book movies at SDCC, but I’ve been looking forward to Guy Ritchie‘s take on the often-told King Arthur adaptation. Well, this medieval king is more ‘street’ than any other ones we’ve seen before and y’know what, I think it looks like fun! This is a mythological figure that’s been done to death on screen, so I welcome an unconventional, edgier version. I gotta say I like the casting of Charlie Hunnam in the lead role, too.


One of the biggest announcements out of #MarvelSDCC has got to be THIS:

I have no clue who Captain Marvel is, but another female superhero? That’s always a good thing in my book and I think the lovely Brie is a fine choice! It seems Marvel is a bit behind in making a female heroine movie this time as DC’s already got Wonder Woman ready for battle next Summer. I thought that they’d spun-off Black Widow by now, alas…

The lovely Lupita Nyong’O tweeted this from SDCC… so much awesomeness in a single photo!

 


Well that’s my weekend recap folks. Thoughts on SDCC or anything you watched this weekend?

Weekend Roundup: Farewell My Queen, Purple Noon & Wishing I were at San Diego Comic-con!

Well my weekend is pretty uneventful really. I didn’t even go to the cinema nor watched too many movies. Friday night was a fun Movie Night with my girlfriends, which we haven’t done in almost a year since one of them had a baby. We’ve decided on the movie weeks ago, Farewell My Queen, which is fitting since I’ve been obsessing over the French Revolution since my Paris trip in early June.

FarewellMyQueen

The film focuses on the relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her readers Sidonie Laborde during first days of the French Revolution. The whole movie takes place in Versailles which is beautifully shot. Now believe it or not, I have not seen a single movie about Marie Antoinette nor the French Revolution. Though the film looks authentic and well-acted, the film barely pays any attention to the real issues that led to the revolt. The Revolution only serves as a backdrop, focusing more on the obsession, loyalty and betrayal of the three main characters.

As I’m now watching Downton Abbey, the upstair/downstairs lives of the servants, courtiers and the royals in that lavish palace is fun to watch. The scene when the courtiers find out about the list of the 300 targets of the guillotine is pretty intriguing and you could really feel the tension brimming in that dark corridor. The performances are quite good, I’m especially impressed by Lea Seydoux as Sidonie, who’s really the lead of the film. She has a certain vulnerability about her that makes you sympathize with her right away, and she’s a stunning actress who definitely looks more interesting the more you look at her. Diane Kruger is quite effective as the Austrian-born queen, whilst Virginie Ledoyen is as beautiful as she is aloof, which is fitting as she’s the object of the queen’s affection. Overall though, the film is just ok, perhaps not the best films out there on the topic of the French Revolution, but it’s not a bad one to start with.

PurpleNoonCriterionFor my July Blindspot, I watched Purple Noon (Plein soleil) starring Alain Delon. I’ve seen the remake The Talented Mr Ripley years ago so I knew the gist of it but honestly I’ve forgotten most of the details from that one. One thing for sure Matt Damon is not nearly as appealing as Delon in the role of Tom Ripley, even though it’s funny that Delon barely spoke any English in this film despite being an American character.

Delon with his razor-sharp cheekbones and steely gaze possesses a certain coldness, that dangerous undercurrent beneath such an impossible good looks. I’ll save the full review until Tuesday but suffice to say I’m glad I finally saw this one. I’ve been wanting to see more from Delon after seeing him in a taciturn role in Le Samouraï.


Now, the rest of my weekend is filled with a lot of drooling over Comic-con in San Diego. My dear friend Melissa of Snap Crackle Watch was there with her girlfriend, lucky gal! Here’s her recaps – Part I and Part II. I was following her fun tweets all weekend, can’t wait to read her recaps whenever she gets around to posting it. Man, I could see why it’s getting more difficult impossible to get to SDCC, I mean the kind of films being covered there is incredible! Interstellar, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs Superman, The Hobbit 3, etc. Here are my favorite photos from the four-day festivities!

A bunch of trailers debuted at SDCC, but I refuse to post those grainy, shaky-cam versions shot by fans in Hall H. I’ll wait for the official one, thank you very much. But hey, the one I’ve been waiting for, Mad Max: Fury Road, has released its first trailer online!

MadMaxPosterTomHardy

I didn’t see any photos of Tom Hardy so he might not have been at the Mad Max Panel but here’s the new trailer. Interesting to see him with his Bane-like mask, ahah. So far it looks very cool though I expect the second trailer to actually show more of the story than just a mash-up of action sequences in dystopian Australian dessert.


Well that’s my weekend roundup, folks. What about you, seen anything good?

