Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Frankie & Alice'

Was wondering what Halle Berry has been up to. 'Frankie & Alice'. Very nice graphic.

Some Funny Stuff Leslie Nielsen Said in Movies and TV Shows

Funny or Die collected some of Leslie Nieslen's best lines. Loved the guy.

Portman Preps for 'Black Swan'

NPR talks 'Black Swan' with Natalie Portman, who studied ballet as a kid. Did not know that.

The actresses trained for hours a day with a ballerina from the New York City Ballet. By the end, Portman was dancing several hours a day, swimming miles and cross-training, losing almost 20 pounds in the process. Her body, she says, paid a price: Her toenails fell off, her feet became calloused and she dislocated a rib during a lift.


'Apollo 18'

'Apollo 18' poster. Okay. Sure. Kinda dumb. But fun. Graphics are a cut above, as if someone cared or saw potential in the material. (Wish I could say the same for some major movies like, say, 'The King's Speech').

If plot/gimmick is strong enough, could draw a good audience.

Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, whose 'El Rey de la Montaña' scored some good festival notices. (So did 'Nomadas' and 'Sobre el Arco Iris' -- the guy has a knack).

Written by Brian Miller who, by the looks of it, is a kid whose only previous work is as a production assistant on a TV movie. That could work either way. For high-concept stuff it's not a bad thing to have a newbie on the script.

Here's hoping. Something tells me there's...something here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Steve Martin's New Novel

"When I was in college," Martin recalls, "I was debating to try my hand at show business, or to become a professor. I just thought of the risk of not going into show business and always wondering if I would've had a chance. Because that's where my real heart was."

Thank god for that. Here's an excerpt from his novel 'An Object of Beauty'.

NPR Audio 30:18

Colin Firth on 'The King's Speech'

Love this shot of a determined King George VI (Colin Firth) about to deliver a radio address to the nation during war.

Everything I've seen from 'The King's Speech' (not counting posters) has been a pleasure.

Here's NPR's Robert Siegel with Firth:

A grim string of events informed King George VI's stammer. His family forced him to become right-handed. His nanny starved him and regularly drove him to tears, for reasons of her own. By the time we meet the future king of England in Tom Hooper's film The King's Speech, the phrase "tightly wound" doesn't quite do his personality justice. A tense and guarded man, he comes off as distinctly unhappy.


"David Seidler, our writer, is someone who battled with a stammer for much of his life," Firth tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "and he described it as something which really is all-consuming. It's not just an inconvenience that you can isolate; he said it became the be-all and end-all of everything.

Effects. Special Effects.

DGA Quarterly has a very cool interview with John Glen, director of 'Octopussy', about the making of the scene where an anti-aircraft rocket is fired at a Bede jet being flown by Bond.

This was an actual rocket that we used to fire at Bond's Bede jet. It was simply a fireworks pyrotechnic effect, but it worked very well. We had made three mock-ups of the Bede for Moonraker, but didn’t use them. For Octopussy we used all three models, one that actually flew, and a Hawker Siddeley 127, which was about four times as big as the Bede but doubled for it quite effectively in long shots. We used the 127 for the long approach shots, and would then cut to the close-ups of Roger in the cockpit, then cut to the model going into the hangar as the doors began closing.

I like this bit about flying the jet through a hangar:

Corkey Fornof, our Bede pilot, refused to fly through the aircraft hangar while other people were inside because of the potential for disaster. So our special effects supervisor bought an old Jaguar XJ6, stripped the car down to its chassis, mounted a hydraulic rig called a pole arm to it, and attached a full-sized Bede jet mock-up to the top. The rig gave the driver terrific control, and he could use the hydraulics to alter the pitch of the aircraft's wings as it made its way through the hangar. We put Roger in the cockpit, and had soldiers scurrying in the foreground to cover up the pole arm so that it wasn't visible in the finished shot.

Great stuff. Worth a read.

