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Archive for May, 2009

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Ferris Buellers House Black and White

Tucked away in the woods of Chicago, this four-bed, four-bath is a modernist masterpiece, but might be more well-know for its starring role in the painfully infamous car scene of the feature film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Its reprise on the web currently comes from its recent listing on the market for $2.3 million.

Two steel-and-glass buildings make up this peaceful palace with the garage celebrating the automobile by showcasing the cars within. Architects A. James Speyer and David Haid built the structures on steel beams, creating a Jetson-like pod above the ground. The home also has stunning panoramic views, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning 5,300 square feet and lending an affect much like Philip Johnson’s famed Glass House.

To Inquire or learn more visit Sotheby’s International Realty.

Ferris Buellers House

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Dan Lin Interview – Terminator Salvation and Lara Croft

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Terminator: Salvation DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advacne Style C

Rebecca Murray from About:com Hollywood Movies interviews Dan Lin, at the US premiere of Terminator: Salvation, about the future of Lara Croft.

Terminator Salvation Producer Dan Lin
This is a reboot of the franchise because we’re not really looking at #3, right? We’re looking at #1, #2 and #4. Does it really follow #3 at all or do you have to know #3?

Dan Lin: “Only the very end of #3 when Judgment Day has happened. That’s really the only thing of #3. Otherwise, it’s a reboot of Terminator but it really goes back to the mythology that Jim Cameron set up in T1 and T2.”

Now that mythology, do you have to be an expert? Do you have to know your T600s from your T800s to be able to get into this movie?

Dan Lin: “We hope not. We really want to be able to introduce a new set of fans to Terminator, that’s why we have Sam Worthington – a great new actor – and bringing Christian Bale, a credible actor that everyone really loves. So we really hope it brings teenagers and new fans that maybe didn’t watch T1 and T2.”

How important is it at this point in the franchise to go back and do a prequel?

Dan Lin: “We do do it and you’ll see we bring people up to speed about what’s happened in the last three movies. So I think it’s important to set up the mythology before we start the movie.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t actually go on the set to do this, but he is in the film. How hard was it to talk him into doing that?

Dan Lin: “It was a digital cameo. I’ve got to say the sequence is an award-winning sequence, really amazing visual effects. It wasn’t easy. He’s a very busy man. He’s got a lot on his plate. McG really talked to him and convinced him that it would be good for everyone.”

And he said yes right away?

Dan Lin: “I wouldn’t say right away. It’s a big decision and he was really thoughtful about it.”

Okay, now Sherlock Holmes – is it a comedy? Is it an action comedy? What is it?

Dan Lin: “The tone is period Butch and Sundance. It’s almost like a buddy cop movie set in the period world. Like Butch and Sundance it’s action-oriented, but there’s definitely comedy to it. It’s really about these two guys, Sherlock and Watson, who basically they’re best friends and there’s an incident that sets them apart and they have to come back together at the end of the movie.”

So this Sherlock Holmes is actually more of an action stud James Bond-type guy than he ever has been portrayed before?

Dan Lin: “It’s interesting. When you go back to Sherlock Holmes and read the books, he’s actually a much darker, action-oriented character than what has been told in recent stories. We went back to the origin of Sherlock Holmes so, yes, he is action-oriented. But if you read the books, he was trained in a martial art called Bartitsu so we haven’t made anything up. This is really coming from the books.”

And you’re also going to be involved in Lara Croft?

Dan Lin: “Yeah, we’re rebooting Lara Croft as well. Really excited – it’s a great origin story that we’re going to tell. A very character-oriented I would say more realistic than the past Lara Croft movies.”

Any casting on that yet?

Dan Lin: “Not yet.”But it is going to be a younger version so it can’t be Angelina Jolie

Dan Lin: “It is an origin story so it is a younger Lara Croft.”

And it will be full-on action?

Dan Lin: “I would say it’s like Terminator – character-driven action. I think for me the Lara Croft games and movies have gone a little too action-oriented. I wanted to have action, but with character.”

