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Archive for February, 2008

Penelope Review

Friday, February 29th, 2008


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Christina Ricci turns in another stellar performance in her latest film, Penelope.

Centuries ago, a servant girl for the aristocratic Wilherns was wronged by a male family member, prompting the girl’s witch mother to put a curse on them: The next daughter born to the Wilherns would have the face of a pig and the only way to break this curse would be for the girl to find true love with “one of her own kind.” There are no daughters born to the Wilherns for five generations … until Penelope (Christina Ricci). Sporting a pig-like snout, the otherwise cute Penelope is hidden away by her parents (Catherine O’Hara and Richard E. Grant) after they fake her death.

Penelope lives a sheltered life within her parents’ urban mansion (the film was shot in London, but its setting suggests a fairy tale version of New York). When she finally comes of age, Penelope’s parents arrange for a series of blue-blooded suitors to come courting in the hopes of finally breaking the curse. The suitors must sign confidentiality agreements before they can meet the concealed heiress and they always flee in horror once Penelope finally reveals her face. One such suitor, Edward Vanderman (Simon Woods), escapes the Wilhern estate without signing a confidentiality agreement and runs straight to the press with exaggerated tales of a horrible pig-faced succubus.

Lemmon (Peter Dinklage), a hard-bitten reporter who has a long-standing grudge against the Wilherns, believes Edward and devises a plan to capture a photo of Penelope. They key to their scheme is Max (James McAvoy), a scruffy blue blood who will pose as a suitor but who ends up becoming genuinely infatuated with Penelope. She eventually makes her way into the real world, where she encounters the Vespa-riding free spirit Annie (Reese Witherspoon, who also produced) and gets her proverbial 15 minutes of fame. Will Penelope ever find true love with “one of her own kind”? Or will she just have to learn to accept herself instead?

Click here to read the entire review:

Buy Penelope movie posters here


Funny Games Movie Replicas

Thursday, February 28th, 2008


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Funny Games, must be one kick-ass movie, because it received 10 out 10 stars from IGN.

Watching a great movie in a genre you are tired of feels a bit like Al Pacino’s infamous line from The Godfather: Part III: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Despite a wealth of articles to the contrary, including IGN’s own well-researched look at the phenomenon, “torture porn” never really evolved into anything more than a collection of movies disguising gratuitous violence as halfhearted social commentary. Subsequently, the remakes and films series that rose to commercial success essentially brought about the subgenre’s downfall by being unrelenting, crude and just plain unentertaining. Meanwhile, even vaguely similar films failed, albeit in the case of examples like last summer’s designated punching bag Hostel Part II, the primary reason was its unenviable release date (it was sandwiched between Knocked Up, Ocean’s Thirteen, Surf’s Up and Fantastic Four), not its unfairly-dismissed content.

The fact that Michael Haneke’s Funny Games was first made 10 years ago in Austria precludes its inclusion in the torture porn canon, since at that time (not to mention in that country) the term hadn’t yet been invented. But newly remade for U.S. audiences by Haneke himself, and debuting in the somewhat fortunately-timed wake of the genre’s so-called commercial demise, his film takes on greater artistic proportions than likely the director or the film’s distributor, Warner Independent, ever intended. In fact, it’s safe to say that in creating a film that effectively takes all of the hallmarks of torture porn and turns them on their (severed) ear, Haneke has not only made a gripping and terrifying work of art, but one that effectively revives the horror genre as a whole by completely deconstructing it.

Funny Games stars Naomi Watts as Anna and Tim Roth as George, an affluent husband and wife who retire with their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) for the weekend at their lake house, only to be intercepted by two unfailingly polite young men named Peter (Brady Corbet) and Paul (Michael Pitt). Initially dropping in only to request some eggs for a neighbor’s breakfast, Peter and Paul soon insinuate themselves into the house, disable George and hold the family hostage. As Peter and Paul engage the family in an escalating series of dangerous and dehumanizing games, Anna, George and Georgie quickly discover that the horrors of monster movies are nothing in comparison to the deadly reality of two bored young men exercising their disturbed imaginations.

Click here to read the entire review

Buy Funny Games movie posters here


STAR WARS®: LEGACY OF THE FORCE: REVELATION

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

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The new Star Wars book is available for purchase.

During this savage civil war, all efforts to end Jacen Solo’s tyranny of the Galactic Alliance have failed. Now with Jacen approaching the height of his dark powers, no one-not even the Solos and the Skywalkers-knows if anything can stop the Sith Lord before his plan to save the galaxy ends up destroying it.

