2010 Year in Review: 5 Best and 5 Worst of the year

Reel graphic courtesy of Vectorstock.com
Welcome to 2011!! What a year it has been, 2010 was the first full year of movie blogging. I had no idea where this blog would take me when I started back in June 2009, but now I can’t imagine life without it. So thanks everyone for your support, and I hope you keep on coming back! 😀

Looking back at my Most Anticipated 2010 Movies list, l’ve only seen six out of the ten (two are actually not even released yet) and of the six, one totally failed my expectation. Last year, I saw a total of 29 movies, with the last one being True Grit on the last day of the year. I know that 29 is a pretty dismal number for a movie blogger. Of course that doesn’t include all of the dvd viewings from previous years, but still! Hence one of New Year’s resolution is to try to see more movies and hopefully more independent fares to balance the mainstream stuff.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you my five best and five worst flix list of 2010:

BEST

Please note that even though I saw The King’s Speech on January 1, I’m including it on my list as it was released in 2010.

    1. How To Train Your Dragon (full review)
      Even though I didn’t get a chance to see this in 3D, it’s positively my favorite of the year! The visuals are a spectacle, but this Dreamworks’ animated feature also has plenty of heart. It’s right up there with Wall-E in terms of how much this movie affected me. I’ve seen it twice already and loved every minute of it. I’ve seen bought the Blu-ray and will probably end up being my fave of all time! 😀
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    2. Toy Story 3
      I didn’t review this Pixar masterpiece, but it inspired me to list my Top 5 Fave Pixar Characters. Watching Toy Story 3 was no doubt one of the most entertaining cinematic experience in quite a while. If there is such a thing as a ‘flawless’ movie, this one could count as one.  The beauty of Pixar animated features are how well written the characters are and how incredibly poignant are their stories. These incredible toys have faced all kinds of mishaps and misadventures, but nothing could prepare them — and us — for what they’re about to face here. That ‘hand holding’ scene packs an emotional punch that if you didn’t at least choke up, you’ve got to be made of stone! It made me feel like a kid again, I will treasure this movie (and the entire trilogy) for years to come.
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    3. Inception (full review)
      One of the most original concept I’ve seen in a long time, Inception truly lives up to the hype. It’s an exhilarating experience watching this Christopher Nolan’s brain teaser, but one that certainly needs to be seen on the big screen. This is a film where the visual eye candy matches the brain candy (unlike Tron: Legacy), not to mention the wonderful performances from all of the cast. Totally agree with Ted’s assessment that Nolan should’ve been TIME’s pick for ‘the next Spielberg.’ In fact, even with less than a dozen movies under his belt, judging from the quality of his work, you could even say he’s already Spielberg’s equal.
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    4. The King’s Speech
      I was going to post my Best/Worst list on Saturday but I’m glad I waited until I saw this one. My wise blogger friend Mad Hatter warned me to be careful not to become a ‘victim’ of hype, and he specifically mentioned this movie “…just go in to watch a movie, don’t go looking for a new favorite. It’ll make the results that much more enjoyable.” And so I did. But guess what, as I’ve predicted in my top 5 favorite films about British monarch list, this one would’ve certainly made the list!

      Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush delivered masterful performances, certainly one of their career’s best that deserve major award recognition this year. This buddy dramedy between King George VI and his eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue are affecting, funny and earnest. It made me laugh and cry throughout and by the end I really was ready to clap. Beautifully written and directed, it also boasted the wonderful performance of the supporting cast: Helena Bonham Carter as the King’s wife and Guy Pearce as the King’s brother David.
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    5. True Grit
      I never thought I’d put this one on my Best list given that I had no interest in seeing this at all. I’m not a fan of Westerns nor the Coen Brothers (don’t get me wrong, I think they’re talented, I just don’t really ‘get’ their movies). But for whatever reason, the trailer intrigued me enough to make me want to see it in the theater. Unlike a lot of the Coens’ fans, I’m actually more inclined to see it BECAUSE of its PG-13 rating, I figure I wouldn’t have to worry about all the extreme violence that my friends warned me about in No Country for Old Men.

