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Archive for December, 2006

We Are Marshall

Sunday, December 31st, 2006


Mcgonahey gives the best performance of his career in We Are Marshall. Read on:

Sometimes when I watch a film like We Are Marshall I realize that one day I might have to give up on this business of being a film critic. The reason I say that, and the reason that movies like this one instigate that thought, is because I love them. But more than that, they appeal to something universal in all of us, and require no interpretation or examination to enjoy. As such, serious folks like my esteemed colleagues rarely take them seriously and usually take folks who do take them seriously… well, even less seriously.

But McG’s third film shows a major move forward for him as a director. Previously helming movies whose emotional weight was mostly derived from the bounce in Cameron Diaz’ boy shorts, the director demonstrates that he can indeed make a movie — albeit a mainstream one — that manages to evoke something other than euphoria and/or motion sickness (and in the best moments, both at once). Because as cheesy as it may sound, McG has crafted a movie that really does stir some serious feelings. Specifically, it’s the kind of movie that not only believes in the goodness of humankind, but makes you believe it, too.

The film stars Matthew McConaghey, himself an actor of questionable reliability, as Jack Lengyel — a football coach who offers to help rebuild Marshall University’s team after its players die in a plane crash. Soliciting the school’s president Donald Dedmond (David Strathairn) as well as surviving assistant coach Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) to help him, Lengyel begins to put together a group of kids he hopes will return the team to glory, if only to fill the gap in the townspeople’s lives. But what he and his colleagues soon discover is that their struggle fills a spot in their hearts as well. And so Lengyel, Dedmond and Dawson champion their fledgling team of freshmen and a few upperclassmen to prove that in some cases, winning isn’t everything as long as you are able to play the game.

There’s a certain point at which critics either have to yield to the fact that they don’t mind formulas, or rebel against them no matter how many warm and fuzzy impulses prod them towards enjoyment. Sports movies in particular are the most guilty of submitting to these conventions, but seldom do I mind – and nor should you – if they are executed well. Perhaps because he trafficked so easily through the various genre-bending sequences in Charlie’s Angels, McG expertly navigates the well-worn tale of a team, or even a town, looking for redemption after a loss. The difference here, of course, is that the back-story is a true one, and the events in the film are taken from things that really happened. But the director perfectly emphasizes the right notes of this familiar tune to make sure that it feels fresh.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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We Are Marshall Movie Posters

View the trailer

In theaters now

Factory Girl

Saturday, December 30th, 2006



“Factory Girl” imaginatively unfolds the comet-like rise and fall of 60s “it girl” Edie Sedgwick, the blazing superstar who came to define both the glamour and the tragedy of our celebrity-obsessed culture. Sedgwick appeared to be the quintessential American princess, with her blue blood, her trust fund and her Harvard education, not to mention her ethereal beauty and vivacious charisma. But she was also a lost and fragile little girl; and when she met up with counter-culture anti-hero Andy Warhol, everything changed. Suddenly, Edie found herself at the center of a Pop Art universe bursting with sex, drugs, style and rock ‘n’ roll — and a mad rush for fame and fabulousness that was destined to spin out of control.

Arriving into the chaos of mid-60s New York, Edie (Sienna Miller) is taken under the wing of the famously deadpan artist Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce) who sees in her untamed vulnerability the makings of an irresistible muse. Warhol invites Edie into the wild world of The Factory, a former downtown hat factory he has transformed into a bohemian paradise. Here, a rag-tag mix of musicians, poets, artists, actors and misfits gather to create avant-garde movies during the day and throw glam parties all night long. Edie quickly ascends to become the star of Warhol’s movies, an idol at The Factory and a media darling. She is on top of the world when she falls in love with a larger-than-life rock star (Hayden Christensen), the man known as “the voice of a generation.” But when Edie becomes caught between Warhol’s world of sexy surfaces and her new love, she winds up rejected by both – and once again, set adrift in the modern world.

Cast: Guy Pearce, Sienna Miller, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Meredith Ostrom, Beth Grant; Directed by: George Hickenlooper

Factory Girl Movie Posters

View the trailer

In theaters, December 29, 2007

Capone chats with Guillermo Del Toro about PAN’S LABYRINTH and More

Friday, December 29th, 2006


Capone over at Ain’t it Cool News chats with Guillermo Del Toro about >i>Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 2 etc.

Hey, everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Literally for months after I saw PAN’S LABYRINTH for the first time back in September, I knew that I’d be interviewing writer-director Guillermo del Toro when he came through Chicago in early December. For about two-and-a-half months, I was giddy with anticipation. Guillermo has a long history with AICN and an old friendship with Mr. Knowles that I’ve been aware of for some time. But since I live in the Windy City, I’ve only gotten to know the man through his films. This was our first actual exchange of any kind, but Guillermo has a way of making even a complete stranger feel like an old friend. The big bear hug he gave me at the end of our interview will stand as testament to that.

