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Archive for August, 2008

Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Hellboy 2

Guillermo del Toro brings his visual genius to Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

There’s no question that you will leave Hellboy II: The Golden Army with a deep appreciation for the visual genius of Guillermo del Toro. Director, screenwriter, designer and probably-secretly-demigod behind this series, del Toro also helmed Pan’s Labyrinth and many other effects-heavy films of the last decade. Hellboy II is testament to del Toro’s carefully inspired designs; gothic creations from a man who must by now surely match the late Jim Henson for his dedication to not just puppetry – but instilling wonder; bringing surprise and originality back to audiences who are rapidly switching off to Hollywood’s epics and their CG orgasms.

So out of his famed sketchbooks poured another bestiary of characters and creatures, and you will remember Hellboy II’s Angel of Death and ‘Wink’ as some of the best. But the bad news will slap you in the face from the opening scenes – del Toro’s script and ability to evoke performance from his cast sits somewhere farther below his artistic, visionary knack.

There are a lot of surprises in Hellboy II; we won’t spoil them for you. Suffice to say, all the major characters return for another bout at saving the human race, and in doing so, they finally enter the public spotlight. At the centre of the plotline is an object with a Lord of the Rings ‘One ring’ mentality and a villain who would use it to activate ‘The Golden Army’, the details of which we’ll spare you.

All of this is presented in a hugely enjoyable, nonchalant way, where the audience is effectively handed monsters, creatures and parallel worlds and get told more or less to deal with it. It worked well for Men in Black – stick the main characters in a fantastical situation and watch their mostly mundane responses to them. In Hellboy 2, the troll markets sequence probably stands as the best example of this – and also of del Toro’s visual mastery – as Hellboy, alongside

Ron Perlman’s portrayal of Hellboy is dripping with sarcasm. He’s perfect as the disinterested everyman who happens to be bright red and gigantic. As a blue-collar tradesman, Hellboy presents an interesting character to watch; the way Perlman almost drags his heels when he shambles into battle. del Toro adds a strange vulnerability to Red that, more than in the first film, ends up steering the whole latter half of the film.

Click on the link below to read the entire review:

Read more…

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Ghost Town

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Ghost Town
Release date: Friday September 19, 2008
Genre: Comedy
Director: David Koepp
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures/Paramount Pictures
Producers: Gavin Polone
Screenplay: David Koepp, John Kamps
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Téa Leoni, Greg Kinnear, Billy Campbell, Kristen Wiig, Dana Ivey
Official Site:
Rating: PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references
Available film art: Ghost Town movie posters

In the comedy “Ghost Town,” Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts. Even worse, they all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), who pesters him into breaking up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen (Téa Leoni). That puts Pincus squarely in the middle of a triangle, with spirited results.

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Twilight Reshoots Scenes

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008


Summit Entertainment is bringing back the stars for some additional reshoots on the highly anticipated film adaptation Twilight:

Summit Entertainment is doing additional shooting this week on their highly anticipated film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestseller Twilight, months after principal photography wrapped and just three months before the movie’s release.

The cast members who play the Cullen clan — including Peter Facinelli, Kellan Lutz, and Taylor Lautner — confirmed the reshoots to MTV. “They liked it so much, they are bringing us back for some encore time — to beef it up,” said Facinelli, who plays Edward Cullen’s adoptive father Carlisle.

The actor said they will be filming a flashback scene that “gives us a little bit of history of the Cullen family. … They are just shooting a couple of different added scenes, and the scene I’m in, I can tell you it’s me and Robert Pattinson. … Rosalie and Emmett are in that scene.”

Click on the lnk below to read the entire article:

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Watch Classic Movies For Free

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Wizard of Oz

Starting September 4th, you can watch classic Hollywood movies in the movie theater at The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audiovisual Conservation. The Maltese Falcon will kick-off the series on September 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.:

Classic Hollywood returns to Culpeper next Thursday with the “premiere” of one of many timeless films to be shown year-round in the movie theater at The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audiovisual Conservation.

All movies are free and open to the public, or as Humphrey Bogart once said, “It’s, “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”

Bogart as Detective Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” kicks off the highly anticipated series on Mount Pony with back-to-back showings of the 1941 Warner Bros. classic Sept. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.

“The Wizard of Oz” plays on the big screen Saturday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.

