Monthly Archives: February 2010

Comic Book Movie News

In Green Lantern news, writer extraordinaire and new Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics Geoff Johns visited the set and confirmed in a Twitter post that Mark Strong will indeed be playing Sinestro.  Strong was last seen as the adversary of Sherlock Holmes in the recent incarnation.  Read the rest of this entry

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Bradley Cooper Gets Picky

With the success of The Hangover Bradley Cooper has a right to be choosey when it comes to his projects.  After duds like All About Steve and Valentine’s Day, Cooper is likely to be a bit gun shy. 

Cooper was initially on board to do a spy comedy with Reese Witherspoon called This Means War, but has dropped out citing that he intends to focus on a sequel to the summer hit, The Hangover

The Foot Fist Way (Just For The Hell Of It)

If you’ve ever been inside of any kind of martial arts school or a lot of gyms, then this movie is for you. Something about that community of guys that tends to bring out the worst in some people. Maybe, it’s the testosterone, male insecurities or lots of sweat. In real life that can be annoying to be around. It gets old fast. In The Foot Fist Way it’s exactly that type of tough guy meat head mentality that makes this movie one of the best dark comedies I’ve ever seen. Read the rest of this entry

A Perfect Getaway DVD

With The Crazies starring Timothy Olyphant coming out, which Rene and I are reviewing, I wanted to take the opportunity to watch A Perfect Getaway beforehand.  This movie was released on dvd a little more than a month ago after little publicity in the theaters considering it came out the same day as G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Amarcord

I must confess, up until I watched Amarcord, I had never seen a Federico Fellini movie.  I had no expectations at all going into Amarcord. That actually helped my experience because I was very pleasantly surprised with this movie. I always thought of Fellini movies as being like a lot of older foreign films. Boring and in black and white. Thankfully, that is definitely not the case with this movie. It’s a living photograph of a place and time that a lot of people in this part of the world know nothing about. Read the rest of this entry

Indian Goddess Freida Pinto To Battle Greek Gods

Fighting the Greek gods is all the rage right now, so Universal is moving forward with it’s War of The Gods.  The film, much like Clash of The Titans, focuses in on one of Zeus’ children rebelling against daddy on a large scale.  Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, will enlist the help of Freida Pinto’s Phaedra to battle the tyranny of the gods.   The film is slated to release in 2011.

Editor’s Note:  This story has a personal connection for me, as my daughter’s name happens to be Phaedra.

The Clerks Guy and Tuesdays With Morrie Guy Team Up

Director Kevin Smith and writer Mitch Albom have teamed up on the screenplay for Hit Somebody, which is adapted from a song by Warren Zevon.  The story centers around a player whose talents lie mainly in his ability to enforce and take out opposing players.  Smith, a huge hockey fan, paired with Albom, a sports journalist as well as a bestselling author, are treating this film like a labor of love.

The film is slated for a 2011 release. 

 

Say It Ain’t So…Blues Brother On The Small Screen?

John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd made the blues playing duo famous, but it’s the widow of Belushi that will make them infamous.  Judy Belushi-Pisano is working on a script to adapt The Blues Brothers into a television series along with Anne Beatts, a writer from Saturday Night Live.   The series would focus on the titular brothers working their way down the Mississippi towards New Orleans.  The actors:  Kieron Lafferty and Wayne Catania, the actors that currently play them on stage in a travelling Blues Brothers show. 

Did we learn nothing from Blues Brother 2000?

Episode 12: Shutter Island

This week we go crazy trying to figure out the Scorsese/DiCaprio bromance and why the film’s score sounded so familiar. 

Give us a listen and we’ll tell who number 67 is.