Jacen Solo’s shadow of influence has threatened many, especially those closest to him. Jaina Solo is determined to bring her brother in, but in order to track him down, she must first learn unfamiliar skills from a man she finds ruthless, repellent, and dangerous. Meanwhile, Ben Skywalker, still haunted by suspicions that Jacen killed his mother, Mara, decides he must know the truth, even if it costs him his life. And as Luke Skywalker contemplates once unthinkable strategies to dethrone his nephew, the hour of reckoning for those on both sides draws near. The galaxy becomes a battlefield where all must face their true nature and darkest secrets, and live-or die-with the consequences.

Click Here for more information

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Charlie Bartlett Movie Review

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008


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Charlie Bartlett is the best movie thus far year.

Melding the rebellious charm of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the social commentary of The Graduate, Charlie Bartlett sneaks into the marketplace amidst a sea of particularly dismal first-quarter duds, following a series of postponed release dates. That’s probably a good thing for this film, though, since there’s less competition for an audience at the moment, and the time of year more closely fits with its manic-depressive tone than the originally planned early August debut.

Despite its unsubtle message about the unnecessary overmedication of today’s youth, Charlie Bartlett sets a higher bar for itself in attempting to present characters on both sides of the generation gap as realistically flawed human beings. The story centers on the titular character (Anton Yelchin), a rich and lonely high-school student who has been kicked out of a series of private schools, not for rowdy or anti-social behavior, but for more subversive schemes, like selling fake IDs. Charlie’s loving but slightly loopy mother (Hope Davis) doesn’t know what to do with him, and doesn’t seem to have the heart to discipline him, so she sends him to the only place left that will take him: public high school.

Unequipped and unprepared to deal with the social hazards that await him, Charlie shows up on his first day in full private-school mode, complete with embroidered jacket and tie. His attempts to be polite and friendly to everyone, even the special-ed kids, earn him a dunking in a toilet stall and eventually a beating from the school bully, Murphy (Tyler Hilton). Noticing Charlie’s emotional turmoil, his mother sends him to her psychiatrist, who promptly prescribes Ritalin as the answer to his problems.

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New DVD Releases – Tuesday February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008



Some good DVD releases this week. Enjoy!

  • Beowulf (Action/Adventure) – In a time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf slays the demon Grendel and incurs the wrath of its monstrous yet seductive mother, in a conflict that transforms a king into a legend.

    Cast: Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, John Malkovich; Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

    View the movie trailer

    Buy Beowulf movie posters here

  • The Darjeeling Limited (Comedy) – “The Darjeeling Limited” starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman is an emotional comedy about three brothers re-forging family bonds. The eldest, played by Wilson, hopes to reconnect with his two younger siblings by taking them on a train trip across the vibrant and sensual landscape of India.

    Cast: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Natalie Portman, Anjelica Huston; Directed by: Wes Anderson

    View the movie trailer

    Buy The Darjeeling Limited movie posters here

  • 30 Days of Night (Horror/Thriller) – Based on the Steve Niles graphic novel. In a sleepy, secluded Alaska town called Barrow, the sun sets and doesn’t rise for over thirty consecutive days and nights. From the darkness, across the frozen wasteland, an evil will come that will bring the residents of Barrow to their kness. The only hope for the town is the Sheriff and Deputy, a husband and wife who are torn between their own survival and saving the town they love.

    Cast: Josh Hartnett, Ben Foster, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Craig Hall, Kate O’Rourke; Directed by: David Slade

    View the movie trailer

    Buy 30 Days of Night movie posters here

    Special Editions:

    • The Last Emperor
    • Silk

Snow Angels Movie Posters

Sunday, February 24th, 2008


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Release date: March 7th, 2008 (NY, LA; top 10: Mar. 14; expands: Mar. 21)
Director: David Gordon Green
Screenwriter: David Gordon Green
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Griffin Dunne, Michael Angarano, Jeanetta Arnette
Studio: Warner Independent Pictures
Genre: Drama
Official Site: snow-angels.com
Rating: R for language, some violent content, brief sexuality and drug use
Running time: 106 minutes
Available Poster Art: Snow Angels movie posters

Synopsis:

Some will fall. Some will fly.

