Release date: May 1st, 2009 Genre: Sci-fi, Animation, Adventure Running time: 85 min. Director: Aristomenis Tsirbas Studio: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions Screenplay: Evan Spiliotopoulos Producer(s): Dane Allan Smith, Jessica Wu, Keith Calder, Ryan Colucci Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, Luke Wilson, David Cross, Justin Long, Amanda Peet, Dennis Quaid, Chris Evans, James Garner, Rosanna Arquette, Chad Allen, Danny Glover Official Site:battleforterra.com Rating:PG sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements Available film art:Battle for Terra movie posters
Synopsis The film tells the story of Senn (Justin Long) and Mala (Evan Rachel Wood), two rebellious alien teens living on the beautiful planet Terra, a place that promotes peace and tolerance, having long ago rejected war and weapons of mass destruction. But when Terra is invaded by human beings fleeing a civil war and environmental catastrophe, the planet is plunged into chaos. During the upheaval, Mala befriends an injured human pilot (Luke Wilson) and each learns the two races are not so different from one another. Together they must face the terrifying realization that in a world of limited resources, only one of their races is likely to survive.
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You’ve asked for it and it’s finally here. In honor of the 25th anniversary, you can preorder the limited edition T-800 replica motorcycle jacket that Arnold wore in the The Terminator.
It’s 1984, James Cameron gets the idea of a “terminator”, a seemingly unstoppable Cyborg assassin.
The Terminator gets sent back from the year 2029 by a race of artificially intelligent computer-controlled machines, whose aim is the extermination of the human race. The Terminator’s mission is to kill Sarah Connor, whose future son will lead the human’s resistance against the machines.
The Terminator instantly became a cult classic and this movie has spawned an entire generation of sci-fi films and subsequent sequels. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this landmark motion picture, Museum Replicas presents a prop never attempted before – a screen accurate version of the T-800’s motorcycle jacket. This limited Edition jacket has had nothing spared in its research and materials. Using all original surviving resource material, it has been re-created exactly as it was worn on screen.
The jacket features police grade leather with zip-out cold weather, custom printed lining and sew-in label celebrating the 25th anniversary. It also incorporates all the safety features of today’s motorcycle jackets, to ensure realism and protection, if you want to wear it when you ride. Remember to look over your shoulder, because he’ll be back…
The jacket is available for pre-order now with a tentative shipping date of June 2009. Strictly limited to the model year 2009 in honor of the 25th anniversary.
On April 24, filming began in South Surrey, British Columbia, at the new version of Bella’s house. The house is a replica of the one used in Twilight and apparently fans (called “Twilight-ers” or Twi-Hards”) converged on the location – hiding in trees and wherever they can find.
Filming will begin this evening at the new version of Bella’s House custom built as an exact replica of the house used in Twilight. The Now has an article about the number of fans–or as they say, “crazies”–converging on the set:
The structure is nothing but a shell meant for exterior shots, but it requires around-the-clock security to keep rabid fans from doing damage to it.
It has a chimney made of flimsy styrofoam, after all.
Imported trees and rearranged telephone poles help make things look authentic, too.
Filming at the site will begin tonight (Friday), the Now has learned. City-issued signs warn of road closures starting April 24.
“I don’t like going to the film sets when they’re shooting,” [one woman from Burnaby visiting the house] said, “because there are too many crazies hiding in the trees and everywhere.”
When filming starts in South Surrey, huge black screens will serve to block views of the action.
Variety is reporting that a digital version of Arnold Schwarzenegger will make an appearance in the upcoming summer blockbuster, “Terminator Salvation.”
How do you get Arnold Schwarzenegger to appear in a movie without actually getting him to show up on set?
The Governator revealed in a webcast this week that he may appear in the upcoming “Terminator Salvation,” but when he said he didn’t want to act, he left many fans scratching their heads.
Turns out Schwarzenegger has been secretly working with helmer McG and the effects team to reprise his signature role … without lifting a finger.
A body-cast mold of Schwarzenegger, created when he first appeared as the muscle-ripped cyborg, provided the basis for a digital-effects version of his famous character. The figure appears in “Terminator Salvation” as a living, breathing actor.
Schwarzenegger viewed the resulting footage and gave his go-ahead just in time for McG to include the footage before the helmer completes his cut of the movie. Warners first screens the pic in early May and opens it May 21.>
Synopsis: Derek Charles (Idris Elba), a successful asset manager who has just received a huge promotion, is blissfully happy in his career and in his marriage to the beautiful Sharon (Beyoncé Knowles). But when Lisa (Ali Larter), a temp worker, starts stalking Derek, all the things he’s worked so hard for are placed in jeopardy.