'Apocalypse, CA'

Poster is a little silly, but makes a statement. I kinda like this movie. From IMDb:

Wry, cynical and full of off-beat humor, 'Apocalypse, CA' is the story of friends as they prepare for certain death at the hands of a massive asteroid, sex-inducing drugs, a three-hundred foot giant, and a horde of other absurd problems.

I hate when that happens. 'Apocalypse, CA' probably best with some friends and beer.


'The Collapsed'

Not a bad poster. Fair title. IMDb says:

In the wake of the end of the world, a family of four desperately tries to survive. Taking to the forest, they soon discover the other survivors may be the least of their worries.

The Hobbit to be Shot on RED Cameras

Peter Jackson will shoot the Hobbit films in 3D on RED (digital) cameras. More good news for the industry in general as well as low-budget filmmakers since film (and related processing) is probably the single most costly element for most productions.

The RED camera has already been used to shoot several high-profile movies, including 'Che' and 'The Informant!' -- Steven Soderbergh was one of the first Hollywood directors to embrace digital cinematography. 'District 9' was shot primarily on RED cameras. Michael Mann, I believe, shoots mostly digital now. 'Collateral' certainly has the look, as does 'Miami Vice' (memory fails me though).

Early movies shot digitally had a kind of gritty, grainy quality. I think that problem has been solved and imagery from the latest REDs is silky smooth, tighter than film. In low light, film can't compete with digital sensors. A lot of stuff is being shot at night on digital cameras without the use of huge banks of lights, generators, etc., which is basically impossible on film. I think they did that for 'Skyline'.

Small film crews can rent digital cameras, saving thousands in film-related costs. Between that and internet distribution, we might see a revival in the low-budget indie film scene, giving the new Cassavetes and Woody Allens their chance to change the world.

RED has been threatening to come out with a consumer still/video DSLR. I'm hoping. Will give Canon and Nikon something to worry about. We could use the competition.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

'The King's Speech'

What would we do without Geoffrey Rush? Here's Bob Mondello on 'The King's Speech' in which Rush stars along with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter:

...Logue soon has him singing tongue-twisters while dancing around his office, bellowing vowels out windows, swearing like a sailor and doing breathing exercises as his wife sits on his stomach. The prince's expression remains pinched, but you sense that he's actually starting to let his guard down, even have a bit of fun.

'Apocalypse, CA'

Elusive trailer. Has some potential.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'The Tourist' Clip

'The Tourist' Featurette, Johnny Depp's Character

With some new footage.

Clip from 'Black Swan'

Has a 50s or 60s dramatic feel. Can't take my eyes off this. Elegant, confident filmmaking.

'Black Swan' Clip

Very Hitchcock. Love this movie.

'Mars Needs Moms'

Kinda lose interest after the abduction. Mo-Cap (or whatever brand of animation that is) looks very 'Polar Express', doll-eyes and all. Plastic. Would not want to watch a feature with characters thus rendered.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Galapagos 2010'

Galapagos 2010 from Darek Sepiolo on Vimeo.

Beautiful. Nice video vacation. Shot with the Sony EX1 camera.

Sarah Silverman's Thanksgiving Special

'The Girlfriend Experience'

A very Steven Soderbergh experience. Very very cool. Great kicker at the end. Nice style.


'Five Minarets in New York'

Great trailer. As I said before, look for crying Statue of Liberty at 1:27.

'The King's Speech' Clips

These are good. No, not good. Entertaining. When was the last time you were entertained by a movie?

Acting, direction, writing, character -- all there. Would not be surprised if 'The King's Speech' took home a basket full of statuettes.

'Tron Legacy' Clips

Pretty nice.

The Music of 'Black Swan'

Apple has an exclusive featurette for the soundtrack of 'Black Swan'. Has some footage not seen in trailers.

Movie is looking more intense and deep all the time. Natalie Portman owns this.

'The Grace Card' Poster

Throw-Back Poster for 'The Limits of Control'

Clearly referencing crime movies of the 70s. Curious. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, with Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Bill Murray makes 'The Limits of Control' pretty much a must-see for film buffs.

