JULY 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month

July16Recap

I can’t believe I’m doing yet another monthly roundup. I swear I just did this not that long ago.

The last day of July also marks a milestone for me as I finally got to type those elusive two words at the bottom of my script!!!

HW_TheEnd

Now I’m going to lock it away for a month (an advice I took from a screenwriting site) before I tinker with it again… so no, I haven’t got to that coveted FINAL draft yet. But still, it took me nearly a year to finally get to this point so it’s quite exciting!

Well it turns out I did watch quite a bit of movies in July, both new-to-me and re-watches. August screenings include Suicide Squad, Florence Foster Jenkins, Pete’s Dragon, Anthropoid and The Light Between Oceans. Still hoping to get a screener link of Equals, the romance sci-fi by Drake Doremus w/ Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult, so hopefully I get that soon.

So anyway, here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

13movie

13 (2011)

CaptFantasticCaptain Fantastic (2016) – review upcoming

AdventurerMidasBox

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)

SecretLifePets

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016)

STB

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

AbFabMovie

Absolutely Fabulous (2016)

JasonBourne

Jason Bourne (2016) – review upcoming

Laura

Laura (1944)

LifeMovie

Life (2015)


Look for my review of Jason Bourne and a guest review of Café Society sometime next week!


Blindspot Pick

Laura1944poster


 Rewatches

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….
Gladiator (2000) | Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016) | BBC’s Sense & Sensibility (2008)  | Superman Returns (2006) | Toy Story 3 (2010) | The Dark Valley (2014) | Becoming Jane (2007) | Working Girl (1988) | The Age of Adaline (2015)

I ended up re-watching a ton of movies this past month. Most of these are on Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I might as well watch them when they’re still available. Some of them I own the Blu-ray (PPZ, Toy Story 3, Superman Returns and BBC’s Sense & Sensibility) and you know my penchant for period dramas, naturally I have to watch a few every month 😉

I hadn’t watched Working Girl for at least a decade and I have to say it’s definitely shown its age but it’s still pretty enjoyable. Boy whatever happened to Melanie Griffith? I mean Harrison Ford is definitely still relevant and so is Sigourney Weaver, heck even David Duchovny who’s only credited as a guy at a birthday party still has a pretty good career now.

I’m participating in Movie Rob’s Genre Grandeur and the this month’s topic is Foreign Language so of course I’m picking one featuring Sam RileyDas Finstere Tal (The Dark Valley), so watch for my comprehensive review of that in the next few weeks.


 TV Series
VEEPseries

I’ve only gotten to two episodes of Season 1 but I enjoyed it so far. Julia Louis Dreyfuss is a hoot as the Veep herself Selina Meyer. I didn’t realize there are 5 seasons already but the good thing is it’s only a half-hour sit-com so it’s easier to catch up on.


MOVIE(S) OF THE MONTH

MoviesOfTheMonthJuly

It wasn’t as easy to select my movie of the month of July. But out of the contemporary films I saw last month, Captain Fantastic is one I still think about the most. I’m hoping to review it soon, but it’s certainly one of the most unique films ever and Viggo Mortensen is well, fantastic.

I’ve been wanting to watch Laura for a long time. My friend Vince reviewed it for me back in 2011 and he highly recommended it. It’s one of the most acclaimed classic noir mystery and was nominated for five Oscars. Well, it certainly lived up to the hype. I was quite mesmerized by the beautiful Gene Tierney.


Well that’s my viewing recap of July. What’s YOUR favorite film of the month?

Weekend Roundup: ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ (2016), ’13’ (2010), ‘Toy Story 3’ (2010)

weekendroundup

How was your weekend everyone? It was a glorious day on Saturday so hubby and I went for walks at two different lakes, Lake Nokomis and Lake Minnetonka. Weather is absolutely glorious it’d be a crime to spend time indoors.

I did manage to see a new movie this weekend, The Secret Life of Pets, I should have my review of it up later this week. I also re-watched Toy Story 3 and was blown away by how good and emotionally-compelling it was. It’s definitely much more than just a fun, feel-good kids movie. The Toy Story trilogy still reign supreme as the best animated movies ever, it won’t be a hyperbole to call it Pixar’s masterpiece.