Click on the link below to to watch the video interview:

Dan Lin video interview

The Dance Flick

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Dance Flick Movie Poster Style A

Release date: Friday May 22, 2009
Genre: Comedy
Running time: 83 min.
Director: Damien Dante Wayans
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Marvekl Studios
Screenplay: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans
Producer(s): Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans
Cast: Damon Wayans, Jr., Craig Wayans, Shoshana Bush, Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett
Official Site:
Rating: PG-13 crude and sexual content throughout, and language
Available film art: The Dance Flick movie posters

“Dance Flick” is a satirical jab at musical/dance films focusing on a naive girl who uses dance to achieve her dreams, and the street smart guy who helps her along the way. A rich, white girl from the suburbs finds herself on a series of misadventures when she moves to the mean streets of the inner-city.

Movie Review: Dance Flick

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Dance Flicks

Director Damien Wayans positively nails the unblinking earnestness and white-bread morality of the Hollywood dance movie in this witty send-up of cheesy sentiment starring Shoshana Bush and Damon Wayans Jr.

Though these are the same people who made White Chicks and Little Man, the good news about Dance Flick, the latest offering from the Wayans dynasty, is that it’s frequently very funny.

It’s not the lines that make it amusing – although there are more than a few great zingers flying gracefully just below the radar – but the pitch.

Director Damien Wayans (My Wife and Kids) positively nails the unblinking earnestness and white-bread morality of the Hollywood dance movie in this witty send-up of cheesy sentiment.

The real beauty of Dance Flick is just how well the spoof elements fuse with the sticky traces of genre, ensuring nothing feels all that forced – which is a small, but fully appreciated, gift to the viewer in movies that limbo down to the lowest common denominator.

Pulling the basics of plot off the shelf, writers Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Craig Wayans and Damien Wayans cobble together the classic storyline about two dancers trying to make it to the big time.

Megan White (Shoshana Bush) is a fallen ballet dancer trying to make it to Julliard. Thomas Uncles (Damon Wayans Jr.) is a street kid who just wants to dance, but whose socio-economic situation strips the spring from his step and binds his ankles with old ‘hood baggage.

These two young kids may have different dance styles, but they share the same dream of high-stepping on the Great White Way – with an emphasis on “white.”

Race always figures in the Wayans book of comedy. They are one of the few creative teams to really pick up the ball of bigotry and give it a boot in a comic context – in a way that appeals to all demographic sectors.

It’s a relief to be able to laugh at the image of Megan White backpedalling through white guilt as she tries to befriend a group of African-American schoolmates at the cafeteria.

By the same token, watching an overcooked scene of ghetto bonding between two street thugs pulls down the same walls of stereotype with giddy laughter.

By the time we make it to the big showdown, a dance contest that could net the winner $10,000 in cash, the movie’s found such a natural groove through cliche that we can sit back and wait for the magic.

If you’re eager to get all the jokes and visual nods, it helps a lot if you’re familiar with the likes of High School Musical, Fame, Flashdance, Footloose, Step Up, Rize, Dirty Dancing and other diamonds in the genre tiara – but it’s not essential.

The Wayans collective has the comic gift. Half the time, it’s little more than looks on the actors’ faces that trigger a giddy response, because they sell it straight, thus emphasizing the inanity of lines such as, “Dancing is in my heart” and “Let’s kick it, bitch.”

There’s no question the Wayans understand how and why the Hollywood dance movie became a distillation of the American Dream. They see the Busby Berkeley metaphor for self-determination.

They also recognize the underlying social strata that divided the MGM production numbers from minstrel fare, which pulls the musical out of its social closet – in a way – since the form really owes a lot of its history to the contributions of African-American culture.

Dance Flick is a fragrant mix of sweat, bowel and bawdy fun. It also has the depth to touch on larger societal issues, while perfecting the fart joke at the same time.

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Gilliam Debuts Ledger’s Last Performance at Cannes

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Terry Giliam
Terry Gilliam poses during the photocall of the movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” presented out of competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2009.
Photograph by: VALERY HACHE, AFP/Getty Images

The spirit of Heath Ledger was in the air Friday as the world’s press gathered to see his final film, a fantasy called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Ledger died in January, 2008, halfway into making the film; director Terry Gilliam completed it by getting three other actors – Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell – to play Ledger’s character in separate sequences.