Cast: Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter, Idris Elba, Scout Taylor-Compton, Christine Lahti; Directed by: Steve Shill
Synopsis: Small-town boy Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) has come to New York City with nothing. Barely earning a living selling counterfeit goods on the streets, his luck changes when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard) sees that he has a natural talent for streetfighting. When Harvey offers Shawn help at making the real cash, the two form an uneasy partnership.
As Shawn’s manager, Harvey introduces him to the corrupt bare-knuckle circuit, where rich men bet on disposable pawns. Almost overnight, he becomes a star brawler, taking down professional boxers, mixed martial arts champs and ultimate fighters in a series of staggeringly intense bouts. But if Shawn ever hopes to escape the dark world in which he’s found himself, he must now face the toughest fight of his life.
Cast: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Brian J. White, Flaco Navaja; Directed By: Dito Montiel
Synopsis Based on the true story of musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, who developed schizophrenia in his second year at Juilliard and ended up homeless on the streets of downtown L.A. where he performs the violin and cello.
The drama is based on the relationship the musician developed with Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times reporter whose column informed the script, as did a book Lopez is writing that Putnam will publish in the spring.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root; Directed by: Joe Wright
It’s summer blockbuster time so, read this article and plan your summer movie outings.
It’s summer blockbuster time at the movie theatres with Wolverine, the X-Man most in need of a manicure, throwing out the first computer-generated eviscerations. Summer blockbuster time is a mixed blessing: remakes and sequels make up most of the menu, and a lot of the movies seem to have spent more of the budget on dynamite than on screenwriting. But there are always some promising newcomers, some of them even without mall cops. Here are a dozen megahits on the horizon, starting with the five best bets (highlighted by an asterisk):
* Terminator Salvation: No. 4 in the series — and apparently the start of a new trilogy from director McG — introduces Christian Bale as John Connor, the man who dodged all those assassin robots sent from the future to the past to kill him before he could change the future that they were in, or something. Bale is already familiar from his X-rated meltdown on the set of this film, so we’ll be able to see just what was so f—- distracting. Oh yeah, the plot: Connor leads survivors after a nuclear apocalypse. (May 21).
* Up: This animated film is from Pixar, which has a track record for movies that combine cleverness with heart. It’s about a 78-year-old man who sets off for adventure by attaching helium balloons to his house, only to discover he has a nine-year-old stowaway on his front porch. Hmmm. For what it’s worth — and it’s often not much — the film is also the opening gala at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. (May 29)
* The Taking of Pelham 123: The 1974 original — about a gang that hijacks a New York City subway car and demands money for hostages — was a classic heist film that influenced Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (the bad guys are named Mr. Blue, Mr. Grey, Mr. Green and Mr. Brown.) Tony Scott’s remake has more star power, with John Travolta as the head villain and Denzel Washington as the dispatcher who has to negotiate with him, and the paranoia of disaster has also stepped up in the intervening 34 years. (June 12).
* Public Enemies: A 1930s gangster movie, directed by Michael Mann, with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, the leading hoodlum of his day, and Christian Bale — nicely recovered from Terminator: Salvation — as Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent hunting him down. Also of interest: Billy Crudup, mostly recently seen as a naked fluorescent superhero in Watchmen, plays J. Edgar Hoover, America’s No. 1 G-man (and secret cross-dresser, although the movie may leave that part out.) This one looks like a throwback to the great old rat-a-tat mob films: Bonnie and Clyde without the irony. (July 1)
* Inglourious Basterds: A remake of a 1978 Italian film (whose American release had the title spelled correctly) that was an homage to The Dirty Dozen, speaking of the devil. This Quentin Tarantino war movie stars Brad Pitt as the head of a group of soldiers in the Second World War who are sent out to scalp and kill as many Nazis as possible (ÒI want my scalps!Ó). Among the movie’s oddities are the fact that Mike Myers plays an American general. (Aug. 21)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The buzz is hot on this one, partly because an unfinished print was leaked on the Internet and people liked it, even minus the special effects. (What’s left? Emotionally vulnerability? Stop kvetching, X-Persons: at least you have a job.) It tells the story of Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, his relationship with Victor Creed (who will later become Sabretooth) and the mutant Weapons X program. I hope that means something to someone. Oscar host and song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman stars. (May 1)
Star Trek: The sci-fi classic undergoes a reinvention by J.J. Abrams, whose bona fides (Lost, Alias) may make him the ideal director for this kind of cult melodrama. Chris Pine stars as young Capt. James T. Kirk, piloting the USS Enterprise into danger, adventure and large portions of inter-terrestrial mishigas. The cast features the return of Leonard Nimoy, playing Old Spock. Good news: they’re already planning a sequel. Bad news: they’re already planning a sequel. (May 8)
