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Archive for September, 2006

Robert Downey Jr. Tapped to Star In Iron Man

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

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Yahoo! News is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. will be “suiting to star in Iron Man“, Marvels next movie based on the super-hero character. Read on:

Robert Downy Jr. is suiting up to star in “Iron Man,” a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character.

Jon Favreau is directing the Paramount Pictures release. Filming is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.

Downey will portray Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Using his intelligence and ingenuity, Stark instead builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to the U.S., he uncovers a plot with global implications and must don his armor and protect the world.

The comic debuted in the 1960s, and Iron Man’s origin involved Stark being a prisoner of the Viet Cong. The movie version will be set in today’s geopolitical climate.

Budgeted at more than $100 million, it marks the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel Entertainment, which previously licensed its characters, such as “Spider-Man” and “X-Men,” to other studios.

Marvel president of production Kevin Feige said the filmmakers looked for the best actor to embody the character.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Review: Open Season

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

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Among animated movies, Open Season manages to stand out; delivering substance as well as style. Read on:

Recently, we expressed gratitude over the fact that computer-animated movies have become so ubiquitous and unspecial that they are no longer “event” movies, but rather generic family films that will soon disappear like the majority of their hand-drawn predecessors. This feeling disappeared, however, when we realized we would still have to see and review them in their increasingly lackluster glory. Open Season, featuring the voice talents of Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence, is the most recent of these efforts.

Thankfully, generic and unspecial have long since become de rigeur for studios in search of maximum profits at minimum risk; as such, those terms now more often represent a simple and resolutely “safe” adventure that will sustain preadolescent attention spans for 100 or so minutes at a time — which ultimately is a role that Open Season fills quite nicely.

Lawrence and Kutcher play Boog and Elliot, a bear and a mule deer, respectively, who find themselves unlikely partners when Boog’s human owner Beth (Debra Messing) reluctantly agrees to return her charge to the wild. While attempting to return to civilization, the two soon encounter a cross-section of crazy animals, including an irascible squirrel named McSquizzy (Billy Connolly), a tough-talking beaver named Reilly (Jon Favreau) and Ian (Patrick Warburton), Elliot’s rival for doe Giselle (Jane Krakowski). But before they can make proper friends with this veritable wildlife preserve, they discover more profound danger in the form of human hunters — one of whom, named Shaw (Gary Sinise), has specific designs on seeing the dynamic duo stuffed and mounted on his wall.

If there’s an immediate feeling of familiarity to this story, it’s because you’ve definitely seen it before; Madagascar and The Wild, to name but two recent examples, also followed this same fish-out-of-water formula. As such, the real question becomes not what story they are telling, but how they tell it, and directors Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi do their best to breathe new life into the material without going straight for the to-the-minute pop culture references or even the sappy, indulgent melodrama that lesser filmmakers turn to as a catch-all for imminent cheesiness.

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Purchase Open Season movie posters at All Movie Replicas.

View the trailer.


Review: The Guardian

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

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Although formulaic, The Guardian has some gripping action scenes and the pairing of Costner and Kutcher is a good one. Read on:

The Guardian, the latest Kevin Costner film to clock in at over two hours long, recycles every mentor/student and military movie cliché in the proverbial book yet it does so effectively and with enough heart to prove see-worthy.

Costner once played the learner to Sean Connery’s crusty older mentor; now the fiftyish actor finds himself the teacher to a younger star. The torch has indeed been passed to a new generation. A noticeably trimmer Costner portrays veteran U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall, who holds all the records that can be held. But after a rescue mission goes tragically awry, Ben finds himself stuck with a teaching gig at an Alaska-based Coast Guard academy.

Randall’s tough methods are daunting not only to his students, including high school swim champ Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher), but to the other instructors (including Neal McDonough) as well. The school’s commander (John Heard), though, trusts that Ben will make Rescue Swimmers out of these callow youths.

Ben takes a particular set on Jake making his life as hellish as Lou Gossett, Jr. did for Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman (which both this film and Annapolis owe a great debt to). Yes, of course, Ben sees something of himself in this young hotshot. But he also senses a reluctance on Jake’s part to save someone if they were in true jeopardy. So the question that both mentor and student must answer is whether Jake has the courage to sacrifice himself should that moment ever happen.

Jake’s not the only one who must overcome an inner obstacle. Ben, too, has fear and pain left over from the failed mission that led to his instructorship. Does Ben Randall, a legend to his fellow Guardsmen, still have what it takes to be a rescue swimmer? Or is it time for him to retire and try to patch things up with his estranged wife (Sela Ward)?

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Purchase The Guardian movie posters at All Movie Replicas.

View the Trailer.


Review: The Last King of Scotland

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

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The Last King of Scotland belongs to Forest Whitaker, but the rest of the cast give stellar performances as well. I see Oscar nods for Whitake here. This is a “must see” movie. Read on:

Based on Giles Foden’s novel of the same name, The Last King of Scotland is a gripping work of historical fiction that explores the reign of infamous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and the moral disintegration of a good-hearted but callow young Scottish doctor who becomes the ruler’s confidante.

Directed by documentary filmmaker Kevin Macdonald from a screenplay adaptation by Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, The Last King follows Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who comes to Uganda in the early 1970s to work at a missionary clinic just as Amin (Forest Whitaker) takes control of the country in a military coup.

After tending to an injured Amin, Garrigan soon finds himself the apple of the dictator’s eye and eventually his closest advisor. A product of the British army, Amin has a fascination with Scottish culture and customs after serving with Highland regiments. He gave his sons Scottish names and incorporated Scottish dress and bagpipes into Ugandan military processions. Nicholas ultimately becomes like a son to Amin, and the young doctor is too starstruck to see the cruelty of the man he once thought was the hope of his new homeland.