I’m happy to report that I’m finally done with ALL of my dahling Sam Riley‘s filmography!! I watched the thriller ‘13‘ on Thursday night, which is actually a remake of a Georgian film by the same director, Géla Babluani. I’ve mentioned that movie and posted a trailer on this post. I probably won’t review it fully, as I’d rather write about Sam’s other films.

I can see why this film was panned by critics, it kind of wasted the talented cast, though it’s still amusing to see the likes of Michael Shannon, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone and Jason Staham in it. Hey it even had the new Tarzan Alexander Skarsgård in it, but most of their roles are pretty small. As the protagonist, Sam held his own against the more experienced cast. His American accent is believable and I totally buy him as a blue collar worker from Ohio! 🙂 The movie was the most intense during the Russian roulette game, and Sam was the heart of the movie as a money-stricken young man who had no idea what he’s got himself into.


Having seen ALL of Sam’s films now, I’m even more dismayed that his career didn’t go as far as it could’ve been. He’s so freakin’ talented with such screen presence and intensity. The movie wouldn’t have been worth watching for me if it weren’t for Sam.

Ok, my obsession with Richard III continues. I’ve finished Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time and now reading Paul Murray Kendall’s Richard The Third which came highly recommended from Philippa Langley, the lady who found the King in the car park back in 2012. So this weekend I watched a couple of Tower of London documentaries, which is a fascinating castle that holds soooo many secrets. The more I read about King Richard though, the more I’m convinced that him being depicted as the killer of the Princes in the Tower is a blatant Tudor propaganda.
TowerOfLondonDocs


This week I’ll be going to the Ghostbusters and Captain Fantastic. I’m more curious than excited about the first, but I have been looking forward to the latter since it premiered at Sundance. Can’t go wrong with Viggo Mortensen in a quirky drama.
Ghostbusters–CaptFantastic


So that’s my weekend recap. What did YOU watch this weekend, anything good?

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! 😀
      5Reels
    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.
      5Reels
    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.
      4halfReels
    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.
      4halfReels
    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.
      4Reels

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)
    4Reels
  • 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.
    3halfReels
  • 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.
    3halfReels

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!

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?

Top Five Favorite PIXAR Characters

Ever since Pixar released the first Toy Story back in 1995, in just one and a half decade, the studio has produced eleven movies. Most of them are critically-acclaimed, averaging 95% in Rotten Tomatoes and have grossed a collective of over $5 Billion worldwide. Out of those eleven, I’ve seen all but one, Cars, which interestingly enough will be the second Pixar feature film that get the sequel treatment after Toy Story. According to Wiki, Cars 2 is scheduled for release on June 24, 2011.

I recently saw Toy Story 3 and absolutely loved it. In fact, it 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. If I could nitpick just one though (as Dreher Bear also said in his review), I wish they had given more ‘screen’ time to Mr. Pricklepants, voiced by my fave Shakespearean actor Timothy Dalton. It’s amazing how a bunch of toys packed such emotional punch. EW’s Popwatch blog asked the question in a Toy Story 3 Poll: “Did you cry?” Well, suffice to say, I had some tissues going into the theater, but by the end of it I realized I need a whole stinkin’ box! I haven’t got a chance to review it yet, but i case I never got to it, let me say this: Go see it pronto! It’ll make you feel like a kid again and treasure this movie (and this animated trilogy) for years to come.

The beauty of Pixar movies is how wonderful the characters are. They’re so well-written and tug your heartstrings, it’s amazing how we could ever care so much about a bunch of toys, a waste-eliminator robot, or a one-eyed green monster. Within mere seconds into a Pixar movie, I’ve become so emotionally-invested in them right away that make the viewing experience so worthwhile. They’re even more affecting than a lot of real human characters in a life action feature.