Angels & Demons: If you loved The Da Vinci Code, with its fast-moving, historical-revelation-a-minute uncovering of a Catholic plot to subjugate women — or if you were driven to fury by the implications — he’s another chance to be thrilled (or apoplectic.) This prequel, from Da Vinci director Ron Howard, has been refigured as a sequel (go refigure) and again stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, the world’s most dangerous symbolist. This time he’s looking for an assassin from the secretive Illuminati who is killing cardinals. (May 15)
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: In this, the year of the security guard movie, Ben Stiller returns as Larry Daley, the man with the flashlight, in the third episode of the hit comedy franchise. Various historic figures are played by Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Eugene Levy and, well, various other historical figures. (May 22)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Giant robots fight for world supremacy in this sequel to the loud, explosive and lucrative adventure from loud-explosive-lucrative director Michael Bay. Decepticon returns to capture Sam (Shia LaBeouf), leaving Optimus Prime as mankind’s best hope to save the day, preferably by knocking down lots of buildings. (June 24)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Daniel Radcliffe — who may be married and bringing his own children to the theatre by the time this series ends — returns with the rest of the gang for his sixth year at Hogwarts. He learns new spells, finds a new girlfriend, and learns new secrets about Voldemort. The film was delayed from last November, an event that caused much protest and Internet chatter, but look: now you have something nice to do in July. (July 15)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Channing Tatum, whom you will have already enjoyed as Pretty Boy Floyd in Public Enemies, returns as a fighting man on the trail of an arms dealer. The action figure that became a comic book and then an animated TV show has gone through a lot of incarnations — at one point he was battling for the environment — but here he is a gun-toting, terrorist-killing soldier, although without the Kung-fu grip. (Aug. 7)
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Release date: Friday May 1, 2009 Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller Director: Gavin Hood Studio: 20th Century Fox Screenplay: David Benioff, Skip Woods Producer(s): Hugh Jackman, Lauren Shuler-Donner, Ralph Winter Cast: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Dominic Monaghan, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, will.i.am , Lynn Collins, Kevin Durand, Daniel Henney Official Site: x-menorigins.com Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence and some partial nudity Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes Available film art:X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie posters
Synopsis Using several resources that include the Marvel Comics lore, along with the more recent Weapon X graphic novels by Frank Miller, “Wolverine” mixes action with an origin story about how Logan emerged from a barbaric experiment as an indestructible mutant with retractable razor-sharp claws.
Oscar®-winning director Ron Howard brings to the screen writer Peter Morgan’s (“The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland”) electrifying battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the untold story of the historic encounter that changed both: “Frost/Nixon.” Reprising their roles from Morgan’s stageplay are Frank Langella, who won a Tony for his portrayal of Nixon, and Michael Sheen, who fully inhabited the part of Frost onstage in London and New York.
For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans.
Likewise, Frost’s team harbored doubts about their boss’ ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation’s greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who’d built a career out of stonewalling? Over the course of their encounter, each man would reveal his own insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity–ultimately setting aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth.
“Frost/Nixon” not only re-creates the on-air interview, but the weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes maneuvering between the two men and their camps as negotiations were struck, deals were made and secrets revealed…all leading to the moment when they would sit facing one another in the court of public opinion.
“Frost/Nixon” is a collaboration between Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Films, with Academy Award® winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard joining Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner as producers. Joining Langella and Sheen as the colorful real-life personalities who provide the men counsel is a formidable roster of actors including Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Toby Jones and Matthew Macfadyen.
Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell; Director: Ron Howard
About the life of legendary hip hop rap artist Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G. In just a few short years, Notorious B.I.G. rose from the streets of Brooklyn to become one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. B.I.G. was a gifted storyteller; his narratives about violent life on the streets were told with a gritty, objective realism that won him enormous respect and credibility. His stories were universal and gave a voice to his generation.
Cast: Angela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Naturi Naughton, Jamal Woolard, Charles Malik Whitfield, Marc John Jefferies, Antonique Smith, Sean Ringgold, Kevin Navayne, Osas Ighodaro; Directed by: George Tillman Jr.
Back in the late ’80s, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey.
Estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life — trying to reconnect with his daughter, and strikes up a blossoming romance with an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy “The Ram” back into his world of wrestling.
Director Darren Aronofsky presents a powerful portrait of a battered dreamer, who despite himself and the odds stacked against him, lives to be a hero once again in the only place he considers home – inside the ring.