      Well, obviously I dug it or it wouldn’t have been on the list. In fact, it knocked Social Network out of my Top Five. I was truly impressed by the fourteen year-old Hailee Steinfeld in her breakout performance as the tough-talking Mattie Ross set out to avenge her father’s murder. She was nominated for a SAG Award in a Supporting Role, but you could say the young girl carried the film alongside seasoned actor Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. As Joel Coen said in this Screencrave interview, this film is “… Less a Western than a dark comedy… We wanted what was funny about the
 book, what was the humor of the book to come through in the movie.” Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much.
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Honorable Mentions:

  • The Social Network
    This one was in my Top Five before I saw True Grit, in fact, I was thisclose to making a ‘tie’ pick and broke the Top 5 rule 🙂 For a film about a social utility web site I hardly use, I found this David Fincher film surprisingly engaging. It has won practically every major award and though I was skeptical before seeing it, now I can see why. Aaron Sorkin’s well-written script and Fincher’s astute direction made for a suspenseful story and one that kept me engrossed from start to finish. As Ted mentioned in his Best list, it’s refreshing to see a film without a single gunshot or explosion being fired, yet still managed to keep me at the edge of my seat.

    Great performances abound from all the young actors, in fact, it should win Best Ensemble Cast of Actors Under 30 (the oldest in the cast is Justin Timberlake at 29). Jesse Eisenberg is great as Mark Zuckerberg, but Andrew Garfield stole scenes as Eduardo Saverin. His is one of the notable performances that I noticed from last year (I feel another list coming)
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  • The Town
    Ben Affleck’s sophomore project after the excellent Gone, Baby, Gone proves that he’s not just a one hit wonder. This compelling crime drama set in his favorite town of Boston boasts dynamic action, poignant dialog and notable performances from Affleck himself, as well as Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner. Though his acting skill is back in a lot of people’s good graces, I still think he’s a more talented director than actor. It’s not quite as good as Michael Man’s Heat, but still a worthy heist movie in its own right.
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  • Nowhere Boy (full review)
    After watching Kick-Ass, I was really impressed by Aaron Johnson’s performance. But seeing him in this confirmed he’s definitely one of Britain’s hottest young imports working today. His spot-on performance as John Lennon is deeply affecting — he wasn’t merely impersonating the music legend but was able to capture the forlornness and unhappiness of his youth. Not to mention the terrific performances of Kristin Scott Thomas as John’s aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff as his estranged mother. This is one biopic not to be missed.
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WORST

I was quite fortunate that I skipped a lot of films that look awful even from the trailer (Grown Ups, Cop Out, Valentine’s Day, The Back Up Plan, etc.). But still, compared to the others I saw, I think these five deserve to be on the bottom five:

  1. The Expendables (full review)
    Just downright awful, not worth seeing in the theater even for the cast! As I said in my review, there is absolutely nothing I could praise about this movie. In fact, the one star is for the “He wants to be president” line from Sly to Arnie the Governator, and the only not-so-cringe-inducing performance by Mickey Rourke.

    1 out of 5 reels
  2. Clash of the Titans (full review)
    Horrible acting, subpar script and so-so visual effects makes this a total waste of time. At least the Harryhausen original made an attempt to be somewhat engaging despite the poor CGI. I’m glad I didn’t waste my money seeing it on 3D (which I heard was even more terrible), but I wish I just wait until it came out in DVD.

    1 out of 5 reels

  3. Knight & Day
    It’s official. Tom Cruise has a superhero complex. He just loves being such a bad ass hero. It’s not enough that he’s got the Mission: Impossible franchise, he’s once again reprising the Ethan Hunt heroic character who defies logic and physics in order to fulfill his mission. Throw in an ever annoying Cameron Diaz who shares nearly every bit of screen time with him and the agony is complete. If I wasn’t cringing at all the ludicrous action scenes, I was scratching my head wondering what Peter Saarsgard was doing in this movie?? At least the gorgeous locations in Spain make this somewhat bearable, but overall, it was a vapid production.

    1.5 out of 5 reels
    ..
  4. The Bounty Hunter
    This is the movie that made me write this open letter to Gerry Butler. As I said in that post, I kinda had a hunch this was going to be bad, but saw it anyway as I already promised my friend Prairiegirl I’d go see it. Not even my affinity for Butler could make me enjoy this flick all the way through. Sure there were some funny moments but really, it’s more fun watching GB’s interviews!