Well, in honor of that, here are my TOP FIVE FAVORITE PIXAR CHARACTERS of the past 15 years (in random order because it’s hard enough to pick just five!):

  1. Woody (Toy Story)
    The leader of the pack of Andy’s toys and the emotional core of the franchise, Woody the Cowboy is just so darn likable. That’s why you got someone like Tom Hanks to voice him and let his playful personality shine. Woody is funny, caring, optimistic, and wise almost to a fault. And he’s fiercely loyal, too, even as much as he loves his college-bound owner, he’s torn to be separated from his buddies and a trait he’s carried with him from the beginning of the movie until the very end of the franchise. No wonder he’s Andy’s favorite toy, because there ain’t no Toy Story without Woody!
  2. Flik (A Bug’s Life)
    Firstly, I love Dave Foley, he’s just so cute and funny in Kids in the Hall and News Radio, so maybe that’s why I took immediate liking to Flik. Foley’s voice just naturally suits the geeky, bumbling, but ever-so-endearing protagonist
    . The ‘engineering-minded’ ant always wants the best for his colony by trying to come up with his various inventions (i.e. a dew telescope, automatic harvester, etc.), though they often end up with disastrous results. But as his BFF Dot will tell you, he’s really a nice guy  who really is just trying to help. Like Dot says, “you’re weird… but I like you.”

  3. Mike Wazowski (Monsters Inc.)
    Oh, who doesn’t love the one-eyed monster, voiced with wisecrackin’, smarty-pants sensibilities by Billy Crystal. He’s got more expression with his one giant eye than most characters with two. His green round shape is quite possibly the cutest, most adorable Pixar creation yet, not to mention his toothy grin. And he’s charming and smooth, too, just as Celia Mae (Jennifer Tilly), his girlfriend with Medusa-like hair and high-pitched voice. The minute he sang, “you and me… me and you… both of us togethaaa…” I’m done for! LOVE ya Wazowski!!
  4. Buzz (Toy Story)
    Starting out as a main rival turns BFF, the spaceman action-figure is the perfect complement to Woody even if Buzz’s delusional self sometimes exasperates his more-grounded friend. The Tim Allen-voiced character initially thinks he’s the real Buzz Lightyear, not a mere toy like the rest, which explains his extra gung-ho attitude that’s so fun to watch. I thought the duel scene with Darth Vader-like Zurg at the end of the first sequel was my favorite scene of Buzz, but no, it’s when he’s accidentally reset and becomes the Spanish Buzz that had me in stitches. The pent-up feelings he has for Jesse is now on full display as he’s become unabashedly romantic Don Juan. The tango sequence with Jesse is priceless and sooo much fun. Te quiero señor Buzz!
  5. Dory (Finding Nemo)
    The blue tang fish that steals every scene she’s in is voiced by the inherently likable and goofy Ellen DeGeneres. From the moment Nemo meets Dory, something is just a little off. Soon we realize she’s suffering from short-term memory loss, which makes for a one riotous scenario after another. Dory delivers the biggest laughs and her compassionate and gentle spirit makes you wish she’s your best friend. There are too many favorite scenes of Dory but when she imitates the whale with that slow, deep voice I just about fell off my chair!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class)
    I’m not ashamed to admit that this movie not only make me tear up, but I was practically sobbing! The small trash compactor robot that barely said a word is so affecting that within minutes of seeing him on screen, I want to run over there and gives the lonely robot a big hug. In a dismal, silent post-apocalyptic world, Wall-E is a beating heart that gives such hope amidst all the gloom and doom. When he falls for a far more advanced robot Eve, he goes to great length to woo her. Believe it or not, it’s a genuine love story that is as heartfelt as any human connection.
  • Rex (Toy Story)
    The hilariously hysterical t-rex is a minor character but every time he comes on, it’s always a hoot. Remember the Jurassic Park nod in TS2 during the car chase in the toy barn? ‘Object is closer than they appear‘ Ha! He’s supposed to be menacing but Rex is such a wimp that gets agitated by even the slightest hitch, but I love him best when he starts squealing like a little girl.
  • Russell (Up)
    I absolutely adore this 8-year old kid and his endearingly exuberant charm. Determined to obtain his final badge to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer, the chubby munchkin ends up being swept off his feet (literally!), up, up and away with Carl in his balloon-hoisted house. Nothing seems to dampen the kid’s buoyant spirit. He and the gloomy and disillusioned makes an unlikely pairing that’s as odd as they are delightful.

I have expanded this Pixar Character List to TEN, and now you can VOTE for your favorites.
CHECK IT OUT »


Ok, your turn, folks. I’m sure you’ve got your own favorite Pixar character(s). Let’s hear it!