“I didn’t see how we could finish the film,” Gilliam recalled. “He did half the role.” But the people involved in Imaginarium told him he couldn’t be “a lazy bastard” and give up. Gilliam said he thought it would not have been respectful to get just one actor to take over the role, so he got three of them – “people who know and love Heath” – to play scenes. Depp, Law and Farrell all donated their salaries to a fund for Matilda, Ledger’s daughter.

“They came to the rescue of this thing,” Gilliam said. “To me, they’re the real heroes.”

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (which is a Canadian co-production) received enthusiastic applause after Friday’s press screening, and several journalists expressed their fondness for it at a post-screening press conference, but in fact, it is a mess: whimsy gone wrong, with a silly storyline scattered across a mishmash of clockwork production design that is garish and fake-looking as often as it is ingenious. The story concerns the owner of a travelling show (played by Christopher Plummer) who years earlier made a pact with the devil (Tom Waits) that could mean his teenage daughter is given over to Mr. Nick, as he’s called. People go in and out of a magic mirror where they meet the events of their imagination, presented as clunky fantasy; Ledger plays Tony, a disreputable businessman discovered hanging by his neck under a bridge and who is saved and added to the circus. It’s a macabre entrance under the circumstances.

Gilliam said that Tony was named after former British prime minister Tony Blair, “and I couldn’t imagine a more fitting end for that character than to be hanging from a bridge.”

The director, who was born in America but is now a British citizen, added, “I think Tony believes everything that comes out of his mouth, even though he’s never thought of it until the moment he said it.”

Gilliam is a highly inventive director – he was the animator for the Monty Python troupe and his visionary ideas for movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys show a unique visual sense – and he said the ideas for Imaginarium came from everything he has done before. Together with Charles McKeown, who co-wrote Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, they made what he called “a compendium of all the things I was interested in, from Python cartooning to 12 Monkeys.”

Gilliam is also an unlucky one: he has been trying for years to make a movie about Don Quixote, and his movie about that movie, called Lost in La Mancha, is a fascinating account of things going wrong in a project, from on-set mishaps to a serious injury to his leading actor.

In the case of Imaginarium, the death of the leading man in the middle of shooting the movie brought the cast and crew closer together.

Gilliam said that as painful as it was, “it was not as bad as some other situations I’ve been involved in,” when people have tried to interfere with his movies.

“What was important to me was how to get Heath’s performances up there, alive and well,” Gilliam said. “Everybody was just going to make sure there was no void left when Heath left us.”

In the film, there are three sequences when Tony, the Ledger character, goes through Dr. Parnassus’ magic mirror: Gilliam uses each of the three new actors in those scenes and although there appear to be some references to the Ledger tragedy – people talking about staying forever young, for instance, or a reference to “a tale of unforeseen death” – Gilliam said those were all part of the original script.

French producer Samuel Hadida called Imaginarium a case of Gilliam going back to his fantasy roots with a bigger budget.

For his next project, he’s going back again: he said he’s going to take another crack at Don Quixote. Shooting is scheduled to start next spring.

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Cannes 09 Review: Taking Woodstock

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Taking Woodstock

Most are too young to be even vaguely aware of Woodstock Music and Art Fair these days. But the impact of the three-day celebration of peace and music on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York back in 1969 marked the pinnacle of the hippie era and saw nearly half a million people descend on the 600-acre site. Acts included Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, The Who and Jimi Hendrix and the fest was an unprecedented event in music history.

Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock is the tale of Elliot Tiber (oddly renamed Teichberg in the movie), president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, who held the only permit for a music festival in the area (he planned to put on a chamber music show) and invited the event’s organisers to the town when they were denied a permit in the nearby town of Wallkill. Based on his autobiography, we join him as a young man (Demetri Martin) struggling to maintain his parent’s motel business and coming to terms with his sexuality.

When he reads that the permit for the Wallkill has been pulled, he pitches the idea of bringing the festival to Bethel to promoter Michael Lang (Jonathan Groff). Before long, plans are underway to run the show on Max Yasgur’s farm, proving a much-needed investment of capital into Tiber’s motel, which the organisers use to house themselves and their offices while the show comes together.