“Snow Angels,” adapted from the novel of the same title by Stewart O’Nan, is two stories of love and loss converging. One is of a recently separated couple attempting to pick up the threads of a future when faced with tragedy. The second is about an awkward young man, currently in the throes of discovering his first romance, forced to deal with the separation and subsequent strife of his parents’ relationship.

Buy Snow Angels movie posters here


Hancock Movie Posters

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


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Release date: Wednesday July 2, 2008
Genre: Comedy
Director: Peter Berg
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Producer(s): Akiva Goldsman, James Lassiter, Michael Mann, Will Smith
Screenplay: Vy Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Eddie Marsan
Official Site: sonypictures.com
Rating: This film has not yet been rated
Available Poster Art: Hancock movie posters

Synopsis:

There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there’s…

There are heroes… there are superheroes… and then there’s Hancock (Will Smith). With great power comes great responsibility – everyone knows that – everyone, that is, but Hancock. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic, and misunderstood, Hancock’s well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their wake. The public has finally had enough – as grateful as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this guy. Hancock isn’t the kind of man who cares what other people think – until the day that he saves the life of PR executive Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), and the sardonic superhero begins to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing that will be Hancock’s greatest challenge yet – and a task that may prove impossible as Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), insists that he’s a lost cause.

Buy Hancock movie posters here


Sex and the City the Movie Movie Posters

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


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Release date: Friday May 30, 2008
Genre: Comedy
Director: Michael Patrick King
Studio: New Line Cinema, HBO Films
Producer(s): Darren Star, Eric M. Cyphers, John P. Melfi, Michael Patrick King, Sarah Jessica Parker
Screenplay: Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Christopher Noth, Jason Lewis, Jennifer Hudson
Official Site: sexandthecitythemovie.com
Rating: This film has not yet been rated
Available Poster Art: Sex and the City the Movie movie posters

Synopsis:
The movie version of the long-running HBO series featuring the further exploits of Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes. The series was originally based on autobiographical columns written by Candace Bushnell.

Buy Sex and the City the Move movie posters here


Prom Night Movie Posters

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


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Release date: Friday April 11, 2008
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Nelson McCormick
Studio: Alliance Films
Producer(s): Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe
Screenplay: J.S. Cardone
Cast: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis, Collins Pennie, Kelly Blatz, James Ransone, Brianne Davis, Johnathon Schaech, Idris Elba
Official Site: anighttodiefor.com
Rating: PG-13 for violence and terror, some sexual material, underage drinking, and language
Available Poster Art: Prom Night movie posters

Synopsis:

It’s Midnight Everyone’s Ready To Go Home…But Someone Has Other Plans.

Donna’s senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, one of magic, beauty, and love. Surrounded by her best friends, she should be safe from the horrors of her past. But when the night turns from magic to murder there is only one man who could be responsible… the man she thought was gone forever. Now, Donna and her friends must find a way to escape the sadistic rampage of an obsessed killer, and survive their Prom Night.

Buy Prom Night movie posters here


The Forbidden Kingdom Movie Posters

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008


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Release date: Friday April 18, 2008
Genre: Action
Director: Rob Minkoff
Studio: Lionsgate
Producer(s): Casey Silver
Screenplay: John Fusco
Cast: Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michael Angarano, Crystal Liu, Collin Chou, Li Bing Bing, Ye Xiaokeng, Morgan Benoit, Alexis Bridges, Wang De Shun
Official Site: theforbiddenkingdom.com
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence
Available poster art: The Forbidden Kingdom movie posters

Synopsis:
In “Forbidden Kingdom,” American teenager Jason (Michael Angarano), who is obsessed with Hong Kong cinema and kungfu classics, finds an antique Chinese staff in a pawn shop: the legendary stick weapon of the Chinese sage and warrior, the Monkey King (Jet Li). With the lost relic in hand, Jason unexpectedly finds himself transported back to ancient China.

There, he meets the drunken kungfu master, Lu Yan (Jackie Chan); an enigmatic and skillful Silent Monk (Jet Li); and a vengeance-bent kungfu beauty, Golden Sparrow (Crystal Liu Yi Fei), who lead him on his quest to return the staff to its rightful owner, the Monkey King – imprisoned in stone by the evil Jade Warlord (Collin Chou) for five hundred years. Along the way, while attempting to outmaneuver scores of Jade Warriors, Cult Killers and the deadly White Hair Demoness, Ni Chang (Li Bing Bing), Jason learns about honor, loyalty and friendship, and the true meaning of kungfu, and thus frees himself.

Buy The Forbidden Kingdom movie posters here


 
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