"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Deathly Hallows Character Posters

Counting down the two months until November 19th, here are three character posters of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  Let's build our excitement.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'One Day' First Look

  • USA Today has a first look into One Day, currently filming and being directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education).  Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess play Emma and Dexter, university friends, who meet every day over 20 years on July 15 on St. Swithin's Day in UK (kinda like Groundhog day in USA).  The movie is based on David Nicholl's very popular book by the same name (which I have yet to finish) and was already on my must-see list when I saw this was being made into a movie.  In the meanwhile, next assignment, find time and finish reading the book.   
  • Have you been wondering what Sawyer aka Josh Holloway has been upto now he's no longer on Lost?  He's joining Tom Cruise's posse over at Mission Impossible 4.  I know I'm always bemoaning the fact the Hollywood relies waaay to much on its sequels but come on, it's Mission Impossible.  Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is directing and J.J. Abrams will be producing.  Also in the cast are Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Paula Patton (Precious), Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames.  I'm beginning to care again.  Don't let me down.  
  • MI 4's competition for next December 2011 is another sequel, Sherlock Holmes 2.  The casting news has been fast and furious these past couple of days.  Joining Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry will be Jared Harris (Mad Men, Fringe) as Sherlock's nemesis, Professor Moriarity.  Guy Ritchie is back to direct this one.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

  • Lots of news coming out of the Avengers movie that makes me so so happy.  First up, Mark Ruffalo as the new Hulk, will be performing his role not only as Bruce Banner but also as the Hulk mostly in part due to motion-capture.  Very Avatar-esque and thus inducing hope that the Hulk doesn't just look only CG but retains his human element as well.  Fingers crossed.  Secondly, from the Joss Whedon world of actors comes news that Morena Baccarin (Serenity, V) could be joining the cast.  No word yet on who she could be playing but I love it when Joss re-collaborates with actors from his TV shows.  It's like meeting old friends.    Like I said, I'm happy.
  • Guess who's cast as Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes 2?  Stephen Fry! I don't see the family resemblance between Fry and Robert Downey Jr. but it will be amazing to see the battle of wits between the two as Mycroft is said to be smarter than Sherlock.  Sibling rivalry anyone?
  • Jason Reitman is no slouch.  Two Oscar-nominated films already in his resume and he's already working on his third.  Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt are all in negotiations to be in Reitman's film about YA writer who returns to her hometown to find her ex-boyfriend married and with a child.  Diablo Cody, his screenwriter from Juno, will be writing the script.  
  • Finally, this NY Times piece has a wealth of information about what's coming from Disney in the next few years and it's sounds promising.  David Fincher (The Social Network) is said to be working on 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and Sam Raimi (Spiderman) is supposed to be re-imagining the Wizard of Oz.  Disney's penchant of making movies out of theme park rides continues as Guillermo Del Toro is looking at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Ride.  Oh, and they really really want Angelina Jolie to play Maleficient in a live-action version of Sleeping Beauty.  I do too 'cause that would just be awesome.  In the not-so-awesome news of the article, there will be a National Treasure 3.  Because two weren't enough for everyone.  Trust me, it was enough.  Good read though.  

Taking a Page out a YA book

Lately, I've been noticing a lot of projects being launched recently are movie adaptations of Young Adult (YA) books from all genres.  There's the hyped interest in Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games, the current release in theaters now, Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole based on the series of novels Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky and of course, I don't need to tell anyone about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series.  FYI, I still have not read these books.   I know, I know, I'm getting to it.  Eventually.

So, the fact remains that Hollywood is getting mighty impressed with the audience these books bring to the table already and turning these very popular books into movies.  Proof?  Recently, Disney is going to adapt Allyson Condie's Matched, a dystopian tale of society where everyone is matched up by their 18th birthdays.  Condie's debut novel is getting lots of rave reviews and it will be interesting to see how this turns out.  

Universal Pictures is adapting the first book of Melissa Marr's urban/fantasy series Wicked Lovely about a young girl, Aislinn, who gets caught up in the faerie world.  Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don't Cry) is attached to direct. 