Just to explain a little about our initial introductory exchange: very often when I meet a director who has some knowledge of AICN, the publicist will simply tell the person my real name and my affiliation. What I’ve learned this year more than any other year is that, with the exception of Harry, the AICN editors’ real names don’t really mean much to actors or directors. But when you throw names at them like Quint or Moriarty or Capone, then the interviewees get a little more excited and open. Guillermo didn’t know exactly who I was for the initial part of our exchange, but that changes, as you’ll read.

I hope this transcription captures some of Guillermo’s enthusiasm and love for PAN’S LABYRINTH. My love of the film knows no bounds, as it’s clearly on of the great films of 2006. Just to give you a little bit of a timeline, this interview took place a couple of days after BNAT 8. Be warned: there are SPOILERS scattered throughout about PAN’S. And now, here’s our friend Guillermo del Toro…

Click on the link to read the interview:

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Pan’s Labyrinth Movie Posters

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In theaters, December 29, 2006


Friday, December 29th, 2006


Perfume is no stinker! Read on:

Cinema was designed to appeal to certain senses, our visual capacities most obviously. Eventually, audiences were able to savor the deep hues that resulted from technical leaps like Technicolor and, of course, our aural sensibilities were also soon challenged with the advent of sound. But despite the attempts of lower-end Hollywood hucksters to further broaden cinema’s ability to play on our sensations (with processes like Smell-O-Vision, for example), the other senses — taste, touch, and smell — have yet to be cracked at the movies.

And that no doubt served as one of director Tom Tykwer’s greatest challenges when adapting for the screen, along with his fellow scripters Andrew Birkin and Bernd Eichinger, Patrick Süskind’s bestselling 1985 novel Das Parfum. Just how do you get across that sensation of smell, of scent, of odiferous odor, of amoral aroma that is so important to the central character of this tale? Interestingly, Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) manages to achieve this goal, more or less, through his use of those very same elements that have been available to filmmakers for decades: color, sound, and even editing.

Unknown actor Ben Whishaw stars as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in this internationally produced, English language picture (which is receiving a limited theatrical run in the U.S. courtesy of DreamWorks). The story of Jean-Baptiste, from birth to death, begins in 18th century Paris, where his mother literally gives birth to him while working at a fish market in a particularly heinous and poverty-stricken part of town. This early scene in the film, with the dirty, hateful mother laying among the detritus of the market — fish heads and guts and the such – as the child is born, and just as quickly discarded, is the first indication of how the director is going to be conveying the smells of the film. Quick cuts to the various sights that surround the abandoned infant — in this case, all of the grotesque variety — practically make the viewer think they can whiff rotten fish in the theater.

The reason why smell plays so importantly in the story goes beyond the title of the film. As Jean-Baptiste grows to adulthood in a very tough existence that sees him narrowly avert another attempt on his life in an orphanage, only to then be sold into servitude in the harsh trade of a tannery, we learn that his nose knows no bounds. It is the chief instrument by which he navigates through life, and apparently the only way he can enjoy reality. Let’s put it this way: If he were in the X-Men, his mutant power would be super-sniffery.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

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Perfume Movie Posters

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Coming Soon: in limited release

Prince Caspian Found

Thursday, December 28th, 2006


The actor who will play Prince Caspian in the follow-up to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been found. Read on:

The search for the actor who will headline Prince Caspian — and most likely Voyage of the Dawn Treader — as the eponymous young monarch has been found. Unfortunately, no name or other clues to the identity of the star-to-be have been released. But the chosen actor is very likely an unknown at this point.

Casting director Pippa Hall sent an email thanking those who auditioned for the part, reports “I know it’s taken a long, long time to get back to you with news of the casting on Prince Caspian — but it has been a terribly difficult process, and a very wide search,” read the note. “We are now sure that we have our Prince and wanted to thank you for becoming involved in the auditioning process and working with.”

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Narnia White Witch’s Wand Prop Replica

The Last “Harry Potter” Title Revealed

Thursday, December 28th, 2006


The title for the final Harry Potter book has been finalized. Read on:

The title of the seventh and final Harry Potter book — and hence, almost certainly the title of the seventh and final Harry Potter movie — has been announced. And it is (drum roll please)…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Want more? Then click on the link below:

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Harry Potter Film Cells

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie Posters

View the trailerIn theaters July 13, 2007


Thursday, December 28th, 2006


Dreamgirls has heart. Read on:

Bill Condon’s adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls — the story of the rise of a singing group not unlike The Supremes — is slick and glitzy, and while it sometimes feels stagebound, it comes with a good measure of heart. The heart also feels slick and glitzy, but that may be the nature of the hit Broadway musical these days.

Moreover, Dreamgirls is actually about things: the perfidy of the music business, the theft of black American culture by the great white-bread factory of homogenized art, the real-seeming story of one woman whose talent is overlooked because she’s deemed not attractive enough for television.

That’s quite a bit for a movie, let alone a musical, but Dreamgirls, for all its virtues, feels mostly just slick and glitzy, rather than soulful and tragic. This may be because it is, after all, the story of a singing group not unlike The Supremes, a 1960s concoction of much nightclub pizzazz and a lot of hummable hits. Its soul-searching lasts for two-thirds of the movie and then, like some group that has found Top 40 success, it gives in to the easy temptation of the upbeat finish.