Summer Flix Time! The Five to Watch in June

TGIF! Summer movie season is finally here. After a lackluster Memorial weekend (which was the worst in terms of box office in 17 years), I’m looking forward to a bunch of movies coming out in the next few months.

To get things started, here are FIVE I’d [try to] watch this month. A mix of two ‘quiet’ indies, two high-octane action flicks and one beloved Pixar animated feature. There’s something for everyone, right? So here goes:

» June 2

  • Ondine
    The story is a fairy tale centered on an Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) who catches the mysterious Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets. After falling for one another, a dark figure from Ondine’s past threatens their love. Directed by Neil Jordan (Michael Colins, The Crying Game, The End of The Affair), and also stars fellow Irishman Stephen Rea, who’s been cast in nearly all of Jordan’s films.
    ..
    I was intrigued by this movie back when it premiered at TIFF last year. This new trailer revealed a bit more yet still retains its enigmatic quality, and the glowing review from Movieline I read recently made me REALLY want to see this. The fact that the Polish actress Bachleda and Farrell now have a child together since they met on set, you can bet they have a great chemistry together 🙂


» June 11

  • The A-Team
    You know the drill, but in case you’ve been living under a rock and never heard of this TV-show-based feature film, here’s the plot: A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

    Check your analytical/skeptical mind at the door and just simply enjoy this movie for what it is: a loud, popcorn blockbuster. Just like Jessica Biel says in the trailer: “They are the best, and they specialize in the ridiculous!” So there, the more bombastic, the better!


  • I Am Love

    I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. But Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef. At the heart of the family is Tancredis wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edos friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever. (per Apple trailer site).

    I’m not too familiar with Swinton’s work. The first time I saw her was in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio years ago, then as the villainous white witch in the Chronicles of Narnia series. The London-born actress — whose paternal ancestry is one of the oldest in Scotland – won an Oscar for her performance in Michael Clayton. She always comes across as cold and ruthless for some reason, but in this one she shows her warm, sultry side. The trailer is as exquisite as the gorgeous poster (with that romantic, swirly font), it might as well double as an Italian travel promo video with those picturesque vista of Milan.


» June 18

  • Toy Story 3
    It’s amazing that an animated feature, about toys of all things, that started fifteen years ago still generates this much interest! But the amazing thing with Pixar is, they just might be able to top the first two! Check out this retro style Groovin’ with Ken promo clip that debut in last year’s San Diego ComicCon. I’ve never even been into Barbie doll stuff, but I’m totally digging this hilarious video. Ken is voiced by Michael Keaton, it’s going to be a hoot!
    .



    Still, there’s no clip of Timothy Dalton’s voice as Mr. Pricklepants! [big pout] I guess I’d just have to wait a couple more weeks 😦 Anyway, you can check out the trailer on my previous post.

……

» June 25

  • Knight & Day

    My colleague Ted recently quipped, ‘Tom Cruise passed on SALT to do this? It’s the same movie!’ The role then went to Angelina Jolie and the character name went from Edwin to Evelyn. Anyway, he’s got a point there, but SALT looks so darn serious, while Knight & Day looks sprightly and whimsical, a sure-fire recipe for a quintessential Summer flick. Cruise and Cameron Diaz aren’t my fave actors in Hollywood, but the trailer looks like fun and they seem to have had a blast making this. Plus, I like espionage-themed movies with car chases and outrageous gunfights. The filming locations in Austria, Spain, and Jamaica will surely provide a scenic backdrop for those action sequences.
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So what do you think folks? What are you excited to watch this month?

Updates on FC’s Top Ten Most Anticipated 2010 Flix: Part 1

I wrote this top ten list of most anticipated movies back in October, and lots of stuff have changed since then. Either I no longer anticipate a given flick, or simply the release date has been pushed back to next year, etc. So here are updates on the first five on my list.

1. Clash of the Titans (April 2, 2010)

This one turns out to be quite a disappointment, glad I didn’t pay the 3D fare! Read the full review.

2. Immortals (TBD 2011 – see updated news)

The most notable update is the title has been changed to Immortals, changed from Dawn of War/War of Gods. The main lead actor to play Theseus remains to be Henry Cavill, but this flick has since expanded the cast: Mickey Rourke (as the villain), John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), and Luke Evans (Apollo in Clash of the Titans), among others.