Personally, I think this is great.  I myself have been reading some YA novels lately and while they might be labeled YA, they deal with issues and emotions that are quite real and grown-up.  My recent reads include Simone Elkeles' Leaving Paradise about a young man who completes a year in prison for running over his neighbor (and classmate) while drunk and now has to face her when he gets out and Gayle Forman's If I Stay about a girl who the lone survivor of a horrific car crash that takes her whole family.  The novel is told from Mia's viewpoint as she fights to live.  This is long been rumored to be turned into a film as well.  I have no doubt that these stories will translate well onscreen. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Around the World in Posters!

He sees dead people!

The King's Speech Trailer

Well, here it is, the trailer for The King's Speech. Directed by Tom Hooper (The Damned United), the stellar cast features Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon and Timothy Spall. Firth plays King George VI (father of the current Queen Elizabeth II) who cannot speak publicly and has stammering problem. Rush is Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who will help overcome that problem and allow him to lead Britain through World War II. I'm sold already. I'd say that it has booked the Best Picture nod at the Oscars and the BAFTAS.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday's Features

  • Peepli Live will be India's entry into the Foreign Film race for 2011.  Many other countries have already started finalizing their choices, like Germany's When We Leave, France's Of Gods and Men and Thailand's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.  This will be Aamir Khan's third production that will be headed for Oscar submission.
  • Chloe Moretz is having a great year.  The 13-year-old actress (Kick-Ass, Let Me In) is cast as the lead in yet another film, this time the comics to screen adaptation of Emily the Strange.  Great choice, she can do emo just fine.
  • Out of the many many names (and there are plenty) being thrown around for the love interest for the Spiderman prequel, Emma Stone's name just went to the top of the pile after Easy A.  She's also being considered for the movie update of 21 Jump St.
  • John Williams is coming back to compose the music for the final Harry Potter film.  He left after the fourth film to pursue other projects but will be back to complete the series.  As you may recall, he wrote the original Hedwig's Theme that is used in all of the movies so far.
  • After the critical success of The Ghost Writer, Roman Polanski is back onto his next project.  Based on Yasmina Reza's Tony award-winning play God of Carnage, it will feature Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Matt Dillon and recent Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.  The movie will be filmed in Paris for obvious reasons.  Though I felt the story moved along slowly, The Ghost Writer is a much better film that I give it credit for.  The casting doesn't sound like it, but this is a comedy.  Thought you should know.  

Broadway Bound!

From the stage to the movie but wait, it's the other way around... from the movie to the stage, that's right, two more movies are headed to Broadway.

Catch Me If You Can, from the book by Terrence McNally which is based on Frank Abagnale Jr's life and also the 2002 Steven Spielberg-directed film, will premiere on Broadway on April 2011.  The film was a big success with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio pitted against each other in a cat and mouse game of FBI Agent and con man.  The producers must be hoping for much of the movie's success to transfer onto the stage.  Unlike the movie, this will be a musical.

Imagine Batman himself singing and dancing? No, how about Christian Bale?  What, you don't believe me but it's true.  Back in 1992, Bale starred in a musical (yes, a musical) where he sang and danced about the plight of newspaper delivery boys in 1900s New York.  You're probably wondering how great this movie could be, oh, but it is.  Newsies repeatedly aired on The Disney Channel during the 90s and I'd bet there are lot of people out there who can claim this film as a guilty pleasure.  And this was director Kenny Ortega's (High School Musical) feature film debut.  While this is still in early development, I have a feeling this will be a perfect fit on stage.

Proof that Christian Bale can sing and dance!  Batman: The Musical coming soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Trailer

Here's trailer 3 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in glorious detail. Woo hoo!

Click here to download in Quicktime HD

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick News Update

Movieline says that there's going to be an Inception game as announced by Christopher Nolan himself. Whoa! And we'll get to explore many more dream layers in it!  Awesome doesn't even cover it.  I'd like this now please.

New trailer out of an animated film Gnomeo and Juliet, a love story set in the world of gnomes.  With the voice talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, and Michael Caine.

Link of the day: Speaking of Ben Affleck's comeback, Cinematical has a nice list of those who made it and those didn't.

