April 30, 2016

Tag Archives: films

THE WALK starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt – New trailer

Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), is aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, who overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis, the master director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX® 3D wizardry, The Walk is genuine big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching
the clouds.

It is also one of the more rare live-action films that is a PG-rated, all-audience entertainment for moviegoers 8 to 80 – and a true story to boot. It is unlike anything audiences have seen before, a love letter to Paris and New York City in the 1970s, but most of all, to the Towers of the
World Trade Center.

“San Andreas” continues to showcase Dwayne Johnson as a top tier action hero

We have more of almost everything at the movies these days, with one glaring exception: we don’t have nearly as many action heroes as we used to. Sure, there are plenty of action films opening with stars or up and comers in leading roles, saving the day, but very few true “action heroes”. One notable modern exception is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a certified A-list star of the action genre. He’s come a long way from just being The Rock, either in wrestling or his first on screen roles, but even removed from that, he’s a charismatic screen presence that holds the action hero title these days with aplomb. This week, he further cements his status with the disaster movie San Andreas.
In San Andreas, we get west coast spin on the disaster movie, leaving New York City alone for a moment to focus in on California. The film follows Johnson as a helicopter rescue pilot who tries to save his soon to be ex-wife and daughter in Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively as the Golden State sees the San Andreas fault crack open in literally Earth shaking quakes. He then goes on a mission to save his family, as you’d expect. Johnson stars, with Carla Gugino as his wife and Alexandra Daddario as his daughter. The cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffudd, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi, Kylie Minogue, Todd Williams, and Will Yun Lee. The director here is Brad Peyton, while the screenwriting team consists of Carlton Cuse, Andre Fabrizio, and Jeremy Passmore.
The special effects are the star of this one, but Johnson gives them a run for their money, demonstrating the screen presence and charisma that has made him the star that he now is in Hollywood. Those qualities made him the top pro wrestler of his generation, so it’s no surprise that he’s a ready made action hero. Initially, he coasted by on those qualities, but now he’s developed some acting chops to boot. He’s no Oscar nominee in the making (though anything is possible), but San Andreas represents one of his best performances to date, outside of Snitch and perhaps Pain and Gain as well. He’s a movie star through and through.
What makes Johnson not only one of the few action heroes we have, but one of the best, is how well he compliments whatever is happening on the screen. Be it car […]

The Ten Best Horror Remakes of All Time

As I’ve mentioned a few times already this year, horror is a genre that doesn’t get a whole lot of respect. The same goes for remakes in general, so when you discuss horror remakes, you can expect a distant lack of appreciation. Still, there are some gems to be found, and with the release this weekend of a Poltergeist remake, I wanted to count down the best that this sub-genre has to offer. You might think that there’s a complete dearth of quality, but I was able to find a solid handful of titles that make for a more than respectable lineup.
Here now are the ten best horror remakes of all time:
10. Halloween – Not an incredibly popular choice, I know, but my heart has a soft spot within it for this one. I’m honestly not sure why, but I jived with what musician turned writer/director Rob Zombie was doing here. Old fashioned at times, but also very brutal and modern, this was a slasher that worked more than was expected.
9. The Crazies – Most of you have forgotten about this remake by now, but it’s surprisingly tight and effective. Breck Eisner is a mostly anonymous filmmaker in terms of his style and someone you’ll never confuse with George A. Romero, but this was his best work to date. It’s not extraordinary, especially as a pseudo zombie flick, but it manages to still leave a mark.
8. Evil Dead – Is it overly gory? Yes, but there’s a marvel to be had at the mostly practical effects work. It’s also way better than it should have been. Sam Raimi didn’t direct again, but the script (including an uncredited bit of work by Diablo Cody) is on point and once the blood starts flowing, it gets as intense as anything you’ve seen in the genre.
7. Nosferatu the Vampyre – Perhaps best known as what inspired Shadow of the Vampire in a way (which I almost considered cheating to include), this is one of Werner Herzog’s finest moments, if you ask me. Unique and both modern and old fashioned in equal measure, it stands out.
6. The Last House on the Left – One of the best modern remakes, this is both brutal and surprisingly classy. Dennis Iliadis is a director that deserves to work more, considering his masterful grip here. There’s weight to the violence here, which is almost never the case in […]