From then on, classics like “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Gone With the Wind” will play three times a week: Tuesdays at 7p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Greg Lukow, chief of the library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, of Bogart’s role in the classic detective drama. “Look for the scene where he laughs and claps his hands together with this maniacal glee at a comment his secretary makes.”

Moviegoers will also want to have a look at their lush surroundings.

The 208-seat theater is Art Deco all the way down to the flowered carpet — the same as in the circa-1925 Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, Calif. — up to the chandeliers, exact replicas of the fixtures in San Pedro’s Warner Grand Theatre, circa 1930s.

David Woodley Packard, a longtime supporter of audiovisual and theater conservation, played a major role in the look of the Culpeper theater even down to these smallest details. On a much larger scale, his Packard Humanities Institute donated $155 million toward construction of the Library of Congress facility in Culpeper.

“Besides preservation, (Packard) also has an interest in making sure these precious artifacts are available and accessible to the public in the best possible quality prints and best quality venues,” said Lukow, mentioning that Packard restored the Stanford and has been showing movies there since 1989.

When it comes to venue quality, that’s covered in Culpeper.

As for the prints, they all will come from the Library’s collection — new masters fashioned from original film reels.

Movies showing through the Nov. 22 schedule were selected from the National Film Registry, films recognized for their culture, history or aesthetic.

Mike Mashon, head of the Moving Images Section, said they decided to open the film series with NRF selections primarily because it highlights preservation, the main reason why the Culpeper facility exists.

The Library also tapped the Registry because it contains well-known titles aimed at a broad audience.

But how many people can say they’ve seen classics like 1933’s “King Kong” starring Fay Wray on the big screen? Now they can.

“There is nothing that compares to the experience of seeing them anew in the way they’re supposed to be enjoyed: in the dark, on a big screen with an audience,” Mashon said of the screen, which measures about 28-feet-wide by 20-feet-tall.

“So in that sense, we’re not only preserving films, but the theatrical experience as well.”

The theater on Mount Pony is “the perfect place to see classic American Hollywood,” added Rob Stone, curator with the Moving Images Section inside the theater last week.

“When you walk into this theater, that’s what I think. I don’t think of a sterile screening room. It is a miniature movie palace,” said Stone, who moved to Culpeper three weeks ago from California, where he was associate curator at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Practically speaking, the theater offers stadium seating so everyone gets a clear view of the screen, plenty of legroom and spaces for three wheelchairs.

An interesting contrast to its 1920 décor, however, is the state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment.

“It’s a very good system,” said Steve Guttag with Cardinal Sound & Motion Picture Systems of Maryland inside the projection room Friday. “It’s one of the highest functioning I’ve seen,” he added above the mechanical roar.

Guttag, who’s traveled the nation installing sound and picture systems, has been involved with the Mount Pony theater project for several years.

He said the movies shown in Culpeper would be “at least 10 times fresher than what you would see in a typical cinema.”

“It’s really geared toward older films,” Guttag said as he worked on finishing touches. “You look at that screen out there it’s very square in shape compared to a modern theater so it’s got a really big advantage.”

The whole set-up is versatile as well, capable of playing any and all film formats, including the earliest type, nitrate.

In fact, the theater on Mount Pony is one of only five theaters in the entire country capable of showing classic prints on nitrate, as they would have been screened before 1950.

Twelve speakers embedded in each wall and five behind the screen will outdo in clarity and sound any home-based theater system and then some.

Projectionist David March, who moved to Culpeper three years ago from LA for the job on Mount Pony, admitted to being a bit nervous in anticipation of the big premier.

“There’s a lot of expectation,” he said, “but actually I’m quite thrilled to be a projectionist for this theater. For somebody who loves films, this is a dream: handling it, showing films they way they used to be shown.”

Old is new again in Culpeper.

“The quality of this system is going to allow the light, silvery black-and-whites and lusciousness of Technicolor color to come through in ways that people have generally forgotten,” Lukow added.

Although, some of Culpeper’s silver-haired generation may remember watching the classics downtown in the State Theatre, now under renovation, opened 1938 on Main Street.

Its first movie that year was “Sally, Irene and Mary” starring Jimmy Durante and Alice Faye.

“Bringing Up Baby” with Katharine Hepburn also debuted in 1938. It shows Sept. 23 on Mount Pony.