Coming up tomorrow, the new trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday's Mentions

  • The King's Speech won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival.  Why is this big news? Previous awards winners include American Beauty, Brokeback Mountain, Slumdog Millionaire and Precious.  This is very good company indeed and an early front-runner for a Best Picture nomination.  More on this film when the trailer releases.  
  • Empire Online is reporting that Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning are cast into Super 8.  Considering there is very little information released on this film except for a teaser that begs for more intel, this is progress.  How about a plot summary next
  • Top three at the Box-office this past weekend
  1. The Town - $23.8 million
  2. Easy A - $17.7 million
  3. Devil - $12.5 million
That's great news for Ben Affleck whose career continues his upward swing and Easy A's Emma Stone who is now officially a star.  Welcome to the big leagues!   
  • Meanwhile, brother Casey Affleck's I'm Still Here, the faux-mentary starring Joaquin Phoenix isn't having much luck, grossing only $145,957.  Many are calling this Phoenix's performance a career best.  Maybe, but nobody is buying it, literally. 
Link of the day: A nice list of ten great actor-turned-directors. Unsurprisingly, Clint Eastwood makes the list.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Notable Links: The Social Network and Legends of the Guardians

A couple of days ago, I promised some good links.  I haven't forgotten, I just didn't get enough time to post it up as there were so many trailers to put up.

  • As Roger Ebert tweeted from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the film with the biggest buzz at Toronto isn't even here.  The movie that Facebook has been studiously ignoring...The Social Network.  New York Magazine has a great article on Aaron Sorkin, how he wrote the script and what is it about Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook doesn't want you to know?  It's a long read but well worth it.
  • Molly Ringwald talks about John Hughes
  • The men behind the cameras, not anymore! Empire Online has a wonderful list of the top 10 Directors of Photography working in the industry today.  
  • Over 40 new photographs from Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.  I've already got my favorites.  
  • Finally, some fun stuff, how well do you know your movies?  Can you guess what film it is just by checking the final frame of the movie?  Give it a go!! I got 15/20.  How about you?

DVD Review: Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet is a charming little movie that asks the question What if? What if you got a second chance? Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a fact-checker for The New Yorker who aspires to be a writer.  While on holiday with her fiance Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal) in Verona, Italy, she comes upon a group of women who call themselves the Secretaries of Juliet.  The courtyard of Juliet's house, of Romeo and Juliet, obviously, contains the lovelorn letters and pleas from people all around the world.  The women, the Secretaries, take it upon themselves to reply to the letters from Juliet assuring them that someone is listening.  Sophie herself finds a letter, long-lost about 50 years ago from an Englishwoman, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) to apologize for leaving her Italian boyfriend, Lorenzo (Franco Nero).   

Sophie writes back to Claire and suddenly finds herself in a middle of an adventure when Claire returns, with her disapproving grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan), to tell Lorenzo she's sorry.  Thereupon, we are introduced to the gorgeous Italian countryside and piazzas as the characters go on a road trip to find Claire's Lorenzo.  There are some funny moments as they come across many Lorenzo Bartolinis but not the one they are looking for.  And of course, sparks do fly as Sophie and Charlie spend more and more time together.  Their journey, however, is remind themselves and the audience that it's never too late.  

Vanessa Redgrave and Fraco Nero are married in real life as well, and Roger Ebert has a great review on the film in which he talk about these great actors and their relationship.  Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia) turns in another fine performance as a lead.  Garcia Bernal doesn't have much to do in the film except to play the busy fiance but it was nice to see him in a non-serious performance.   Christopher Egan (Eragon) reminded me so much of a young Heath Ledger.  Maybe because he's Aussie?  Overall, Letters to Juliet was a nice escape to Italy for 101 minutes to wish we were there too.  

The Bonus features on the DVD show a generic making-of featurette about how the cast and crew enjoyed filming and working in Italy.  It showed it too.  But some interesting history about the film was revealed that they really are Secretaries of Juliet (the Juliet club volunteers) that actually write back to whoever writes to Juliet and how the whole tradition of visiting Juliet's house in Verona began.  The movie was based on a NY Times review of a book Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman.  It just goes to show you, sometimes a story idea can hit you in the most usual way, reading the newspaper!  