Soderbergh's 'The Girlfriend Experience'

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, 'The Girlfriend Experience'. Like the poster. Somehow reminiscent of the 50s. Here's the summary from IMDb:

A drama set in the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, and centered on a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work.

'Burke and Hare'

Well, according to the poster it's 'outrageously funny'.

Here's a clip from a review by Andy Gibbons at MSN:

Directed by John ‘An American Werewolf In London’ Landis, B&H certainly comes with a great pedigree and, as befits it’s cast, is largely played for laughs – it’s just a shame the writers forgot to include many jokes. ...the cast, which includes more celebrity cameos that I could count, do the best they can with what they’ve got. But perhaps if Landis, Pegg and Serkis had been allowed to give the script a bit of a comedy polish, things would have worked out better. (2 out of 5 stars).

Trailer isn't inspiring, but, in a weird way, I think this movie is a near-miss.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

'Your Highness' (Red Band. Shh)

Not fucking funny. Natalie Portman, not fucking good looking. James Franco, not fucking...whatever he's supposed to be. All in all, a motherfucking waste of time.

And, at over 200,000 embeds from TrailerAddict alone, it's pretty fucking clear nobody's fucking interested in this fucking boring-ass piece of shit movie.

'127 Hours' Featurette

This one is with Steve Allen, an expert at canyon ghosting, hiking slot canyons, climbing, etc.

The extras I've seen have been excellent. Makes '127 Hours' a DVD to own.

'Faster' Clips

Two Clips from 'The Warrior's Way'

"Until your enemy's heart stops, you have not won."

These have a certain charm.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Remake of '13 Tzameti', '13' is looking pretty good. Combo of Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke practically guarantees a good time at the movies.

Here's a poster.


'The Tourist' Clip

'The Tourist' Exclusive Clip

Trailer Park Movies | Myspace Video

'The Green Hornet'

Trailer looks good. I still think this will play well. Don't see the problem with Seth Rogen in an action pic.


Refraction from Jesse Zanzinger on Vimeo.

Shot through oil and water.

Canon 5D, 100 f2.8

'13' Trailer

'Dead Awake' Trailer

Not bad. Sort of a Saturday, at home, rainy day video. But, if the complexities hold water could be an engaging story. Might find a theatrical audience.

Needs a new poster, though.

'The King's Speech'

With director Tom Hooper. Includes audio from one the speeches King George VI gave on the radio.

The Big Apple

Clip from 'Barney's Version'.

'Source Code'

Wow. One of the best conceits I've ever seen.

Russell Crowe with Charlie Rose

A nice talk. Good look into Crowe's prep for 'The Next Three Days' and other movies. "Either the narrative is complete on the page, or the potential of that narrative is so clear that you can take a risk..."

Trailer I've not seen before at about the 4 minute mark.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Olympus BioScape Photo Contest Winners

Cnet has the winners of the 'Olympus BioScapes: Art Living under the Microscope' photo contest.

I like the two above. Top: part of the eyes of a daddy longlegs spider (phalangium opili).

And the adhesive pad of the first leg of a beetle (Clytus sp.)

'Dead Awake'

Fair poster. Faces are too contrasty, clash with tone, kinda mugshot-esque. Nick Stahl looks like he has a dentist appointment right after the shoot.

I like this part, though:

That moon is mighty low, but... Hope trailer is okay.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Born to be Wild'

Nicely put together poster.

'Narrated by Morgan Freeman' makes it just about a must-see. 'The Phone Book 3D' would be pretty good if it was narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Apple has an exclusive trailer. Looks like fun for everyone. A good time for kids.

'True Grit'

Probably my favorite of the five new posters for the Coen brothers' 'True Grit'.

How Do You Know Which New Poster

Is this the new new poster for 'How Do You Know'? Less linear but just and anti-graphic as the other new poster.

'Playing House'

Poster seems over literal, but maybe that's what they were going for.


'How Do You Know'

Call this the 'Utility' or 'Place Holder' poster. Doesn't do us any favors.