    1.5 out of 5 reels
  5. The Tourist (full review)
    It pains me to put this on my worst list because I had been anticipating it so much and two of my favorite actors are in it (in fact, the two stars are for Rufus Sewell and Timothy Dalton to share! :D) But the inept script and preposterous plot forced me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complete waste and I’d even recommend this one for a rental as it’s still an entertaining fare to spend a mindless afternoon on. As I said in my review, Johnny Depp is pretty funny on occasion, but certainly it isn’t one of his best work.

    2 out of 5 reels

So that’s my list folks. Obviously with a list like this, it’s all a matter of personal taste, so no offense if your favorite ends up in my WORST list 😀 Well, what are your best and worst picks of this past year? Let’s hear it!

A Snownami Weekend Roundup

Our local paper calls it Snowmaggedon or Snowmygawd… and some tweets call it a Snownami. Anyway you call it, the blizzard condition practically crippled much of the state, forcing many TwinCitians to hibernate all day Saturday. A couple of my neighbors’ got their cars stuck just yards away from their house. What were they thinking trying to drive with over a foot of snow on the road?! Even the plow trucks were ordered off the highways due to visibility. According to StarTribune, about two feet of snow had fallen by Sunday morning around the metro area.

Click on image to see more photos on Startribune.com

The weather also gives sports fans a heck of a lot of stuff to chatter about. As it’s made national news yesterday, you probably have heard of the roof collapse of our football stadium. It apparently fell overnight, but luckily there are no reports of injuries. Man, I’ve never seen anything like it… snow was all over the dome floor and seats. So the game that’s scheduled to play there tonight has been moved to Detroit instead, though early reports says the snow’s likely going to follow them, ahah! Sooo much drama for the Vikes this season… it’s certainly one for the history books (though not exactly for their stellar performance :().

Now back to movie chatter, I mean, isn’t that why you’re here 😉 It was a relatively balmy, 25-degree evening when I went to see The Tourist Friday. Despite the dismal reviews, my girlfriends and I still went for it as we’ve been anticipating it for months. I probably enjoy it better as I had a fun time hanging out with my girlfriends, but as I said in my full review, it’s way more style than substance and it’s anything but a gripping thriller I was hoping for. But no, it’s not as terrible as the critics make it out to be. I mean, it certainly was more enjoyable than The Expendables, which garnered a much better rating on Rotten Tomatoes (41% compared to 2o% for The Tourist, seriously?!). In any case, suffice to say I won’t be seeing an Angelina Jolie flick for a while, I think I’ve had my share of staring into that chiseled-cheek-boned face to last me at least half a decade! Johnny Depp however, is still as likable as ever… I bet he won’t ever co-star with her again after this!

I got to see a couple of movies on hibernating-Saturday, and coincidentally, both have Nathan Fillion in it. Apparently I had put Waitress on my Netflix queue and our Firefly complete-series Blu-ray discs just arrived from Amazon, yay! Waitress is an interesting indie flick starring Kerri Russell as an unhappily-married pie-shop waitress in the South, whose unwanted pregnancy tampers with her plans of leaving her controlling husband. She ends up falling for her handsome doctor (Fillion, natch) and initially thinks it’s her last chance at happiness. If you like pies, it’s guaranteed to make you drool over the sumptuous shots of Russell making every kind of pie imaginable. It’s a poignant and personal film from actor/director Adrienne Shelley, who was murdered shortly before the film’s selection for Sundance (per Netflix dvd info). I found out later on IMDb that an illegal immigrant construction worker killed her when she saw him robbing her and staged her death as a suicide. Oh boy, how tragic!

We’ve managed to see only the pilot of the Firefly, but I’m definitely intrigued. I quite like Serenity, but we’re kinda a late comer when it comes to TV series. We just watched the entire Battlestar Galactica last year and really enjoyed it. This Josh Whedon sci-fi series has a similar vibe but is much more lighthearted.

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Well, how was your weekend? Seen any good movies?

FlixChatter Review: The Tourist

A few of people’s tweets on Twitter yesterday read that The Tourist is ‘less than the sum of its stars.’ Well, that quip definitely has merit because despite the star wattage of the two leads, the movie is never luminous enough to really dazzle.

Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp play characters with opposite personalities. Jolie is Elise, a beautiful woman who’ve been followed by the police for her dalliance with Alexander Pearce, an enigmatic figure wanted for embezzlement. Depp’s character Frank on the other hand, is as ‘ordinary’ as they come, a Community College math teacher from Wisconsin! Elise deliberately crosses his path on a train to Venice, an order from her lover to find a tourist in his likeness and make people believe that man is him.

It’s an intriguing premise all right, it promises a smart cat and mouse thriller with a web of intrigue, romance and danger. That last bit was from the plot synopsis in RottenTomatoes, which obviously judging from the dismal 20% rating, most critics don’t think the movie delivers the goods. I couldn’t help peeking at some of the reviews before I saw it Friday night. But the worse the reviews get, the more curious I became to see it. I mean, how bad could it be? Well, let me just say, it actually isn’t as bad as they make it out to be. But that’s really not saying much as I went in with pretty low expectations.

Much of the critics’ gripes is on the lack of chemistry between Jolie and Depp, but to me that’s a lesser of a problem that Jolie’s ludicrous overacting. Right from the time the movie opens with her being watched and the police tailing [as well as drool over] her, it’s as if Jolie thinks she’s in a two-hour long modeling shoots. She doesn’t ‘act’ as much as ‘poses’ the entire movie and her giant eyes and lips do much of the acting for her. Alas, I find her face so distracting from some of her scenes, i.e. the super red lipstick she wears to a canal-side dinner so overpowers her delicate features; and in others, her overly smoky eye-makeup makes her already giant eyes look disproportionately bigger. Not to mention her ultra glamorous and icy-cold persona—which doesn’t remotely resemble any real human being—makes it impossible to warm up to Elise. She is supposed to be a woman in love but the only person she appears to be in love with is herself and the reaction she gets from men that the director tirelessly keep pounding at us. Ok, she’s attractive, we get it. Let’s move on shall we?

As for Depp, though at first I thought he was miscast, he invariably fares better here. It’s refreshing to see him plays a ‘normal’ guy, well, as normal as he can get whilst still retaining that quirky sensibilities we love about him. As I said in my previous Tourist post, Depp in his goofy mode seems to get the befuddled look down pat and the minute I see Frank on the train, I immediately likes him. Frank provides such an amusing contrast to the sly and controlled Elise and his admiration of his beauty is believable. That ‘ravenous’ quip you’ve seen in the trailer comes out pretty funny in the movie.

As for the supporting cast, two of which are the main reason I saw this on opening night, they did their best with how little material they’re given to work with. Rufus Sewell looks all dashing and debonair in his practically no-speaking part, but his character is actually pretty significant to the plot. Timothy Dalton has a smidgen more screen time as the Chief Inspector Jones, and it was indeed a treat to see him up on screen and hearing him say his lines only Dalton could. But all that only left me wishing to see more of them on screen. I could see Dalton in the role of the head gangster, he’d easily add more charm as well as menace than the way Steven Berkoff plays it.

Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck seems to want to pay homage to the classic Bond flicks with a little bit of Hitchcock and other classic capers. The thing is, this movie merely hints at something great and the concept does have a lot of potential. Alas, the script never goes anywhere, as the story merely glides as leisurely as the pretty gondolas on the Venice canals, leaving us with quite lackluster action sequences with no real sense of danger to the main characters. At least Donnersmarck was able to keep the plot from being too predictable, the twist at the end is the kind that makes you ‘whoa!’ That one hit me out of left field, but with plot holes the size of Texas, the whole thing feels almost as preposterous as that infamous invisible car in Die Another Day.

I’d still recommend this one for a rental though. It’s still an entertaining fare to spend a mindless afternoon on… if anything, you won’t be disappointed by the gorgeous cinematography of Venice and Paris, those breathtaking shots can practically double as a tourism video. But as any good filmmaker should know, pretty scenery plus pretty people minus a crooked script will never amount to a good movie.

2.5 out of 5 reels

P.S. The two-and-a-half stars are for Sewell, Dalton and the city Venice 🙂


Anybody else has seen this flick? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.

Five reasons why I’d see The Tourist on opening night!

Now, for most people, the main draw of this movie would be the two super famous celebrities featured in every piece of marketing for this movie. The studios are obviously relying on the actors’ bankable quality and star power to put butts on seats, that having only their gorgeous mugs on the movie posters would suffice. I don’t blame ’em I suppose, how else would you sell a movie with Johnny Depp AND Angelina Jolie?