Directed by Gary Winnick; Written by Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan; Music by Andrea Guerra, Cinematography by Marco Pontecorvo; Edited by Bill Pankow

Rating:  (3 Dvds)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trailer Watch - Comedy Edition

As the year ends, it seems that the films get more serious.  Most of the Oscar competition heats up after Thanksgiving.  Drama after drama, you need a break.  Here are a few of the upcoming comedies that should find favor with audiences.

Releasing this week is Easy A, directed by Will Gluck, a high-school comedy starring Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet and Lisa Kudrow.  Whew, that's a lot of names!

Description from Apple Trailers: After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl (Emma Stone) sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

This movie is a good vehicle for Emma Stone who banking a lot on this film.  She let go of the lead in next year's Sucker Punch to star in this.  Hope she doesn't regret it.  As usual, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson have the best lines in the trailer as Stone's parents.

Brain Grazer and Ron Howard present The Dilemma, a comedy about a man (Vince Vaughn) who isn't sure what to do when he finds out that his best friend's wife may be having an affair. Hijinks ensue. Kevin James plays Vaughn's best friend.  Also in the cast are Jennifer Connelly (in a comedy, seriously!), Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah.

I know that Howard has directed comedies before but somehow, I've begun to associate him with dramas recently. Second film release for Winona Ryder after The Black Swan. Is she back for good?

This one made me cry....with laughter. Oh, man, I am still trying to recover. From the director of Hangover, Todd Philipps, Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr, Zach Galifianakis and Jamie Foxx. Downey plays a man who is forced, emphasis on forced, to travel cross-country with an eccentric man, Zach G., as he tries to make in time before his wife (Michelle Monaghan) delivers their first child.

Nobody does indignant like Downey, Jr. His reactions to Zach G.'s characters are priceless. And the dog!!

Mark your calendars, November 5 (worldwide release).

Around the world in Posters!

It's already released but I couldn't resist putting up these cute Korean posters.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Casting News Roundups

  • It's a big one this time!  In the morning, when I first I read it, I got excited but thought, well, it's just at a rumor stage at this point.  But no, all day long, more and more news outlets were picking up the story and when I finally saw it confirmed through a press release on IMDB and Variety, I was practically giddy.  What is it?  Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Ali G) will play Freddy Mercury in the new biopic on his life.  Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland, The Queen) is writing the screenplay which will go into production in 2011.  Aww, I want this movie tomorrow.  Great move by Cohen.  Biopics are awards gold for most actors, could we be seeing Sacha Baron Cohen up on the podium for this?  
  • They last starred together in The Object of My Affection and it was a big hit.  Hoping to duplicate the success, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are a couple in Wanderlust who only want to escape the city life and try something new.  Malin Akerman (Watchmen, 27 Dresses) is the latest to join the cast.
  • Yet another movie for Jason Bateman, I'm happy for him but when is the Arrested Development movie being filmed?  For now, no Michael Bluth but we can watch him play a married man who trades bodies with his lazy best friend, Ryan Reynolds in The Change-Up.  Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy) is the female lead.  ETA: They are now announcing that Leslie Mann (17 Again) is starring opposite Bateman and Reynolds.  What's up with the change? Is Olivia in or not of the movie?  No answers released yet.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Trailer Time!!!

It's here, The Tourist.  After seeing pictures of Brad, Angelina and the kids all summer in Venice (but no Johnny Depp), I was wondering what will this movie be about?

In recent years, Johnny Depp has played all sorts of interesting and varied characters, Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, Sweeney Todd and the Mad Hatter to name a few. This time, Depp plays an American tourist named Frank who meets a woman, Elise (Angelina Jolie), on a train and quite suddenly is involved in a case of mistaken identity and boat chases and lots of men with guns after him.

Best exchange of the trailer
Depp: You're ravenous!
Jolie: Do you mean ravishing?
Depp: I do.

This will be interesting if only for the star power the movie has. Along with Depp and Jolie, the cast includes Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell. The film is directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film for The Lives of Others, one of the best German films and has possibly the best ending of any movie I've seen.