Allison Brophy Champion can be reached at 825-0771 ext. 101 or

All you need to know about getting tickets:
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audiovisual Conservation at Mount Pony announces the premiere showing of its year-round free film series Sept. 4 and 5 with “The Maltese Falcon” at 7:30 p.m.

From then on, films will show three times a week: Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2.

Reservations for each show in the 208-seat theater, located on the facility’s first level, will be accepted one week in advance using an automated phone system.

To reserve a seat, call 540-827-1079 and then, when asked, enter extension 79994.

A phone message will instruct you to leave the following information: date(s) of the show(s) for which you would like reservations, film title, your name (speak clearly and repeat or spell your last name) and the number of seats desired — four seats per call, please.

The theater lobby will open 45 minutes before show time; stop by the kiosk to get your movie passes, using the same name you left on the phone message. The theater will open half-hour prior to each show.

All outstanding reservations will be canceled 10 minutes before the show is scheduled to start; you may not “save” seats for those arriving late.

For those who do not have a reservation, stop by the kiosk and ask for a numbered “stand-by” card. Ten minutes before show time, any available seats will be given to patrons holding these numbers.

Smoking is not permitted on the NAVCC Packard Campus. Food and drink are not allowed in the theater. Theatergoers of all ages are welcome, but children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Click HERE to for movie schedule

The Wizard of Oz film cells

King Kong (1933) 3 Sheet Movie Poster

Casablanca movie posters

Casablanca Re-Creation 3 Sheet Movie Poster

City Lights 1 Sheet Movie Poster

Gone With the Wind Movie Posters

Gone With the Wind Film Cells

Review: Star Trek Assault Phaser and Tricorder Video

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Star Trek Assualt Phaser has posted an indepth review of Master Replicas’, Star Trek Starfleet Assault phaser:

Master Replicas was the first company to do serious, functional licensed prop replicas from the Star Trek franchise, and their classic original series phaser remains the standard for this type of product—an amazing, all metal reproduction of the original series prop with something like 11 different sound and light settings and all kinds of functionality. All of that was based on research on the actual prop (it did several things which for one reason or another were never demonstrated fully on the show) as well as three years’ worth of episodes that showed it doing all kinds of different things.

To date the Starfleet “Assault Phaser” designed for Star Trek V has appeared Star Trek V and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and maybe a Voyager and Deep Space Nine episode or two. Nevertheless it’s one of the most popular and cool-looking incarnations of the phaser and Master Replicas announcement of an Assault Phaser at Comic Con a couple of years ago caused excitement among prop collectors.

MR has delivered the goods with this, their third phaser replica (after the classic version and a Next Generation style “Cobra” phaser). Like the original prop, it’s huge—the chunkiest phaser we’ve yet seen in the series. Unlike MR’s classic phaser, the Assault Phaser is made of a mix of materials. The lower end of the removable clip, the upper front and rear protective cowl, the silver barrel and rear heat sink, the setting dial and side mounted cowl and clip releases are metal; the main body and hand grip are made of a hard, durable plastic—the equivalent of high-tech composite materials. Consequently the gun has a nice weight to it but it’s not as unwieldy as an all-metal take on the prop probably would have been. Click here to read the entire review, which includes some interesting deatils about the functionality of MR replica and view some cool images of the actual replica, itself. has also posted a video of the Assault phaser and Science Tricorder in action. Click here to view the video.

Star Trek Starfleet Assault Phaser LE

Star Trek Mark IX Science Tricorder LE

The Secret Life of Bees Movie Posters

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Secret Lives of Bees
Release date: Friday October 17, 2008
Genre: Drama
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Studio: Fox Searchlight/Donners’ Company
Producer(s): Jack Leslie, James Lassiter, Joe Pichirallo, Lauren Shuler Donner, Will Smith
Screenplay: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Paul Bettany, Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys, Hilarie Burton
Official Site:
Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and some violence
Available film art: The Secret Life of Bees movie posters

14 year old Lily Owen tries to cope with her mother’s death 14 year old Lily Owen tries to cope with her mother’s death during the summer of 1964. She lives in South Carolina where racism is a difficult problem and the only woman in her life she can depend on is taken away because of her race. When she and Rosaleen reunite it’s a quest to find out the truth about her mother’s death 10 years prior.