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Shutter Island

In Martin Scorsese’s new flick, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule arrive at Shutter Island, Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a patient at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Then you don’t know Scorsese. Adapted very faithfully from the novel by Boston crime aficionado Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams, is one part neo-noir, one part psychodrama, with an extra helping of suspense. It’s also chock-full of fantastic actors working very hard to up the creepiness factor in any way they can. All in all, I was very happy with Shutter Island and while it contains a flaw or two, it sustains the tension throughout the picture and keeps you guessing until the very end. Read the rest of this entry

Shutter Island (Devil’s Advocates Review)

Riding the coattails (albeit a few years later) of The Departed, Martin Scorsese once again unleashes questionable Boston accents and Leonardo DiCaprio on the unsuspecting public in Shutter Island. Shutter is a noir-styled tour through a sheltered mental asylum which harbors more than just unbalanced criminals. The head doctor (Kingsley) speaks in tangled euphemisms and the inmates warn visitors of its inescapability as DiCaprio (Teddy Daniels) searches for a missing patient. As soon as Daniels steps off the ferry onto the haunting island, dreamy visions of his deceased wife cloud his thoughts and caution him to not go prying too far into the past. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: The Box

Rattling through my head is William Shatner’s voice saying “What’s in the box?! Come on! What’s in the box?!”  Well, I’ll tell you what’s in store for you if you go see The Box….. bad acting and terrible execution of a storyline that showed tiny flares of life (mainly at the end) but overall fizzles. Read the rest of this entry

BAFTA Award Winners Announced

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced their winners list yesterday. 

 If I may editorialize for a moment here:

Surprises…Avatar getting trounced by The Hurt Locker and Kristen Stewart winning a “Rising Star” award.

Not so surprising…Duncan Jones’ “Outstanding Debut” award and Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz waltzing away with the Best Supporting Actress and Actor awards.  Read the rest of this entry

Daryl Hannah Eyes Role in Kill Bill Vol. 3

Tarantino has long discussed the possiblity of a third volume of Kill Bill.  Only recently have potential character reprisals been discussed.  Daryl Hannah has expressed an interest in returning to the franchise, while Tarantino states it’s not out of the realm of possibility.  Having only blinded Hannah’s character Elle Driver, there is the potential for her to still exist in the Kill Billiverse.   As for a confirmation, it’s yet to be seen. 

The Lucifers Nominations

Here at the Devil’s Advocates, I’ve been busy polling my fellow film critics to determine the very best of 2009. Many of them responded (one reviewer who shall remain nameless refrained out of protest over The Blind Side’s Oscar recognition), and I’ve compiled a list of the top choices for each of the eight major categories. By the end of the month, we will have voted again and decided on the winners of the first annual Lucifer Awards, or the Lucies for short. Here are the nominees: Read the rest of this entry

Valentine’s Day

Sometimes gimmick movies pay off. In the case of Valentine’s Day, it paid off 52.1 million times opening day weekend. That’s a number surely to drop off dramatically going into week two. I should not need to mention what gimmick here is being a movie called Valentine’s Day that was released on valentine’s day weekend. Oops just did. The obvious target audience here is the romantic types to take their significant others to watch this film. Being that be the case is why Spencer and I are reviewing this film since my wife and his girlfriend desired to see this. Read the rest of this entry

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Going into the movie theater with my kids I was very curious on how this movie was going to play out. I have a solid interest in Greek and Roman mythology for starters and then I also was aware that the filmed was helmed by Director Chris Columbus who was responsible for the first two Harry Potter films and also based on popular books. Read the rest of this entry

James Cameron Thinks Win-Win

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, James Cameron, the creator behind Titanic, and the recent juggernaut Avatar, expressed his desire to see his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow win Best Director for her film The Hurt Locker, rather than himself.  He did add one caveat, that for the sake of “Team Avatar” it would be nice to win Best Picture. 