Disney's Tangled is impressing me with each trailer it releases. It's warm and fuzzy and I think I want to live there. With the voice talents of Zachary Levi (Chuck), Mandy Moore (A Walk to Remember) and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), this one is sure to please. The UK trailer, I believe, is slightly different and that's the one I've posted here.

Also from Disney, Disney Pixar that is, is the first look at the Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales. The 9 short toons from the Cars universe will be released on DVD November 2.

The Fighter brings together Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale for the first time. Directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings), The Fighter is the story of the early years of boxer 'Irish' Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his brother (Bale). Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are also a part of the cast.

Last but not least, to remind you that Christmas is only 3 months away comes The Nutcracker 3D. Because everything is better in 3D. Let's hope it doesn't suffer the same fate as last year's A Christmas Carol 3D. Starring Elle Fanning, John Turturro, Nathan Lane and Charlie Rowe and directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, it's the movie the whole family can enjoy during the holidays.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

News Roundup

  • According to, Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit)  is in talks to direct The Hunger Games. For those of you not in the know, Suzanne Collins' trilogy of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, is the next big thing in Hollywood.  At least book adaptation-wise.  

From the official Scholastic website:
Twenty-four are forced to enter.  Only the winner survives.  
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts.  Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death - televised for all of Panem to see. 
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12.  When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence.  If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Awesome, right?  This trilogy is already on my I-must-read-this list.  Other possible names up for director were Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and David Slade (Twilight Saga: Eclipse).  This is all in early stages, though securing a good director goes a long way in attracting big names to the project just like the Harry Potter series.  Lionsgate owns the rights to The Hunger Games series.  

  • I may be the only one happy about this.  There's gonna be a Johnny English 2.  I don't why but Rowan Atkinson makes me laugh.  It could be because I have watched all of Mr. Bean episodes many many times.   Don't judge.  Anyway, Johnny English Reborn will also have Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Dominic West (The Wire), Rosamund Pike and Daniel Kaluuya.  The film is expected to release summer 2011.
  • It's been 35 long years since Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) first began making movie magic happen and to commemorate this momentous occasion, Encore will screen the documentary, "Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible" on November 14th.  Leslie Iwerks (The Pixar Story) directs and the documentary is narrated by Tom Cruise.  It includes interviews with George Lucas (of course!), Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau, Jerry Bruckheimer, John Lasseter and many others.  The documentary will also contain footage from its many many award-winning films and technologies.  
  • In news that'll make you go, huh?  Russell Crowe will be in RZA's new kung-fu movie, The Man with the Iron Fist.  Doesn't Crowe's name pop up first in your head when you think kung-fu? Maybe to the paparazzi but seriously, was Jackie Chan busy?  And Gladiator was 10 years ago, the only way I'd watch this flick is first Crowe loses a few pounds and gets in shape.  Don't have double standards, Hollywood, if you're going to ask Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway to lose weight for The Devil Wears Prada, do the same for the male leads as well.  
  • And last but not least, in the oh, no, I can't believe they're making another sequel category, Universal Pictures has released the official synopsis for Fast Five, yet another Fast and the Furious sequel.  Is this how young kids will learn how to count?  It pains me to post this.

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in "Fast Five." In this installment, former cop Brian O'Conner (Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) on the opposite side of the law. Dwayne Johnson joins returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon and Don Omar for this ultimate high-stakes race.

Since Brian and Mia Toretto (Brewster) broke Dom out of custody, they've blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio de Janeiro, they must pull one last job in order to gain their freedom. As they assemble their elite team of top racers, the unlikely allies know their only shot of getting out for good means confronting the corrupt businessman who wants them dead. But he's not the only one on their tail.

Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can't separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey... before someone else runs them down first.

That's it for now.  In tomorrow's post, the trailer for the The Tourist and Tangled and some cool links to check out.  

DVD Review: Dorian Gray

Based on the only published novel from Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray (2009) doesn't quite live up to the expectations I had.