Judd Apatow's All-Star Video Part 2

'127 Hours' Featurette. The Land.

Covers one of the main characters in the movie. The landscape.

'Tron Legacy' Trailer

With maybe a couple seconds new footage.


Very nice trailer.

'Playing House' aka 'Homewrecker'

Hard to tell from the trailer. Could go either way. Could be a hidden gem, or might make you regret the two hours spent watching.

I'll roll the dice when it's available on disc.

'Burlesque' Backstory

I think the kids will eat this up. Hulu has more clips.

'Victim' Trailer

Okay, I said I'd post the trailer if it looked good. This one has potential. Very twisted story but, if handled correctly, could yield a good psych study.

Here's the poster.

'The Mechanic' Trailer

Love it so far.

'Cowboys & Aliens'

Jon Favreau is staking a claim as the guy who can take comic book material and infuse it with life, story, depth of character.

Trailer grabs you, won't let go. Hints at plot, makes you want to know more. I never would have thought a movie about people in the old west battling space aliens could come off this real. Rarely seen in genre work.

This has Story.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paintings from 'Cars 2'

Apple has a gallery of some very nice super hi-rez images on a 'Cars 2' theme. Don't know who painting them, but snazzy wallpaper.

Warner Bros. and the Deathly Leak

Cnet on the 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1' leak:

"It may be going a little bit too far to suggest that Warner Bros. leaked the film intentionally, but from a business perspective it might make sense," wrote Ernesto, editor-in-chief of Torrentfreak, a blog that focuses on file sharing.

What might send some conspiracy theorists into a frenzy is knowing that, unlike most of the other studios that have suffered similar leaks, Warner Bros. has yet to contact law enforcement.

Visceral Response

I like this bit from Lauren Flanagan's review of '127 Hours':

It’s not often that a movie gets a physical reaction out of me. Emotional, sure. That’s par for the course. But physical? Not so much. In 127 Hours there was a moment where I was curled into so tight a ball while sitting in my tiny theatre seat that my legs started cramping and my back got sore. All the while my gag reflex was working overtime. I’ve squirmed in movies before, but never like that.

'The Mechanic'

The thing about this trailer is it gives me the feeling the Charles Bronson character Arthur Bishop, played in this remake by Jason Statham, doesn't die in the end. That this new Mechanic is the beginning of a franchise.

Couldn't be happier. Loved the original. Was sad about poor Bishop and glad when dirty rotten double-crossing upstart pretty-boy McKenna got blowed up good. Jerk.

Statham is one of the few real action stars with any believable grit these days. Does a nice job creating a likable and smart protagonist who is also a tough bastard. Looking forward to his take, and maybe a new 'Mechanic' every couple years.

'Five Minarets in New York'

Very nice poster. Apple is running a stunning trailer. Total commitment both in cinematography and script/story. Beautiful.

I've watched closely, stop-frame, a few times. At 1:27 look for the crying Statue of Liberty.

Trailer is packed with brutal visuals. Some rival, say, Michael Mann's 'Heat' in their explosiveness, others match the best dramatic tension.

Wow. Must-see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

'Red Riding Hood' Poster and Trailer

Fair poster. Geared toward kids. Too romantic, unless meant only for kids.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, which probably means the movie is not only geared toward kids, but snubs adults. She took a lot of knocks for a clunky execution of 'Twilight'. Here's hoping she's improved her technique.

Stars Gary Oldman as the heavy, though. That carries a lot of redeeming value.

Apple has a trailer

'Paul' Poster

'The Nutcracker 3D' Animated Poster

Footage I've seen is very good. Looking forward to this re-imaging.

'Danger. Zombies. Run.' Poster

Pretty. Good. Poster.

'Danger. Zombies. Run.' Poster

Pretty. Good. Poster.

Poster for 'Victim'

You have to admit, this is an eye-catching one sheet for 'Victim'. Graphic has just enough going for it to merit a look. Wondering what, if anything, the progressively thickening font in the title represents.