Cate Blanchett in “Carol”: Our first big Oscar contender from Cannes 2015

Over the past week or so, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival has slowly unveiled some big time releases. Some, like Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, have turned out to be longer shots for any Academy Award attention. On the other hand, Cannes has seen Todd Haynes’ Carol launch towards the top of quite a few Oscar contention lists. Yes, while the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone saw their chances fade, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson certainly had their stock rise. Carol is the cream of the Cannes crop so far…
As a primer, the film is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol). In it, Blanchett plays a married older woman who begins a flirtation and then an affair with a younger woman, played by Mara. Chandler plays Blanchett’s possessive husband, while the cast also includes the aforementioned Paulson in a vital role, alongside the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and more. Haynes directs, obviously, while the adaptation of Highsmith’s book has been penned by Phyllis Nagy. In some ways, this sounds like similar material to Far From Heaven, but if that is the case, that doesn’t mean that Oscar won’t be very interested, regardless.

I think that this one has some huge awards potential, both at Cannes and beyond as we move towards Oscar season. For starters, it’s certainly a contender now for the Palme d’Or prize as well as citations for Haynes and Blanchett at the fest. At the end of the year, when The Weinstein Company puts it out, it’ll likely be one of the bigger Academy Award players as well. This is one that you really can’t ignore, especially after the glowing reviews from the festival. Before that, it was still a strong possibility given its pedigree, but now…well, things are all that much better for Harvey Weinstein’s likely big shot at Oscar gold.
How good could this one do? Well, I don’t think Carol will wind up leading the field, but Best Picture, Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actress (for Mara and/or Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score represent potential nominations. Yes, a double digit total is something that […]

“Inside Out” heading to the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival for its World Premiere

Academy Award® winner Pete Docter, who helmed Disney/Pixar’s ‘Up’ (the first animated film ever to be the Festival’s Opening-Ceremony film), directs ‘Inside Out,’ an original new movie from Pixar Animation Studios. Docter, producer Jonas Rivera (‘Up’), and co-director Ronnie Del Carmen (‘Up’) will be on hand in Cannes, along with members of the all-star English-language voice cast.
“We are overjoyed at being included in this year’s official selection at Cannes,” said Docter. “With ‘Inside Out,’ we spent years imagining and then building never-before-seen settings and characters within the mind. It was an incredible, fun and exciting challenge and now we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

ABOUT THE MOVIE
Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney?Pixar?s original new film ?Inside Out? ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley?s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned?both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.
When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind?taking some of her core memories with them?Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places?Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”), co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney?Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2015.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Premiere

After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers.
There’s nothing safer than buying your tickets for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 right now. ‪#‎BlartRidesAgain‬ http://sonypictur.es/Blart2Tickets

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#BlartRidesAgain on a well-deserved vacation, but a hero is NEVER off duty. Watch Kevin James in the new Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 trailer now!

Manoel de Oliveira, Portuguese director, dead at 106. RIP

Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal director, dead at 106. RIP
Proud to be Portuguese . Director Manoel de Oliveira was born on December 11, 1908 in Oporto, Portugal, as Manoel Candido Pinto de Oliveira. He was a director and writer, known for To Each His Own Cinema (2007), Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (2009) and I’m Going Home (2001).
He was married to Maria Isabel Brandão de Meneses de Almeida Carvalhais.

He died on April 2, 2015 in Oporto.

Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”: The Best Baseball Films of All Time

Play ball! With Baseball season coming next week, I wanted to do something a little bit fun and look at not just the best sports movies, but the best baseball movies ever made. There’s more than a few to choose from, with a solid handful starring Kevin Costner, I might add. I’m even going to make some potentially controversial choices, as you’ll see below. It’s all in good fun though, and as I get set to spend another year getting my heart broken by the New York Mets, I wanted to put this out there for you all. Enjoy and get ready for baseball…
Here are the ten best baseball movies of all time:
10. Rookie of the Year – Perhaps a lot of this is nostalgia fueling the pick, but I have a real soft spot for the story of a kid who winds up pitching for the Chicago Cubs. It’s wish fulfillment for pre teen boys and a little on the scattershot side, but it’s certainly got a charm. I couldn’t resist putting this on my list, since it’s, you know…my list.
9. Major League – Baseball often transitions to comedy, with this film perhaps being the most successful pure comedic outing of the lot. The sports movie cliches and elements are handled well here, but they’re buoyed by the laughs that are liberally spread out through the entire film. It’s just a ton of fun.
8. Fever Pitch – I really dug the look at baseball fandom contained within this romantic comedy. I’m not sure how appealing it is to die hard baseball fans of sole rom-com nuts, but if you have an affinity for both sides, this merges the two worlds surprisingly well. I think it’s incredibly underrated, quite frankly.
7. Little Big League – The slightly more mature version of Rookie of the Year’s wish fulfillment, this movie looks more at coaching and the front office than at playing ball. It’s still plenty silly, but the premise gets a little bit more gravitas, as it were. Still, nostalgia is at work here, no doubt about that.
6. The Natural – An undisputed classic, I’m not quite a high on it as most others, but I still recognize it for what it is. This is a great film that perhaps suffers a small bit from heavy praise, but clearly deserves its place in history all the same. I like it a lot, […]