Counting down to Comic-Con 2011

HELLO everyone! My bags are packed and I’m ready for California! It’s exactly one week until I’ll be at Comic-Con for the first time ever.

In lieu of a Friday post, I’m going to share with you my thoughts as a Comic Con newbie. You know what, to be honest with you, I’m a bit nervous. I really don’t know what to expect but at the same time I know that whatever it’ll be, it’s going to be exhilarating. I’ve been reading all kinds of tips from various blogs and sites, including one from Collider.com that my pal Castor sent me via Twitter for first timers like me. Very helpful stuff, for sure now I’ll be packing bottled water, snacks, a book/magazine, hand sanitizer and most importantly, comfy shoes! (I’ve got my black canvas TOMS so I’m all set) 😀

I’ll be packing a relaxed attitude as well, because really, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world if I can’t into a panel. It’s just not worth it to be all in a tizzy and ruin my own mood for entire event [I have to remind myself this for the sake of my dear husband, ahah] As that Collider article said in the first tip: Do It for the Experience and not the Panels. One thing for sure, my budding photographer hubby is gonna have a field day with all the photo ops at the Con, not just the possible celebs but those amusing Cosplay everywhere.

I'll be amongst these folks in less than a week!
I also have to make sure to wake up early! Perhaps even in be in line as early as 6 AM if I want to get into Hall H for Amazing Spider-Man at 4 PM. Oh boy, I really don’t know if I have the stamina and determination to do such a thing yet, we’ll just have to see.

Well, anyway, here are some of the panels I’m sincerely hoping to get into for both Thursday and Friday:

THURSDAY

(schedule info via Collider)

The biggest event for the day is the Twilight: Breaking Down panel at 11:15, so I’m guessing there’ll be camps set up outside the conference by now already. My hope is that given its massive popularity, it’ll be pretty easy to get into other panels going on at the same time. You’d think this would be the perfect time slot for studios to cater to non-Twihard demographic. I will stay as far away from Hall H just in case a stampede happens!

11:45 – 12:45 Battlestar: So Say We All— Richard Hatch hosts a panel and fan discussion of the Battlestar Galactica universe, politics, and philosophy. Richard (Tom Zarek, Capt Apollo), Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Blood and Chrome), Dr Kevin Grazier (BG science consultant), and surprise guests for this exciting round table and Q&A session. Room 6BCF

4:15 – 5:15 TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites— TV Guide is back with an all-star panel for the fans! Moderated by editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum, Fan Favorites features your favorite talent from your favorite shows — in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Panelists include Nestor Carbonell (Ringer), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory),  Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz), Leslie Hope (The River), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Julie Plec (Vampire Diaries), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Kevin Williamson (Vampire Diaries), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), and others. Ballroom 20

Oooh, and according to SDCC Blog, Captain America just might make an appearance!

Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving will be at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 for one day. The movie screening location is still unknown, but word on the street is that it will all happen on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 10am. We’re not sure how fans will get a chance to attend, but it’s likely they might throw some sort of raffle to lucky Comic-Con goers.

Doesn’t sound like I’ll have a chance at the raffle, but who knows perhaps they might be at the Marvel booth? [fingers firmly crossed!]


FRIDAY

(schedule info via SDCC blog)

This is the day the mighty popular Hall H will be my home for the whole day (if I’m lucky!) ALL the biggest events happen in this very room, but it can only host 6,500 people and there are about 150,000 people at the entire conference, so you do the math. It’ll be a battle to be able to get in. But considering the lineup, it might be one worth fighting for!

11:00 AM – This is so very exciting! I’ve been anticipating The Adventures of Tintin for some time now as I read the comics religiously as a kid. Now it’s been confirmed that Steven Spielberg will be among the guests during the Hall H panel for the movie!

I don’t know if Peter Jackson will too though, as he’s busy working on The Hobbit right now. No news whether any of the cast member would be there or not, either, but I’ll keep checking on this one and hope I can even get into the panel as it’s the first one of the day at 11AM!

1:00 – 2:00 PM – Now, this one isn’t a panel so I don’t even know this would work but Hollywood Reporter said Tom Hardy and his WARRIOR co-star Joel Edgerton (an Aussie actor on the brink of stardom) will be at the Lionsgate booth promoting their boxing flick. Whoah! If I can’t get into the Tintin panel I sure know where I’ll be hanging around that morning!




12:15 – 1:15
Raven and Haywire — Two fantastic films from Relativity Media debut in this Hall H presentation.