What’s the ultimate form of revenge? One Young man is about to find out. After being mysteriously kidnapped by a Doctor and his violent henchman, he's held captive in the converted cellar of an old mansion. For reasons unknown, he's forced to endure heinous physical and psychological torture, but slowly realizes the worst is yet to come when the Doctor's brutal plan for him is finally revealed…. VICTIM is a horrifying, twisted thriller from directors Matt Eskandari and Michael Pierce.

If handled well, that could be a good character psych study. Not really holding my breath, though.

May post trailer -- if it looks good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Like, Duh

GQ names Scarlett Johansson 'Babe of the Year'.

'Cowboys & Aliens' First Poster

First poster for 'Cowboys & Aliens' courtesy Yahoo.

'The Dilemma' Featurette

Apple has an exclusive featurette for 'The Dilemma'.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

'Barney's Version'

Trailer has that Paul Giamatti thing -- can't take your eyes off it, can't believe the nutty yet compelling nature of the story, can't believe how much you identify with the kooky protagonist, can't believe you can't wait to see the movie.

'The Warrior's Way' Featurette. On Set With Kate Bosworth.

With a few seconds of new footage. Lots of green-screen acting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cher Sings Us A Song

Another clip from 'Burlesque'.

'Battle: Los Angeles' Trailer

Best thing I've seen all day.

'Burlesque' Clip

'Love and Other Drugs' Red Band

Love and Other Drugs - Exclusive Red Band Trailer - Watch more Movie Trailers

Pretty funny.

In Defense of 'For Colored Girls'

Tyler Perry's 'For Colored Girls' has been taking a lot of flak lately. Jimi Izrael comes to the defense:

The persistent criticism of For Colored Girls as a yet another film in the canon of Black Female Misery Porn or as being too ambitious, misses the point. It’s like criticizing Schindler’s List for being anti-Semitic or Titanic as a harsh commentary on American naval engineering.


Art is never “too ambitious” – most often, it’s not ambitious enough. If anything, Perry should have taken more chances, visually and otherwise. All in, and judged strictly on the merits, Perry’s was a worthy effort. His mistake is that he chose to expose a largely unsophisticated audience to a complex piece of art without context, using commercial Hollywood’s aesthetic sensibilities. Movie audiences, and black audiences in particular, have lost touch with their critical eye for cinematic art.

Eloquent as always.

Blue Skies Over Los Angeles

The song used in the trailer for 'Battle: Los Angeles' seems to be a take on 'Blue Skies':

Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but bluebirds all day long

Words are twisted, unintelligible, and have an ominous robotic sound, but the pitches and rhythm are very close. Tune morphs into a searing symphonic grind as the alien attack intensifies.

It's a dark joke. This bit of Americana which has been covered by Bing Crosby, Willie Nelson, and Louis Armstrong twisted into an anthem of invasion, perhaps meant to be blasted over loud-speakers from alien gunships as psychological warfare. The new lyrics might be:

Blue skies screaming at me
Nothing but raining fire do I see
Attack ships dropping bombs
Nothing but bombing all day long

How those words would sound in the new global language, post invasion, I'm not sure. I guess they would sound like they do in the song used in the trailer.

'Unstoppable' Still

At USA Today, Scott Bowles does a promo piece for 'Unstoppable'. I just like this still. High frame rate cinematography, high saturation, high contrast, very good depth of field. Very Tony Scott.

Deep Impact Meets Independence Day

When trailers for 'Skyline' first hit I was impressed. But, since then, clips come across as hokey CGI fests featuring ham-fisted direction and omg action. Will probably not see it.

New trailer for 'Battle: Los Angeles' suggests a movie with spine. Story and plot, spectacle and heart, seem balanced. There is even the suggestion of theme. Action looks realistic. Not bad.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Seres Genesis'

Poster has a quiet drama, beauty. Far cry from the Hollywood approach to similar material.

Apple has a trailer that holds some promise. Production value seems better, quite good really, than you might expect. Here's hoping.

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