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry; Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
“He’s strong to the finish, ’cause he eats his spinach…”
Usually the above jingle would culminate, naturally, with: “He’s Popeye the sailor man!” But it comes to mind when discussing the highly entertaining Crank High Voltage not only because of the film’s overtly cartoonish approach, but also for its main character’s constant reliance on an external energy source in order to get the job done. Of course, whereas our favorite cockeyed sailor only needed a can of green vegetables in order to pummel Bluto, High Voltage’s Chev Chelios requires something a bit more modern — namely electricity, and lots of it.
That’s somehow appropriate given the videogame and pop-culture influences of the Crank series. The first film also starred Jason Statham as Chelios, a hitman looking to retire who has the craziest day of his life when he’s poisoned by a rival and must keep his adrenaline flowing in order to stay alive long enough to find his “killers.” Or at least, that was his craziest day before this sequel kicked in, which picks up at the exact moment of the first film’s final moments when Chelios plummeted from a helicopter and crashed to the street below — and seemingly survived.
As High Voltage begins, a band of Triad gangsters make off with Chelios’ unconscious body and quickly perform some makeshift open-heart surgery in the back of a massage parlor. The super-heart of Chelios is removed, apparently for its intrinsic value, and replaced with a mechanical pumper that has a very limited lifespan. Three months pass, and Chelios finally makes his escape from these villains when he realizes that his captors are planning on harvesting the rest of his organs — including his “horse c@$k.”
So the superhuman Chelios must find his heart, but he soon realizes that he has to keep his artificial ticker powered up in order to continue the sprinting, fighting, and killing that takes place almost nonstop over the course of the film’s hour-and-a-half running time. That leads to the electricity previously mentioned, which is derived from all manner of sources — tasers, car batteries, power plants, and so on. It also leads to the over-the-top cartoonishness of it all, as any semblance of reality is drained from the film like a car that’s had its headlights on all night.
And let’s take a moment to thank writer-directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine for not feeling the urge to keep these proceedings “real” at all, because that’s what makes the film so much fun and separates it from the typically mechanical and repetitious action genre. We’ve got a whole summer’s worth of that junk coming at us soon enough, thank you very much.
Based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, State of Play is as much an elegiac swan song to print journalism as it is a gripping political thriller. But State of Play is more than just a paean or whodunit; it is really about moral compromises. The story — scripted by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Matthew Carnahan (Lions for Lambs) and Billy Ray (Breach) — follows overweight, slovenly but dogged Washington Globe investigative reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) as he discovers that a string of seemingly unrelated murders are all connected.
Worse, the unfolding case embroils his old college pal, Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), in a sex-and-murder scandal that threatens to extinguish his once-promising political career. Is Collins the killer of his staff member and mistress Sonia Baker (Maria Thayer), or is PointCorp. — the private military company that Collins has been investigating in televised congressional hearings — really behind it? The closer that Cal and his partner, blogger and aspiring “serious” journalist Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), get to finding out the truth behind Sonia’s slaying the more dangerous it gets for them and their already imperiled newspaper as cops, power brokers, spin doctors and soldiers of fortune all come gunning for them.
Every character in State of Play is compromised to varying degrees: Cal is too close to Stephen to understand how much he’s blurred the lines between media and politics, and his friendship with Stephen’s wife Anne (Robin Wright Penn) may also be closer than it seems; Collins’ moral shortcomings are obvious from the plot synopsis, with his idealism being stronger than his integrity; Della comes from a new breed of reporter (“bloodsuckers and bloggers,” as the film calls them) who are more important in being “first!” than in being good at what they do; and Globe Editor in Chief Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren) seems to be losing the battle between balancing her journalistic principles with the commercial necessities of keeping her paper’s owners happy. No one comes off looking too heroic or clean in State of Play, a gutsy move on the part of a major studio production to keep it real.
The cast is excellent across the board. Crowe owns the movie as the slobby but sly reporter who relies on old-fashioned tools such as notepads, door-to-door interviews and schmoozing all the right people (mostly cops) who can supply him with information. This could be the movie that makes audiences fall in love with Crowe again after a spell of flops and bad publicity. Affleck gives his best performance in years (if not ever) as Collins, although the nearly unanimous opinion among those who have seen the film is that it’s simply unbelievable to buy fortysomething Crowe and thirtysomething Affleck as former college roommates. One line change (e.g., Cal worked on Stephen’s campaign or was his T.A. in college or grad school) could have dispelled that entirely justifiable criticism. It also doesn’t help that Penn is closer to Crowe’s age than Affleck’s (all three characters knew each other in college). Penn plays Anne’s wounded pride well in a disappointingly small role.
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