Cusack squaring off against Luke Evans

RavenThe film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis for a string of brutal murders. Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, Luke Evans, and Alice Eve and is directed by James McTeigue.

I’m not a big John Cusack fan but Wales actor Luke Evans (who’ll also be on Immortals panel on Saturday) is one of up-n-coming Brits on my watch list so it’d be great to see him. Plus the story sounds intriguing. Looks like director Stephen Soderbergh will appear for the first time at Comic-Con to promote Haywire, an espionage thriller with mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano making her feature film debut.

Now, the one event every geek is waiting for (unless you’re a Twi-hard that is, in which case you’re probably still hyperventilating from the Thursday event)…

4:00 – 5:30 — Sony returns to Hall H with a lineup of their movies, but the biggest one of all is undoubtedly …

The Amazing Spider-Man!
The movie isn’t out until July 3, 2012 but the buzz is in full swing with the release of brand new hi-res images (you can see them all here).

I’ve been a fan of Andrew Garfield since Social Network, then he impressed me once again in Boy A and Never Let Me Go, hence his inclusion on my list of Five Notable Breakout Performances of 2010. I like Tobey Maguire as Spidey but I’m actually ready to see what Andrew would bring to the role, and based on what I’ve seen him in, I think he’ll be terrific! The cast is pretty darn good, there’s Hollywood ‘it girl’ Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Dennis Leary as her dad Capt. George Stacy, Rhys Ifans as the villain Lizard, and Martin Sheen + Sally Field as Peter Parker’s parents.

Appearing in person at the panel are producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

Man, if I can get into Hall H on Friday, it’d perhaps erase all my disappointment about not being able to see the Immortals panel on Saturday…

Yes, that’s the one that got away from me… I was so excited when I first saw news that I just might be able to see Superman, a.k.a. Henry Cavill, alas, I read the date wrong (I thought it was a Friday). Even if I could get tickets to the Saturday event, I still won’t be able to attend as our flight back is Saturday morning to catch the U2 concert in Minneapolis. We already paid the tickets last year when the show was canceled due to Bono’s back surgery. Oh well, perhaps next time …


Ok, that’s it folks. I’ll try to post something daily from the Con even if it’s short, though I don’t think I’m going to attempt live-blogging as the wi-fi connection probably will be terrible given how many people will try to connect at the same time. I’d rather just savor the experience and blog about it when I get to my hotel.

Well, wish me luck, dear friends. Anybody else going this year? For those of you who’ve been to SDCC, feel free to share your experience and/or tips from the event.

Weekend Roundup: Trailers aired during SuperBowl, San Diego Comic Con, etc.

Did you watch the big game? Well, the Packers won the SuperBowl, congrats to Aaron Rogers & his team, seems like they had it from the start. I was in front of the tv but not exactly watching the game, I was downstairs keeping my hubby company mostly to watch the trailers and commercials. As ScreenRant‘s Vic Holtreman said in his tweet, “I really wish the Super Bowl would stop interrupting the great trailers and commercials.” Ha!

One of the most notable trailers was the Captain America teaser that seemingly everyone’s been waiting for:

It went by really fast and all I could remember was Chris Evans’ powerful um, man boobs pecs. Maybe because he was so ridiculously skinny at the beginning before he went inside the super-soldier making machine. It looks so heavily CGI-ed as Evans obviously didn’t pull a Christian Bale by yo-yo-ing 60+ pounds for this role. Anyways, this movie isn’t one I’m hugely anticipating this year, I’m going to see how the reviews pan out before heading out to the theater. There were more than a dozen trailers total that aired last night, you can see ’em all on Cinematical. Most of them weren’t all that memorable, maybe ’cause there are so many coming at you one after another. The slightly more revealing Super 8 trailer looks pretty intriguing though not exactly on my must-see list, while the other marvel movie THOR still hasn’t impressed me.

Which movie trailer and/or commercial was your favorite?

Well, on Saturday, I spent most of my day trying to register for this year’s San Diego Comic Con. For the third time in a row, the ticketing system crashed again! Back in December, they halted registration for the second time around with only a handful of people able to get tickets. Despite hiring a new ticket sales web site TicketLeap and a month to figure out the problem, the dreaded ‘currently over capacity’ issues still plagued the system. If you’re on Twitter on Saturday, #sdcc was trending for hours filled with people protesting, cussing in frustration. It took me about 3+ hours and about 300+ browser refresh before I finally got the tickets for Thursday and Friday, unfortunately the Saturday badges had been sold out 😦 Oh well, I guess two days is better than nothing. This will be the first time I’ll be at the largest comic convention in the world but I can’t wait to see what’s in store come next July. Will Zack Snyder and the new Superman Henry Cavill be there on Hall H? Chris Nolan and his Dark Knight Rises crew? Man, it’s only February and I’m already over excited!