The film is really about Elliot’s journey without moving. While struggling with his own identity and his responsibilities to his parents – a battleaxe mother (Imelda Staunton) and ailing father (Henry Goodman) – he welcomes an incredibly liberal collection of people to his town who teach him the value of personal identity. It’s an incredibly powerful theme punctuated brilliantly by Liev Schreiber as a transvestite ex-marine, of whom Elliot asks if his father understands what he is. He replies, “Honey, I know who I am. That should make it easier for everyone else.”

Maybe it’s not surprising to see a film with powerful homosexual themes from Lee, who was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for Brokeback Mountain, but he explores the subject with an impressively deft hand, making Elliot’s journey remarkably genuine. The real Tiber was present for the Stonewall riots, which happened weeks before the film’s timeline begins, but Lee and screenwriter James Schamus focus their adaptation on a young man whose sexuality isn’t so assured before the film begins and allows the audience to take the film’s journey with him.

It’s not quite as successful in that respect as Almost Famous, another film about a young man’s journey into the world of live music, as Patrick Fugit’s character in that film is, perhaps, less affected by a history that isn’t spelled out within the film. But Taking Woodstock is as much about Elliot’s journey as it is about the foundations of the music festival. In the clash of big business and hippie ideals that gave birth to the show it’s a film both funny and engaging. On the sidelines, Emile Hirsch as a Vietnam vet and Paul Dano as an Acid-dropping hippie provide drama and comedy respectively, while Dan Fogler is hilarious as the leader of an alternative theatre troop whose main artistic contribution to the world seems to be to dance around naked.

When the festival kicks off, Elliot is nowhere near the action – if nothing else, clearing rights to that material would have been mighty tricky – but Lee gives a comfortable sense of scale in cleverly chosen CG shots mixed, predominantly, with vast scenes involving extras.

It may not be on a par with Brokeback, nor as powerful as Lust, Caution, but Taking Woodstock is another triumph for Ang Lee, a director whose resume gets more and more diverse with every project he tackles.

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New Movie Releases: May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Terminator Salvation opens today and Dance Flick and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian both open Friday, May 22nd.

Terminator Salvation
Terminator Salvation DS 1 Sheet Poster - Style C

The fourth installment of the Terminator series follows an adult John Connor (played by Christian Bale) as he attempts to organize a human resistance force which could prove to be humankind’s last true hope for survival in the war against their intelligent robot overlords. Opening in the year 2018, Terminator Salvation finds John Connor’s certainty about the future shaken by the sudden appearance of a mysterious stranger named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), whose last memory is of sitting on death row and awaiting execution. Unable to determine whether Marcus was sent from the future or rescued from the past, Connor begins to wonder whether there is still any hope left for the human race as the robots grow more powerful and aggressive than ever before. It appears that Skynet is preparing a devastating final attack designed to eliminate the human resistance forces once and for all, leaving Connor and Marcus with no choice but to strike back at the cybernetic heart of Skynet’s operations. Once there, the two battle-scarred soldiers discover a devastating secret regarding the potential annihilation of all humankind. Anton Yelchin fills Michael Biehn’s shoes as a young Kyle Reese in what is planned to be a new Terminator trilogy from director McG.

Cast: Christian Bale, Anton Yelchin, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Common; Directed by: McG

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian DS 1 Sheet Poster - Style A

Sequel to the box office hit will bring the dead presidents and extinct animals of the “Museum at the Museum” back to life.

Original film featured single father Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), as he grudgingly accepts the supposedly menial graveyard shift as a security guard at the Natural History Museum. To his utter astonishment and disbelief, Larry watches in shock and awe as, one by one, the primeval beasts and storied icons that surround him stir magically to life – and total havoc ensues.

Cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Christopher Guest, Jon Bernthal, Bill Hader, Alain Chabat, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon; Directed By: Shawn Levy

Official Twilight ‘New Moon’ Poster Finally Released

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

New Moon Poster

The New Moon poster is finally revealed. I’m lovin’ it. How about you? Let us know what you think. Robert Pattinson is looking pretty good.