The premise is thus, a young man (Ben Barnes) comes to London newly inheriting his grandfather's fortune.  He meets up with several people about town notably Basil Hallward (Ben Chaplin) and Lord Henry Wotton (Colin Firth).  Basil paints his portrait, an uncanny lookalike, which becomes the talk of the town.  And as Lord Henry makes a casual remark that the painting will remain as beautiful as the day it was painted, Dorian himself will lose his beauty.  Dorian then decides that he'd rather barter his soul to the devil than lose his youthful beauty.  Lord Henry is an terrible influence on Dorian and introduces him to all the depraved pleasures of life so much so that Dorian forgets about his true love, Sybil Vane (Rachel Hurd-Wood), a young actress.

And so it begins.  The boredom.  Ben Barnes, unfortunately, is a dull lead.  He doesn't quite carry off the role of a debonair rogue.  I almost wanted Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl to somehow materialize out of the nearest street corner and show Dorian how it's done.  Hey, Ed Westwick, who plays Chuck, could even use his own natural accent.  Rebecca Hall (she shows up at the end) as Emily Wotton is wasted in a miniscule role.  The film's only solid performance comes from Colin Firth who gets the best lines like this little gem, "There's no shame in pleasure.  Man just wants to be happy.  But society wants him to be good.  And when he's good, he's rarely happy.  But when he's happy, he's always good".

So Dorian doesn't age after a lot of boring things he does and other boring things happen.  But the painting does.  It ages, groans and looks menacing in a corner.  I, who scares really easily, found myself asking is that it? Is there more to this?  The painting's scariest look is The Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt.  And that pretty much sums it up.

P.S. - It was nice to see Rachel Hurd-Wood after a long time, she was little Wendy from the live-action version of Peter Pan (2003).  I love the music and the adaptation from the book.

Director: Oliver Parker, Screenplay: Toby Finlay, Cinematography: Roger Pratt, Editing: Guy Bensley.

Rating:   (1 DVD)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Movie Recommendation: Un Secret (A Secret)

After watching the Hereafter trailer, I somehow got to thinking about this movie again.  The film unfolds itself layer after layer and you can't help but be caught up in the story.

Based on the novel by Philippe Grimbert, Un Secret (2007) is a re-examination of a man's memories of his parents and his entire childhood.  A young sickly boy of two athletic parents, Francois tries hard to win the affections of his disappointed father.  While in his teens, he learns the whole truth of his parents' "romance" and difficult family secrets that have been buried down deep emerge.  Cecile de France and Patrick Bruel play Francois' parents, Tania and Maxime and the adult Francois is played by Mathieu Amalric (Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon, Quantum of Solace).

What is not a secret, however, is that the film takes place during World War II France where even though the Grinbergs were Jewish, they considered themselves French first.  Sadly, the rest of the world didn't think so and the unraveling of their once peaceful lives is more than some family members can bear.  A now adult Francois tries to deal with his father and his remaining guilt and tries to bring out the truth once and for all.

Director: Claude Miller; Novel by Philippe Grimbert, Screenplay: Claude Miller; Cinematography: Gerard de Batista; Editing: Veronique Lange

Also in the cast: Julie Depardieu, Ludivine Sagnier, Nathalie Boutefeu, Yves Verhoeven, Valentin Vigourt (Francois at 7 yrs), Quentin Dubuis (Francois at 14 yrs)

Rating:  (4 DVDs)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekly News Update

  • Sofia Coppola's Somewhere wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.  That it won the big prize is kind of surprising since all the attention and media buzz was previously on Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.  But, personally, I like Sofia's style of film making.  Somewhere is based on her own experiences following her own famous father, Francis Ford Coppola, around.  
  • The Venice jury was lead by Quentin Tarantino and also awarded the Silver Lion to Alex de la Iglesia for his film, Balada triste de la trompeta (A Sad Trumpet Ballad).  Other notable winners were Vincent Gallo, Essential Killing for Best Actor and Ariane Labed, Attenberg for Best Actress. Black Swan didn't leave empty handed.  Mila Kunis won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor & Actress.
  • Noomi Rapace, known as the original Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish versions of the Millenium trilogy, has landed her first big English film.  She has been cast as the female lead in Sherlock Holmes 2.  She joins Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law who are reprising their roles as Holmes and Watson.  No word on who will be cast as Holmes' nemesis, Moriarty. 
  • Possible Hobbit casting news?  Martin Freeman (Love Actually, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) is rumored to be the top choice.  Apparently, there were some scheduling conflicts as he's also cast as Dr. Watson in the BBC series of Sherlock.  However, as Entertainment Weekly is reporting, the producers of The Hobbit are still keen on casting him and trying to work something out where he can be on both projects. 