But to me, they’re not even on the list of why this movie was on my radar in the first place. I’ve never gone to see a movie because either one of them is in it. But those who actually matter to me aren’t even featured in the trailer! I was beginning to worry that maybe their part is sooo teeny tiny it’ll be a blink-and-you-miss-it type of cameo. But then some photos have surfaced on IMDb that got me pumped again to see this flick. So anyways, let’s get to those five reasons, shall we?

1. TIMOTHY DALTON as Chief Inspector Jones
Obviously no explanation necessary if you’ve been a regular on this blog 😀 Believe it or not, there is only ONE movie of Dalton I saw in the theater and that was Hot Fuzz. I was pretty young when his Bond flicks came out and at the time I didn’t go to the movies as often. So any chance I can get to see him on the big screen, I’m SO THERE!!

Added 12/7 –
View Dalton’s interview below about Depp & Jolie and the movie’s plot:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

via Trailer Addict posted with vodpod


2. RUFUS SEWELL
as The Englishman

I actually think it’s criminal to use such a talent like Rufus and not make the most of him! So I hope the fact that his character doesn’t even have a name won’t mean that it’s an insignificant role and that he’s got at least some adequate screen time, which probably won’t be enough for his fans anyway 😦 Speaking of criminal, judging from the photo below, looks like he just might be playing a villain in the movie. Oh, juicy! 🙂

Oh, and thanks to my pal Prairiegirl for the tip, here’s an interview snippet with Mr. Sewell talking about the director and that he thinks The Tourist has Hitchcock-ian quality similar to North by Northwest:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

via TrailerAddict posted with vodpod


3. German Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
I’m not familiar with Donnersmarck‘s work as I have not seen The Lives of Others. But that dramatic thriller won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the director also won a slew of award in 2008, including a BAFTA. With that in mind, I’m hoping there’ll be some substance in this one beneath all the slickness. It doesn’t hurt that the co-writers of the script are Julian Fellowes and Christopher McQuarrie, both have written some excellent work in the past, such as Gosford Park and The Usual Suspects, respectively.

Florian and Angelina on the set in Venice


4. The gorgeous locations: PARIS! VENICE!

In some movies, the setting almost becomes the ‘star’ of the film itself and with a name like The Tourist, it should be expected, right? If all else fails, the movie is guaranteed to get you itching to go to these European cities. Venice always looks spectacular on film with those colorful painted houses along the canal… and I’ve always wanted to sip a cup of coffee in those street cafes in Paris and ride the Metro.


5. It looks like a great escape right smack dab in the middle of Winter!

Growing up watching Bond flicks, I’m always up for watching various type of chases on film. And The Tourist is likely to offer plenty of that… on a boat, on a train, on foot… with gorgeous backdrop to match the gorgeous people who surely will manage to retain their glamor and charm through all those cat and mouse game. Depp in his goofy mode seems to get the befuddled look down pat and Angie can do full seductive mode practically in her sleep, it’ll be interesting just to watch these two play off each other. So when it’s 20 below outside come December 10, I can at least live vicariously through these beautiful people 😀

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Well folks, are you excited for this movie? I’m also curious, which under-appreciated actor(s) always get you to see a movie even if their part is minimal?

Guest Post: The Joy of Discovering Rufus Sewell – a Birthday Tribute

PrairieGirlBanner
Today we celebrate the birthday of a special actor Rufus Sewell. I had a birthday post for him last year, but this time I thought what better way that to invite Mr. Sewell’s number one fan, my good friend Prairiegirl to share her own heartfelt tribute. Read on:
Today Rufus Sewell is 43. Who would have guessed what would happen after I discovered him only two-and-a-half years ago. Since then I have had the distinct pleasure of catching up on all of his work I could get my hands on, from 1992 (Gone to Seed, British TV series, seven episodes) forward. His earliest film work is listed as Twenty-One (1991) on IMDb (just ordered a used VHS copy from Amazon, finally gave in because I can’t find it to rent or to buy on DVD anywhere. It was only $6. If you want a new, unused VHS tape of it be prepared to pay a whopping $47! More about this phenomenon next.) Here’s a very early clip of Rufus as young bus driver Robby Fay in The Man of No Importance (1992), along with middle-aged bus driver Albert Byrne (Albert Finney), in a heartwarming tale of a friendship between colleagues. Here’s a clip of the final scene in the film:

Unfortunately, AMONI is impossible to get on DVD, either for rent or purchase. I gave in and bought this one on VHS also, but it doesn’t play right in my old VCR any more. This Audient blog post laments this sad condition.
….
Discovery.
I was half way through watching Tristan and Isolde (2006, recommended by Netflix) in June of 2008. In the middle of the scene with Rufus and James Franco (Tristan) on the bridge where Lord Marke (Rufus) asks if Isolde is faithful to him, I said to myself, “who is this [amazing] guy?!” He spoke with so much emotion, with exceedingly convincing expressions and just so much shear heart that I rewound that scene about fives times and was immediately in love with my first movie boyfriend. When I told “Flixy” (rtm) how excited I was, (now that I had someone comparable to her dear Gerry Butler), she said, rather nonchalantly, oh, yes, Rufus, I like him, he’s in Dangerous Beauty, The Illusionist, The Holiday and knew he was a Brit. Well, imagine my delight, again! So then the relentless hunt began – to see anything I could that mentioned Rufus Sewell, to see if T&I was just a fluke, or if he was always that stunning.
Hunt and Catch.
Very soon after, Flixy and I had a Friday Movie Night and watched Dangerous Beauty (1998), and I totally, completely, fell head-over-heals. I had already seen The Illusionist and The Holiday without realizing at all that Rufus was in either, that’s how much the Bridge scene took me away.

Rufus in Dark City

Turns out many knew him from the 1998 mystery/sci-fi thriller Dark City. Not my usual genre, but understood the praise after watching it. Then came his more well-known parts as vengeful, spurned suitors in A Knight’s Tale (2001, Count Adhemar) and The Illusionist (2006, Crown Prince Leopold), and his downright villainous scoundrel in The Legend of Zorro (2005, Armand). He played rather ordinary men in some rather interesting circumstances in Cold Comfort Farm (1995), The Woodlanders (1997), In a Savage Land (1999), Paris, je t’aime (2006), Amazing Grace (2006) and Downloading Nancy (2008). He is in period-costume glory in Hamlet, Arabian Nights, Helen of Troy and Pillars of the Earth.

He is comfortable either on TV, film or stage. He prefers finite TV series (Gone to Seed, MiddleMarch, The Last King, John Adams, Taming of the Shrew) as opposed to an open-ended series like Eleventh Hour, (which lasted only a year on CBS), but was too long to for him be in one place. According to Rufus… “an interesting experiment” as he calls it, to be polite. And aside from his outstanding acting, in ordinary life the guy is just plain charming, considerate, and friendly… as displayed in Craig Ferguson’s interview… which easily endears me to him even more.

Rufus in a scene from Pillars of the Earth

Anticipation
Now that I’ve seen most there is to see of Rufus outstanding work, (except, or course, his stage plays, which include performances in Arcadia, Translations and Rock ‘n’ Roll), the only thing that’s left to do is see it all over again, or look forward to what’s coming up. The Pillars of the Earth (eight-part mini series) debuted in the USA in July, is playing on BBC4 in Britain currently, premiering in Germany this week and has been seen in Italy, Greece and maybe more. I haven’t even seen any episodes yet, but there’s buzz that Emmy nominations can’t be far behind. I don’t have Starz, so am anxiously waiting for the DVD to come out at the end of November here in the USA. To see the extraordinary range that Roof is capable of, watch this compilation of him as Tom Builder in Pillars of the Earth. Even where the music eclipses the dialogue, you can’t miss the depth and range he conveys:

Rufus in a scene in The Tourist

And then we can look forward to seeing him out of 11th Century garb and back in a suit again in the Aurelio Zen series he stars in on PBS sometime in the future and another contemporary role (a “small, but significant” role, according to Ruf) in the major Hollywood film The Tourist opening here December 10.

Real World.
And lastly, I have to give a shout out to all my fan girl friends over at The Rooftop (Everything Rufus, All The Time – made up tagline, but so true). Life would be a little less bright without it. And I would feel a lot crazier as a Ruf fan if not for them, because their fantasies (and “Caps” ;-)) are usually more than I could ever dream up. But some really do come true however, just ask Gloria, aka Dreamer who met Ruf on the set of Zen in Rome this summer.
So, in this second year of FlixChatter, comes the second salute to one of the most endearing, splendid and remarkable actors. Mr. Sewell, if you’re reading this, I wish you a very happy birthday!