New DVD Releases – May 19, 2009

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

New DVD releases include My Bloody Valentine 3D, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Valkyrie.

My Bloody Valentine 3D (Horror)
My Bloody  ValentineA gory remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher movie about a Valentine’s Day pickax massacre in a mining town, this film showed theatrically in 3-D. A decade ago Tom fled his hometown on the day a miner went berserk and slaughtered a bunch of people. Now Tom returns, and another series of brutal slayings begins. Also, Tom’s ex-girlfriend Sarah is now married to the local sheriff Axel. Axel believes Tom is the killer, but Tom suspects Axel. Or, is it possible that somehow the miner, who is reported to be dead, has come back and is again committing mass murder?

Paul Bart: Mall Cop
Paul Blart Mall Cop 1 Sheet Movie Poster Style AKevin James (TV’s The King of Queens) stars as the title character in this family comedy. Paul is a chubby security guard who rides a Segway as he patrols a big shopping mall in New Jersey. He’s a single father, and he’s attracted to Amy (Jayma Mays), the good-looking young woman at the hair-extension kiosk. But on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, a gang of crooks takes over the mall. The police surround the mall, but there’s a standoff because the crooks use Amy and others as hostages. That’s when Paul, who happens to be inside the mall, goes into action. Cast: Kevin James, Keir O’Donnell, Jayma Mays, Bobby Cannavale, Erick Avari; Directed by: Steve Carr

Valkyrie DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster Style ATom Cruise stars in this dramatization of a true story. Cruise portrays Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, a count who lost an eye and a hand while fighting for Germany during World War II. Later, Stauffenberg became a key man in a 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler and seize control of the German government. Supporting actors in the film include Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp and Eddie Izzard, all of whom play German generals. Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie traces the preparation and attempted implementation of the takeover plot. Cast: Tom Cruise, Manfred-Anton Algrang, David Bamber, Matthias Freihof, Stephen Fry; Directed by: Bryan Singer

Next Day Air (2009)

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Next Day Air Movie Poster Print - Style A

Release date: May 8th, 2009
Genre: Comedy/Crime/Action
Running time: 90 min.
Director: Benny Boom
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Screenplay: Blair “Butta” Cobbs
Producer(s): Inny Clemons, Scott Aronson
Cast: Donald Faison, Mike Epps, Wood Harris, Omari Hardwick, Darius McCrary, Yasmin Deliz, Mos Def
Official Site:
Rating: R for pervasive language, drug content, some violence and brief sexuality
Available film art: Next Day Air movie posters
Box Office: $5,368,343

When two bumbling criminals (Mike Epps and Wood Harris) accidentally receive a package of grade-A cocaine, they think they’ve hit the jackpot. But when they try to cash in on their luck, it triggers a series of events that forever changes the lives of ten people in Next Day Air, an uproarious action comedy featuring an all-star cast including Donald Faison, Mos Def and Debbie Allen.

Smalltime hoods Brody (Mike Epps) and Guch (Wood Harris) have seen better days. But when a wacked-out courier (Donald Faison) accidentally brings them a box containing 10 kilos of high-quality cocaine meant for their next-door neighbors, it sets in motion a hilarious and harrowing chain of events that could cost all of them their lives.

Brody and Guch immediately arrange to sell the coke to Brody’s drug dealer cousin (Omari Hardwick) and his tightlipped bodyguard (Darius McCrary). But when the intended recipients of the package, wannabe gangster Jesus (Cisco Reyes) and his feisty girlfriend (Yasmin Deliz), realize the box hasn’t arrived, they set out on a desperate search to find it before ruthless drug kingpin Bodega Diablo (Emilio Rivera) notices it’s missing.

But they’re too late. Furious over the loss of his shipment, mob boss Bodega will stop at nothing to get the drugs back. With Brody and Guch’s drug deal about to go down, all parties are on a collision course that’s almost certain to end in heavy gunfire. And whoever’s still standing when the smoke clears could walk away with nearly a million dollars in cash and drugs!

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