When Garrigan finally realizes how close to the devil he has allowed himself to get, it’s almost too late to extract himself from the situation. Nicholas’ moral blindness and reckless behavior triggers brutal repercussions; only historical events beyond his control can possibly save him.

Amin is not portrayed as merely a bad guy. He is a multi-faceted person, vicious at one moment and a big teddy bear the next. He genuinely loves his country and despises the British who helped create him. In an interesting commentary on post-colonialism, the film shows how both Nicholas — a Scot — and Amin — a Ugandan — are products of British rule. Yet Nicholas is ultimately no better than all the other white men who indulged their base natures at the expense of Africans.

Garrigan may have come to Uganda to help people, but — like a corporation there to exploit the locals for their natural resources — he seduces local women and enjoys the good life that his association with Amin provides him, all the while remaining blind to the brutal truth. It’s not until he causes others to suffer that Nicholas realizes what he’s become.

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Purchase The Last King of Scotland posters All Movie Replicas.

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In Theaters: September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

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These movies are opening in theaters, September 29th, 2006:

The Guardian: After losing his crew in a fatal crash, legendary Rescue Swimmer, Ben Randall (KEVIN COSTNER), is sent to teach at ‘A’ School, an elite training program for Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.

Wrestling with the loss of his crew members, he throws himself into teaching, turning the program upside down with his unorthodox training methods. While there, he encounters a young, cocky swim champ, Jake Fischer (ASHTON KUTCHER), who is driven to be the best. During training, Randall helps mould Jake’s character, combining his raw talent with the heart and dedication required of a Rescue Swimmer. Upon graduation, Jake follows Randall to Kodiak, Alaska, where they face the inherent dangers of the Bering Sea. In his initial solo rescue, Jake learns firsthand from Randall, the true meaning of heroism and sacrifice, echoing the Swimmer’s motto…’So Others May Live!’

Cast: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Neal McDonough, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown, Sela Ward, Bonnie Bramlett; Directed by: Andrew Davis

Open Season: In Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure comedy Open Season, the first feature-length animated film from Sony Pictures Animation, Boog (Martin Lawrence), a grizzly bear with no survival skills, has his perfect world in the tranquil town of Timberline turned upside-down when he meets Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), a scrawny, fast-talking wild mule deer. Elliot arrives in Timberline missing an antler and strapped to the hood of a truck, courtesy of the paranoid über-hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise). Against his better judgment, Boog frees Elliot. Elliot attempts to return the favor by “freeing” Boog from his idyllic existence with his beloved Park Ranger Beth (Debra Messing), who raised him since he was a cub. Things quickly spiral out of control. The two troublemakers are relocated together to the wild…just three days before open season! With hunting season upon them and Shaw in hot pursuit, Boog and Elliot must learn to work together and unite the woodland creatures. In a rowdy, madcap battle, they make the woods safe once and for all by turning the hunters into the hunted.

Cast: Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing; Directed by: Roger Allers, Jill Culton

Last King of Scotland: In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world’s most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Impressed by Dr. Garrigan’s brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin’s savagery – and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

Cast: Forest Whitaker, Simon McBurney, Gillian Anderson, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington; Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Click on the links below to purchase the movie posters, for the above-mentioned movies, from All Movie Replicas:

  • The Guardian
  • Open Season
  • The Last King Scotland

Searching for Prince Caspian

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

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Auditions are being held in Britain for the actor who will play Prince Caspian in the upcoming “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Rescue of Prince Caspian.”

Also, in stores this week, Harper-Collins will be releasing an illustrated version of The Return to Narnia: The Rescue of Prince Caspian. Read on:

The star search is on for the actor who will headline The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Preliminary auditions have been held in Britain, with more to follow, reports NarniaWeb.com; director Andrew Adamson will probably fly over to the UK in October to assist in the final selection.

The casting department is also seeking a large number of extras of Spanish or Mediterranean descent for the film — most likely, to play the Telmarines who occupy Narnia during the time the story takes place. According to the book, the men of Telmar had pirates as their ancestors — swarthy buccaneers who stumbled through a remote portal from our world to Narnia.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe movie prop replicas are available for purchase at All Movie Replicas. Click on the links below to purchase yours today.

  • Lucy’s Christmas Gift
  • Peter’s Christmas Gift
  • Susan’s Christmas Gift
  • Peter’s Sword Letter Opener
  • White Witch’s Wand
  • Peter’s Sword Prop Replica


Flags of Our Fathers Movie Posters

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

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February 1945. Even as victory in Europe was finally within reach, the war in the Pacific raged on. One of the most crucial and bloodiest battles of the war was the struggle for the island of Iwo Jima, which culminated with what would become one of the most iconic images in history: five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi.

The inspiring photo capturing that moment became a symbol of victory to a nation that had grown weary of war and made instant heroes of the six American soldiers at the base of the flag, some of whom would die soon after, never knowing that they had been immortalized. But the surviving flag raisers had no interest in being held up as symbols and did not consider themselves heroes; they wanted only to stay on the front with their brothers in arms who were fighting and dying without fanfare or glory.

Based on the bestselling book by James Bradley with Ron Powers.

Cast: Patrick Dollaghan, Jon Kellam, Andri Sigurðsson, Adam Beach, Allison Appleby; Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Flags of our Fathers opens in theaters, October 20, 2006

Visit the official movie web site here.


 
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