Not that it’s the story of Diana Ross or anything. In Dreamgirls she’s called Deena (Beyonce Knowles) one of the three Dreamettes, a trio in 1960s Detroit that also includes Lorell (Anika Noni Rose) and Effie (Jennifer Hudson). The Dreamettes are pretty indistinguishable from other groups in 1960s Detroit — the movie opens at a talent contest of various black groups in electric-blue costumes and synchronized choreography — except for the remarkable voice of Effie. It’s an instrument that can take an R&B song and make it a kind of spiritual of heartbreak, and there’s one scene in which Hudson turns her signature song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” about a love that won’t let her live, into a bluesy recitative. It’s a scene that propels Hudson’s performance into something special, and it helps make Dreamgirls a kind of Motown opera.

There are several famous names in Dreamgirls: Jamie Foxx is Curtis Taylor, an entrepreneur not unlike Berry Gordy, a car salesman who becomes the manager of the Dreamettes and later their Svengali, stealing music and removing its soul to make it palatable to the masses. Eddie Murphy is James Thunder Early, a soul singer not unlike James Brown, whose thrusting pelvis, slicked-back hair and a certain desperation behind that huge Murphy grin make him into a character both tragic and audacious. It’s Murphy’s best work in years; he even showcases a passable singing voice.

Click on the link below to read the entire article

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Dreamgirls Movie Posters

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In theaters now

Transformers Movie

Monday, December 25th, 2006



In 1984, the Transformers brand took the world by storm with its compelling saga of the “Robots in Disguise,” and quickly became a childhood rite of passage with a tremendously successful toy line from Hasbro and Takara, comic book series, television program and animated feature film. Twenty years later, a new generation of kids has discovered the excitement of the Transformers brand and the legendary characters, such as Optimus Prime and Megatron, that truly are “more than meets the eye.” Today, the franchise features a popular toy line, an animated series on Cartoon Network and a chart-topping comic book series from Dreamwave Productions, which sold two million Transformers comic books last year.

Cast: Josh Duhamel, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kevin Dunn, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson; Directed by: Michael Bay

Transformers Movie

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In theaters 7.4.7

Rocky 20-Inch Schomberg Statue

Monday, December 25th, 2006


Rocky is a film icon, sports legend, and American hero. In 1980, for the film Rocky III, an immense bronze statue was created in honor of the boxer, which later became a permanent fixture outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

27 years later, the artist that gave life to the original bronze statue has returned to create a smaller, collectible version of his masterpiece. Sideshow Collectibles is proud to bring you the 20-inch Rocky Statue, created and manufactured by Schomberg Studios. Cast in high quality polystone, bronze plated and hand patinaed, the 20-inch Rocky Statue is the perfect way to celebrate your passion for sports and film.

Artist(s): Schomberg Studios

© copyright Schomberg Studios 2006. ROCKY ™& © 1976-2006 MGM

Product Type: Polystone Statue
Product Size: Approx 20″ H (508mm)
Est. Product Ship Weight: 30.00 lbs (12.96 Kg)

12-inch Rocky Sculpture

Rocky Bronze Statue

T-800 Endoskeleton Life-Size Busts

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

t800bustsmall.jpg t800bustcombatsmall.jpg

T-800 Life-Size Busts Preorder

For the first time ever, the Endoskeleton skull has been reproduced with complete authenticity to the film by Stan Winston Studios, the same artists that created the Endoskeleton for the film.

To celebrate the 15th Anniversary of this modern classic film, Sideshow Collectibles and Stan Winston Studios have partnered to create the T-800 Endoskeleton Life-Size Bust. For the first time ever, the Endoskeleton skull has been reproduced with complete authenticity to the film by the same artists that created the Endoskeleton for the film. The Endoskeleton Life-Size Bust features electronic function eyes, and a removable CPU microchip. The T-800 Endoskeleton Life-Size Bust is the perfect centerpiece for your T2 collection – don’t miss your opportunity to order!

One of the most iconic characters ever envisioned, the Terminator was brought to life on the big screen through the artistry and imagination of James Cameron and Stan Winston. Concealed inside each seemingly organic Terminator is a metal endoskeleton, a weapon with cunning and inhuman strength. In T2, audiences were given a glimpse into the future, where full squadrons of Endoskeletons and Hunter Killers patrol the blasted cityscape, prepared to destroy any resistance threat. The Endoskeleton is capable of flawless termination, a chromed visage of death.

Artist(s): Stan Winston Studios

(c) 2007 Canal+ DA. All Rights Reserved.

Product Type: Life-Size Bust
Product Size: 13″ H (330mm) x 8″ W (203mm) x 8″ D (203mm)
Est. Product Ship Weight: 30.00 lbs (12.96 Kg)

T-800 Endoskeleton Life-Size Bust

T-800 Endoskeleton Life-Size Bust – Combat Version

Estimated to ship 2nd quarter 2007

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