Hereafter Trailer and Summary

From director Clint Eastwood and writer Peter Morgan (The Queen), their new collaboration Hereafter which in turn is produced by Steven Spielberg.

Official Synopsis:

"Hereafter" tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue--collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (C├ęcile de France), a French journalist, has a near--death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter.

I know the shots of the tsunami are CG but they are very eerie to watch even now. I recognized Cecile de France from Un Secret, the last French film I saw. Is this her first English-language film, I wonder? A very different film from Eastwood who at his age (70) is producing better and better material as he ages. Bring it on!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Logo Reveal for Pixar's Brave

Pixar's Brave, previously titled Bear and the Bow, has released their new logo design.  Nice Celtic letters!!

Insider Info: Pixar animator Chris Chua revealed on Twitter that if you look closely at the poster, you can see Merida and her mother.  Hmmmm!!!

By the way, I had to take a second look to find it but it's definitely there.  This is Pixar's first film that has a female character in the lead and is directed by Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Around the world in Posters!

Poster lineup time!

This one's a beauty.  Absolutely gorgeous.

aka Glitter 2.  You know it's true.  

The darling of festival season

There's something to be said about pictures being louder than words. 

And then everything becomes clear.  Check out the title written IN BLOOD!!!

Remove Anne Hathaway and this poster will be perfect. 

Tagline: It takes two to get tangled.

Tangled Poster by way of France. Love the colors!

Creepy poster of The Town

Not so creepy French poster.

This sort of reminds me of the Star Wars posters minus the illustrations. 

Tron Poster from France

And from Russia

Newest film from Woody Allen

I prefer this poster from Spain.  Lovely!

New movie castings

  • Now that Andrew Garfield has been cast as Peter Parker in the Spiderman prequel, who's going to play Mary Jane?  Or maybe Gwen Stacy?  Hillary Duff is being considered for both roles.  I don't how this look into the teen Spiderman is going to work but I'll reserve judgement til more names are cast.  So far, my interest level isn't perking up.
  • Peter Berg's Battleship continues to cast more actors.  After Rihanna (yes, you read that right), Brooklyn Decker, Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins!!!) and Alexander Skarsgaard, Liam Neeson is adding his name to the bunch.  I don't why by this movie gives me echoes of Poseidon.  Anyone remember that flick? Yeah, I didn't think so.  
  • Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna have teamed up again to join the cast of Casa de mi padre.  Their earlier collaboration were with the Cuaron brothers' productions, first up in Y Tu Mama Tambien directed by Alfonso and later in 2008 in Carlos' Rudo y Cursi.  However, this time around joining them in Casa de mi padre is Will Ferrell.  Yeah, you read that right too.  Will's trying his hand at a Spanish-language film.  Good move, seeing as his recent films at the box office haven't managed to capture the success of his earlier films.  Matt Piedmont (HBO's Funny or Die Presents...) is directing.  
  • Speaking of Alfonso Cuaron, he may be going back to the sci-fi genre for his next flick, Gravity. It's about a woman stranded alone at a space station.  Word is, Angelina Jolie declined it and Natalie Portman is being considered.  Robert Downey Jr. already has a supporting role.  Gravity already has a budget of $80 million and will be in 3D.  The movie is written by Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron.   

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

DVD envy!!! Inception Limited Edition Blu-Ray (UK)

In case, I haven't made it evident enough for anyone who knows me, I liked this summer's biggest blockbuster, Inception.  I mean, I really loved it.  The movie was perfection for me and I loved the craziness and rules about all the dream worlds.  Of course, I'm waiting for it to release on DVD so I can watch it again. And again and maybe again.