Will Ferrell: His Ten Best Films

Consider this a bit of an experiment today. Instead of doing something like what I used to do with the Spotlight on the Stars series, I’m going to try honoring an actor or a filmmaker with a personalized top ten list. We’ll start off with none other than Will Ferrell, who happens to have the new comedy Get Hard hitting theaters this weekend. This initial piece will look at the ten best movies he’s been in, as opposed to just his best performances, but those will be contained within this list too, of course, so fear not. Anyway, let’s give this a shot and see how it goes!
Here now, without any delay, are the ten best films that Ferrell has found himself a cast member in…
10. The Producers – Though a pale comparison to the original Mel Brooks movie (or the Broadway production), this remake of sorts does happen to be decently entertaining as well as feature Ferrell as one of its highlights. He scored his first Golden Globe nomination for this role in Best Supporting Actor, beating out some dramatic heavies for the nod too, so that’s something.
9. Melinda and Melinda – It’s lesser Woody Allen for sure, but an underrated title of his with Ferrell mostly doing a more serious than average version of an Allen impression. Ferrell happens to be one of the better parts of the flick, so that gives it a definite boost, helping it crack this list.
8. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – I’m not as wild about this one as most Kevin Smith fans are (it’s second tier Smith to me), but when it’s funny…it’s hilarious. Ferrell might not be the highlight, but he’s a solid part of a really game to play ensemble. That’s something that he’s better at than a lot of people realize. He’s a showy comedian, but he also can blend pretty well too.
7. Everything Must Go – One of Ferrell’s best performances to date comes in this effectively low key dramedy. With none of his usual mannerisms, he’s really just inhabiting a character. The reason this movie works is his performance, plain and simple. He raises it up.
6. Elf – Easily one of the most likable roles for Ferrell is found within this charming little family comedy. There are times when it’s a little too cute for its own good, but there’s such warmth radiating from this […]

The ten films most likely to lead the 2015 box office

As much as I clearly obsess myself with trying to accurately predict the Oscars, I also have a slight fascination with attempting to figure out which film will wind up as the most successful at the box office, even if the actual numbers are incredibly difficult to pinpoint. Sadly, most of the time the movies in contention for that crown are iffy at best in terms of quality, but his year might very well be different. 2015 offers up a number of potentially very strong flicks that will vie to be number one at the box office, including a couple that might actually contend for the all time crown. That’s pretty rare (though with the numbers we see year in and year out, it’s slowly getting less and less rare), making the next nine months or so possibly very interesting…
As a quick refresher, this was what the top ten box office hauls of 2014 were, including what some of these made after the calendar changed over:
1. American Sniper ($341,380,905) *and counting
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ($337,103,873) *and counting
3. Guardians of the Galaxy ($333,176,600)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259,766,572)
5. The LEGO Movie ($257,760,692)
6. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ($254,916,285) *and counting
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction ($245,439,076)
8. Maleficent ($241,410,378)
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past ($233,921,534)
10. Big Hero 6 ($221,690,346) *and counting
Here now are the ten most likely films to run away with the 2015 box office crown:
10. The Good Dinosaur – The first of two Pixar releases on this list (as well as the first of two to involve dinosaurs), you know that an animated feature is going to rake it in during 2015…the question is just, which one? This has been a slightly troubled production, so that might be an issue, but if it’s not, watch out. Marketing wise, this is a dream for Disney/Pixar.
9. Trainwreck – I spoke about this comedy yesterday, but there’s a chance that this could be even bigger than Bridesmaids. Consider this Judd Apatow flick a dark horse. I think it’s possibly the least likely, but it’s still one very much worth keeping at least one eye on. A comedy always seems to break out, so why not this one, particularly if it’s the critical favorite it’s shaping up to be?
8. Terminator: Genysis – Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator in a franchise sequel/prequel/reboot that could bring in […]

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