The Wolfman

I went into The Wolfman with mixed expectations. On the one hand, I like werewolf stories, love Hugo Weaving and Anthony Hopkins, and am quite alright with looking at Emily Blunt; on the other, I have a strong dislike of Benicio del Toro, and director Joe Johnston is an iffy proposition in my book. That being said…I loved it. Read the rest of this entry

The Wolfman (Devil’s Advocate Review)

When you come across a film that has not one; but two Oscar award winners for best actor in the likes of Benicio Del Toro and Sir Anthony Hopkins how can one pass up the opportunity to watch it? One would expect powerful acting performances, an exchange of blistering dialogue and characters that would leave an impression that others would strive to achieve in a film of this nature. In 2010’s remake of the 1941 classic The Wolfman staring these two great actors, we get none of that. What we do get is a movie that is weak in it’s plotline, a little disappointing in the acting performances and relies too much on imagery to tell the story. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: 8 1/2

Many would say that the best stories are true stories. Therefore, some of the greatest films have been autobiographical in nature. 8 1/2 is one of these films, and is the brainchild of this month’s Director Spotlight, Federico Fellini. It follows an Italian film director who must deal with his various romantic entanglements while trying to decide on his next picture. Fellini himself was having director’s block before he developed this script; the title is because he had already directed six full-length films and three shorter ones (1/2 each), adding up to 7 1/2 before this one. It was clear from the get-go that this is a passion project unlike any of his others, and I dare anyone not to become thoroughly engrossed. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 11: Valentine’s Day Special

In honor of Valentine’s Day Veer and Mike discuss the wondefully romantic and the horribly contrived, as we count down our top three great date films, two rom-com bombs, and one “guaranteed to get you a second date” film. 

Listen and we’ll be your Valentine forever.

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Director Spotlight: La Dolce Vita

In Federico Fellini’s 1960 classic, the viewer gets a good sense for Fellini’s position on particular groups of people, through the portrayal of his characters. The papparazzi are painted in a rather unflattering light, as are religious zealots and American actors.   Meanwhile the protagonist, who sports a halo over his head, is an opportunistic philanderer named Marcello. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Good Hair

Chris Rock’s Good Hair is a documentary that looks at what “good hair” means to African-Americans in our part of the world. It’s an incredibly funny and thought provoking movie. The movie brings up a lot of discussion on what hair means to different people. Although it never judges anyone directly it does poke fun at a few people and companies that take hair and themselves too seriously. Always funny. Never judging. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Black Dynamite

I happened to be tooling around on the net one day when I unexpectedly came across the trailer for Black Dynamite. I was immediately captivated when I realized that somebody actually was trying to take a stab at recreating a good old 1970’s blaxploitation film. I began drooling as the trailer continued to roll and by the end of it I was slack jawed – before I went into hysterical laughter. In that moment, I made up my mind that I was going to see this movie. Read the rest of this entry

On Tarantino’s Plate: Spaghetti Western

Next up for the Inglourious Basterds creator is a spaghetti western that actually takes place in that approximate time period. Since many Tarantino acolytes classify most of his films as “spaghetti westerns in alternate settings”, this isn’t that surprising.  Details are sparse, but Tarantino did say he’d like the film to be set during slavery times. 

Scorsese and DeNiro Together Again

Martin Scorsese, while in Berlin for the premiere of Shutter Island, intimated that he and Robert DeNiro are talking about revisiting their gangster roots.  When asked Scorsese stated that the film will be more introspective than previous gangster films he had done.  The focus will lie with what it means to be an aging mobster.  This year marks the fifteen year anniversary since the two had worked together on Casino.

James Cameron: Producer, Director…Novelist?

The clamor for more Na’vi exploits has been heard and answered.  James Cameron, the film’s writer, director and producer, will be authoring a novelized prequel to the film.  It’s expected that the book will cover Jake Sully’s background, as well as his brother’s, and the human’s early involvement on Pandora.   If successful this could open the floodgates for more stories in various formats.  

Vin Diesel is Riddick Again

Vin Diesel will return as Riddick in another installment in the series. Diesel will not only get top billing, but will be sporting a producer’s credit as well. Director David Twohy will be helming the film. All other details are being kept close to the vest at the moment.

Director Spotlight Delay

Poor planning on my part has left me without a copy of La Dolce Vita to review for this week. That means next week will be a double feature of La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2.