The Inception Limited Editing Blu-Ray (UK) details are enough to send me over the edge.  Have a look!

Limited edition aluminium briefcase
  • PASIV (Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous) Device User Manual
  • Movie art-cards
  • Inception Spinning Top
  • Maximum Movie Mode: Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio extract information about the world of Inception and learn about all things you may have missed in the film. Questions, answers, surprises and intrigue are all there for the taking!
  • Prologue (Motion Comics):
  • Inception: The Cobol Job: Online comic that details how Cobb, Arthur and Nash came to be enlisted by Cobol Engineering to perform an extraction on Saito.
  • Inception: The Big Under: The story that reveals how Cobb and company get to Saito to put him under for the dream featured in the beginning of the film.
  • Dream of Consciousness: Taking some of the most fascination and cutting-edge dream research to date on lucid dreaming, leading scientist to make the case that the dream world is not an altered state of consciousness, but a fully functional parallel reality.
  • 15 Focus Pods
  • Photo Gallery
  • ‘Triple Play Edition’ includes the movie on 3 formats: Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy!
  • What is Triple Play Edition?
  • A premium Blu-ray pack that now includes both the DVD format and Digital Copy to allow you to enjoy the film whenever, wherever you want
  • Blu-ray for the best quality experience on the big TV screen, just like in the cinema but in the comfort of your own living room
  • DVD version that can be enjoyed in other rooms
  • Digital Copy for your laptop or media player (iPod) that can be enjoyed on the go
What looks like a 3 disc set comes in a case loaded with lots of goodies and wait, what? It comes with a spinning totem!!!!  Did they make this especially for me?  How did they know that's exactly what I wanted? ;-) But seriously, the details are enough to make any fan squee with delight.  I know what I'm asking Santa.  You?

Where is Jean-Luc Godard hiding?

That's what the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) aka "the Academy" wants to know.  They wanted to present Godard with an honorary Academy Award.  The legendary French director associated with the emergence of the French New Wave is better known for his films like Breathless, My Life to Live, A Woman is a Woman and Pierret le Fou.  Godard has never won an Oscar because he's never ever been nominated.  Strange, really.

Anyways, the Academy, wanting to correct this oversight, are presenting Godard with the honorary Academy Award to make it up.  However, they couldn't find him, didn't know where he was and the reports in the media are quite amusing to read.  Godard doesn't feel up to making the trip because he hates flying and can't smoke.  Honesty, I like it.  And besides, it's not going to be in the actual Oscars in February/March but the Governor's Awards being held in November.

According to his wife, Anne-Marie Mieville, "Jean-Luc won't go to America, he's getting old for that kind of thing.  Would you go all that way just for a bit of metal?"  Ouch, too much honesty.  Guess the Europeans feel differently about Oscar than the Americans do.

Personally, I'm glad they have a separate Governor's Awards in November.  It gives a chance to properly honor the recipients without having to squeeze it into the actual ceremony without making it 6 hours long.  Just wish they would air this as a special so the ordinary folk could see it too.  Last year, John Calley, Roger Corman, Gordon Willis and the still amazing Lauren Bacall were honored.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Deathly Hallows Part I Stills

The WB has nicely released lovely stills from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I feature and also sent out the official synopsis.

Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) immortality and destruction — the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart.

Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort’s Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter . The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort ... alive.

Harry’s only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale — the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks.

Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became "the Boy Who Lived." No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort.

This is old news for the fans who have already read the final book and know what coming.  But yes, there are people who have only the films as reference.  Shocker!! Anyways, the stills are great to look until we wait for the film to come out.  

Xenophilius Lovegood (played by Rhys Evans) outside his home

Ron and Harry wait as they try to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic

Harry and Hagrid flee from Privet Drive

Harry and Hedwig

The Malfoys and scary Bellatrix

The Final Battle

Is Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) threatening Harry?

Rufus Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy) hands over the Golden Snitch

Ron and Hermione

Enjoy!  The photos come courtesy, the best site out there for all things Potter and a big thank you again to WB for releasing these photos.  They are always so nice to the fans!! 

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