Has anybody been at SDCC? If so, any tips for a first timer?

This weekend was pretty slow in the movie-watching department, but on our Girls Movie Night on Friday, we ended up watching Casino Royale instead of the Keira Knightley period drama The Duchess, which we had agreed upon weeks ago. It started out when one of my girlfriends said she wanted to see something of an action movie and the fact that she has NEVER seen a Bond movie in her entire life. We all kinda looked at her in aghast, but interestingly enough, all of my girlfriends had never seen Casino Royale, either. Good thing I have the dvd, and though I’ve seen it several times, I didn’t mind seeing it again. That banter on the train between Bond and Vesper is still one of my favorite scenes! Funny that on Friday’s post, Prairiegirl and Aiden commented they’d be watching a certain Bond film for the first time, too.

Coincidentally, on Chinese New Year weekend, the movie that arrived on Netflix was Zhang Yimou’s HERO with Jet Li. But with the hoopla over the Comic-con tickets, SuperBowl and the fact that we spent Saturday AM painting our wall in our entertainment room, we still haven’t got around to watching it. I didn’t have my weekend roundup post last week or I’d have shared the fact that we just scored a new 55-inch SONY BRAVIA HX800 for more than half the price of the original, as the store we bought it from just filed Chapter 11. Good thing we bought it when we did a week ago, as now the price went up $500 bucks! We painted the wall where the unit hangs with a dark color so when the lights are dimmed, the frames of the TV kinda blends in nicely with the background. So anyway, that’s my weekend scoop, hope yours was a good one.

So, what movie(s) did you end up seeing this weekend?

I wish I were at Comic-Con right now!

Avatar teaser image
Avatar teaser image

I’ve always wanted to check out the annual San Diego Comic-Con convention! With the increasingly popular comic-based flicks the past few years, it’s no longer just for comic geeks. A plethora of movie enthusiasts mob this convention, eager to see previews of highly-anticipated flicks and perhaps even get a chance to meet their fave actors. This year’s highlight seems to be James Cameron’s AVATAR (well, to non-Twilight fans at least). At the Avatar panel yesterday, Cameron himself and some of the cast members (including Sigourney Weaver & Zoe Saldana) were there to unveil a 25-minute footage of this groundbreaking flick. Boy, would I love to have been there to see that!

Sam Worthington, who plays the lead, appeared via a video message from the set of Clash of the Titans, so I got to hear his thick Aussie accent for the first time. The 32-year-old actor, who beat out hundreds of established and unknown actors for the role, is what Cameron called an ‘old-school tough guy.’ “We were making a $200 million-plus movie and it’s all about the journey of one guy, Jake, and he’s in every scene in the film, from beginning to end. It all hangs on that one piece of casting,” Cameron said at the Australian In Film event last May where he presented the Breakthrough award to Worthington. Perhaps Avatar will do wonders for his career the way Titanic did for Leo DiCaprio?

Here’s what I learn so far about the plot:

Jake, a paraplegic soldier, participated in an experiment involving an alien planet called Pandora, to assume an “avatar” – a half human, half alien host body. Now that he’s able to walk again, he’s then unwillingly sent to establish a human settlement on Pandora, where he finds himself battling humankind alongside the planet’s indigenous Na’vi race.

This ambitious, big-budgeted, digital 3-D sci-fi epic has been a four-year labor of love for Cameron. He’s collaborating with Lord of the Ring‘s director Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital visual effects company as a consultant for the super complex CGI process.

Ok now, there’s always a risk all those special-effects mumbo jumbo and visual marvel would trample over character development, but according to a few of those who were lucky enough to be at the conference, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. According to Screenrant, that careful balance between strong CGI and character-driven storyline is what separates Cameron’s works from other sci-fi flicks out there. “Jim is always about story first,” Worthington said about Cameron whilst promoting Terminator Salvation. “He’s a very actor-friendly director. You can put all the bells and whistles you like, but if it’s not about revealing something about the human spirit, people are going to tune out.” That’s very promising indeed.

Cameron declared August 21st as “Avatar Day” as the filmmaker will be previewing 15 minutes of FREE footage on every imax theater worldwide! Leave it to him to spearhead this kind of genius marketing idea, I’ll definitely be setting my calendar to see that! You can catch a glimpse of what I presume is the ‘hybrid’ creature on the Avatar official site. Awesome!

The film opens wide December 18, 2009.