Buy The Secret Life of Bees movie posters here

New DVD Releases – Tuesday August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25th, 2008

What Happens in Vegas

A really week week for DVDs.

  • What Happens in Vegas (Comedy) – Cast: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Dennis Farina; Directed by: Tom Vaughan

    Buy What Happens in Vegas movie posters here

    View the trailer and read the synopsis here

  • Fast & Furious Movie Trailer

    Monday, August 25th, 2008

    Check out this trailer for Fast & Furious due in theaters next summer.

    Buy The Fast and the Furious film cells here

    Review: Hamlet 2

    Friday, August 22nd, 2008

    Hamlet 2

    If you are a fan of dark, outrageous humor, you will Hamlet 2.

    Hamlet 2 finally hits theaters today after first gaining industry buzz at the Sundance Film Festival last January. The Andrew Fleming-directed comedy stars British comic Steve Coogan as failed actor-turned-equally unsuccessful high school drama teacher Dana Marschz (the unpronounceable nature of his surname is a running gag). The greatest success Dana ever achieved as a thespian was a herpes medication commercial, an appearance on Xena, and a few infomercials.

    But Dana’s not just a failure as an actor. He’s also lacking as a man. This impotent, talentless recovering alcoholic is about to lose his wife (Catherine Keener) just as the Tuscon high school that he works at is poised to cut funding for its drama department after his latest production — a stage version of Erin Brockovich, featuring his top students Rand and Epiphany (Skylar Astin and Phoebe Strole) — gets ripped to shreds by the school paper’s puny, pubescent critic.

    With his job, marriage and perhaps even his sanity at stake, Dana needs to do something big and exceptionally creative to save himself. He needs a masterpiece, and his masterpiece is Hamlet 2: a stage musical sequel to the Shakespeare play. This Hamlet gets a time machine that allows him to travel through time to not only save characters killed off by the Bard in his downbeat original, but to also bring in historical figures ranging from Jesus to Hilary Clinton.

    Even when the school board tries to shut the play down, and the ACLU (represented by Amy Poehler) come to the rescue, Dana vows that the show must go on. He finally stages his epic production, which culminates with the already classic “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” number featuring Dana as Christ clad in a wife-beater and ripped jeans. Dana even gets support from his favorite actress, Cocktail’s Elisabeth Shue appearing as herself, who has quit acting to become a nurse.

    Click HERE to read the entire article.

    Buy Hamlet 2 movie posters here

    Review: Death Race

    Friday, August 22nd, 2008

    Death Race

    Death Race ends the summer off with a bang.

    Loosely based on the 1975 movie Death Race 2000, this not quite a remake-not quite a prequel-not quite a re-imagining of Death Race directed by Paul W. S. Anderson is set in a grimy near future where private prisons offer gladiatorial-like entertainment to bloodthirsty online audiences. Terminal Island warden Hennessy (Joan Allen) makes a killing through the lucrative webcasting of Death Race, a Nascar-to-the death competition featuring imprisoned drivers willing to kill themselves or others in a bid to win their freedom.

    Hennessy’s cash cow is threatened, however, when her star driver, the masked Frankenstein, dies from injuries suffered in a crash. Enter Jensen Ames (Statham), a former race car champ and ex-con now falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife. Hennessy offers Ames a chance to win his freedom (and reunite with his baby daughter) if he secretly assumes Frankenstein’s mantle. Without Frankenstein, the ratings and profits for Death Race would suffer.

    Assisted by pit crew mechanic Coach (Ian McShane) and sexy navigator Case (newcomer Natalie Martinez) — scantily clad female convicts are bussed in to help boost ratings — Ames reluctantly assumes the identity of Frankenstein, risking life and limb on Hennessy’s speedway against other imprisoned drivers, including the scar-faced and remorseless Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson), 14K (Mortal Kombat’s Robin Shou), and Pachenko (LXG’s Max Ryan).

    Armed with a tricked-out Mustang and nerves of steel, the desperate Ames must endure a three-day contest on Hennessy’s prison race track. The course is riddled with booby traps, the odds can be changed on a whim by Hennessy, and no one can truly be trusted, but none of this will keep Jensen Ames, a.k.a. Frankenstein, from doing what he must in order to escape this hellhole.

    Click HERE to read the entire article.

    Buy Death Race movie posters here

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