THIS JUST IN: The Tourist trailer

Fresh from the oven! As ET has revealed a few days ago, The Tourist trailer is finally here. It wasn’t available on YouTube earlier, but it is now, so see it below:

This movie is one of my highly-anticipated movies this year, and I’ve blogged extensively a few months ago here.

The plot revolves around Frank Taylor (Johnny Depp), an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Cara Mason (Angelina Jolie) is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path and throws him into a whirlwind of intrigue and danger.

As you can clearly see from the trailer, it’s more of a spy thriller/comedy. My pal Vince just watched it minutes after I did and his first reaction was how similar it is to Cary Grant’s North by Northwest. In fact, he said that Depp’s character’s mannerism and behavior almost mimic Grant’s character. Maybe that’s the intention?? It’s possible that the director (The Lives of Others), purposely wants this movie to have the same vibe, who knows. As for Jolie, well, she’s playing the same character she’s known for, nothing new there. She’s almost the same as her character in Wanted (or Lara Croft), just with more dainty clothes.

The trailer looks fine I guess, it’s got the potential to be fun and action-packed, and the two leads have a decent chemistry (I guess it’s not hard with Jolie ;)). BUT, I’m disappointed. WHERE IS Rufus Sewell and Timothy Dalton??? We see Steven Berkoff & Paul Bettany here and there, but Sewell and Dalton are really the major factor why I’m excited for this movie, and they’re NOWHERE to be found in the trailer. Trust me, I’ve even watched VERY closely and even paused the video a few times to make sure I didn’t miss it. But still, no sight of either of them 😦

Vince and I theorized that Dalton could be the head honcho of the mobster who’s after Jolie’s character, and Sewell is one of the killers sent to go after her?? I really don’t care what they’re playing at this point, I just want to see them, period! Oh well, my excitement for this movie just went down a few notches. Hopefully the next trailer they’d show those two and maybe then, this movie will be back in my good graces 😉

Well, what do you all think? Will you be seeing this movie come December 10?

Welcome to September! What’s your favorite 2010 movie so far?

OMG, it’s September already!! Where did the Summer go?? It sure went quick isn’t it… once we enter the ‘_ ber’ month, brrrrrr temperature isn’t too far behind for us here in the Upper Midwest 😦

But let’s not think about that shall we? We’re here to talk about movies after all, and to start off the new month, why not talk about the movies we’ve seen so far this year and those we’re still anticipating. I wish I had seen more new movies this year, but so far, here are my favorites:

Remember Me | Iron Man 2 | Robin Hood | Toy Story 3 | Inception

Clash of the Titans and The Ghost Writer didn’t meet my expectation. The first one turned out to be utterly bad (read FC’s full review) and I found the Roman Polanski movie quite dull despite its promising premise. The Other Guys was pretty funny, but I probably won’t remember much of it later. I also got an advanced screening to see the action comedy RED which boast an excellent cast of, it was pretty entertaining, but a lot of what I remember was how gorgeous Karl Urban was 😉

And here are at least five I’m looking forward to in the next four months:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I – released Nov. 19
    As I just started watching the series a few months ago, no doubt I’m curious to see the final two installments.


  2. Never Let Me Go (view poster & trailer) – released date Sept. 15 (limited)
    First the poster piqued my interest, then I saw the trailer, which intrigued me even more. Then I read more about Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel and WOW, I’ve got to see this one!
  3. Tron: Legacy (view details) – released Dec. 17
    I’ll see it for the awesome visuals and SFX, but I hope the story doesn’t disappoint.
  4. The Tourist (view details) – released Dec. 10
    I’m more excited about seeing Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell in the big screen than the two leads. I seriously hope this is just the beginning of Dalton’s return to the big screen!
  5. The Debt (view trailer) – released Dec. 29
    I’m fond of Helen Mirren and the rest of the cast – Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson – aren’t too bad, either. The premise about an ex-Mossad agent in charge of tracking down the Nazi war criminal seems like a good recipe for a taut thriller.

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Ok, now your turn to share. What’s your best or favorite movie(s) you’ve seen this year? And what movie (s) are you looking forward to the rest of the year?