Luke Evans has been cast as Zeus

This FirstShowing article reveals a very promising small details of that, courtesy of British actor Evans who’ll play Zeus in this movie (quite an upgrade from playing Apollo, eh?).

[Immortals] really plays on the human side of the battle, whereas there are so many monsters in Clash of the Titans. This film really is very strongly based on Earth, I would say, and it is about the human battle. The gods have a very strong presence [in it] and it’s a much bigger action film; this is way more action. Whereas the gods in Clash do very little but stay in Mount Olympus, in [Immortals] they are hands-on — especially Zeus. I’ve had training in every weapon you could imagine a god using.”

He’s also got this to say about the Indian director Tarsem: “What’s great about Tarsem is you only have to spend 10 minutes in his company to know the man is a visionary and a genius. If you know his work, you know how beautiful and visually stunning it can be. Tarsem sets an amazing scene and allows the actors to feel completely immersed in the world — we’ve walked on to the sets and they’re superb. The details of these sets are spectacular, and you know Tarsem has had a hand in every decision.”

With that said, this will also end up in my inevitable Most Anticipated 2011 Flicks blog post 🙂

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3. Inception (July 16th, 2010)

You bet this is still one of my most anticipated flicks, in fact, this has risen to the top of the list! Five things I’ve learned so far:

  • According to Leonardo DiCaprio, the plot didn’t even make sense to the actors when they did the film. “We had to do a lot of detective work (laughing) to figure out what the movie was about.”
  • Nolan originally wrote this as a heist movie, realizing that “… traditionally [they] are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms”, but later realize he needed to “raise the emotional stakes
  • DiCaprio was integral in Cobb’s character development. “I’ve incorporated a huge number of his ideas. Leo’s very analytical, particularly from character point of view but also how the entire story is going to function and relate to his character… I think it’s improved the project enormously. The emotional life of the character now drives the story more than it did before.” [LA Times Blog]
  • This is the thinking-person’s Bond movie: “I grew up watching James Bond films and loving those and watching spy movies with their globetrotting sensibility…. We get to do that here, not just geographically but also in time and dimensions of reality as well. We get to make a movie that’s expansive, I suppose you’d say, in four dimensions.”
  • Inception is Nolan’s biggest challenge yet: “This is the biggest challenge I’ve taken on to this point… We’re trying to tell a story on a massive scale, a true blockbuster scale – the biggest I’ve ever been involved with. We tried to make a very large-scale film with The Dark Knight and with this one we wanted to push that even further.”

    [the last two bullets are courtesy of LA Times Hero Complex Blog]


Here’s the enigmatic second trailer. If there’s a flick that’ll blow Avatar out of the water, this’ll be it. Surely this is by far the best trailer of the year!

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4. Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010)

A decade an a half after the first one came out in 1995, this time it’ll be in 3D! I’m a huge fan of the first two, and as if having Woody, Buzz and the gang back isn’t enough to anticipate this, they throw in a new toy voiced by none other than Timothy Dalton!! The Ken/Barbie thing looks pretty funny too, I seriously doubt I’ll be disappointed with this one.

All fourteen characters of Toy Story 3

Screenrant also have a handy guide to all fourteen new characters in Toy Story 3.
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5. Iron Man 2 (May 7th, 2010)

The first one was sooo much fun and judging from the trailer, the sequel definitely ups the ante with plenty more action. I’m not totally stoked with Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard, nothing against Cheadle — granted he’s a great actor — but I just think Howard suits the Rhodes role better, and he’s got a nice rapport with Robert Downey Jr.  RDJ himself is still as mischievous and fun-loving as ever, this role is tailor-made for him as much as the suit is to Tony Stark. Oh speaking of the suit, who doesn’t dig the awesome briefcase suit?

This featurette centers specifically of Stark and his assistant Pepper Pots … it’s a testament to how great RDJ is because he even makes Gwyneth Paltrow looks so darn likable!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “New Behind-the-Scenes Featurette and …“, posted with vodpod

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Look for Part 2 sometime next week. Now, any one of this is on your anticipated list?