Sunday, September 30, 2007

Trailer Watch: Beowulf

The trailers have been out for awhile now…but I was never interested enough to actually take a look. Movies about medieval warriors or epic battles or the sort, never have interested me much. And Beowulf I understand from some brief reading is based on an a poem about a Nordic warrior Beowulf…written some 1000+ years…and if not mistaken…its more legends and myth than fact.

So finally today…after yet again reading how another one of its trailers has been released….this time an international one…I checked it out. Guess what its CGI!!!! I didn’t know it was animated…all this time I actually thought it was a live action flick (Wouldn’t it have looked cooler)…especially because of the fuss with its red band trailer...

So how did the trailer look? Click away at the link below and see for yourself. At first glance…I guess one could be fooled. You might have thought a real actor was emerging from the waters. But as Beowulf comes fully out of the waters and with more light and as the cameras zoom in a tad closer…we’re able to see the skin, it is a little bit dead and rubbery looking…the face just doesn’t seem to have enough lines and wrinkles and then you realize that none of it is real its all just CGI. Then we’re given a few views of the landscape and some action sequence…right about now…I’m getting the feeling like I’m looking at a video game trailer rather than an actual movie trailer…which I’m sure that’s not what they’re exactly going for right? But hey maybe they’ll make lots of money off the video game which they should be releasing around the same time.

Then finally near the end…we get to see some of the main characters. And guess what else they did…??They actually modelled the characters after the actors who are voicing the characters…that means Grendel’s mother is Angelina Jolie!!! In CGI form of course. Yup. Now I never get this…Why do you model characters exactly like the actors? Why not make a live action movie and use the actors…and have them act like they’re suppose to??? Ok so one of the reasons (I’ve read or heard somewhere) is that it would have been less costly making it CGI because the story has a lot of fantasy, mythical aspect that could be very expensive in live action form…ok…so I get that…then…another question is… why not just slash the costs by hiring other voice talents or actors (for the motion captures)…not these expensive big name actors? Use the money instead to better the CGI...because right now, when you actually have a close up view of the faces…the eyes are pretty lifeless looking.

And maybe you’ve also heard of the little thing about the movie releasing an unrated and red band trailers…the marketing people are really working to get people talking ya?…A supposedly PG-13 movie releasing a red band trailer? What’s the deal with that eh? Or maybe they’re releasing several cuts of the film? Creating some hype? The unrated ones...I’d say they weren’t that bad…they weren’t entirely graphic…given it is CGI after all…There’s a character’s leg being thorn off…the body flung in the air and later impaled by a spear…some blood splatters and of course there a quick scene of Grendel’s(Angelina Jolie) mother in the nude, I have no idea what sort of creature she’s suppose to be…but here…she looks pretty alien looking, with that long braided hair (or was that a tail…and is that heels she’s wearing??)…and again, whats obvious here is that the eyes are dead. Come to think of it even the hair on characters such Robin Wright Penn’s weren’t light enough and didn’t move like…you know real hair…they all clump together.

Hmm I dunno…I still can’t get over the fact that the movie looks too much like a video game rather than an actual movie...especially since the CGI isn’t all that fantastic looking…but hey maybe the story is tight…and with some cool “action sequences” …this could be really good…and with such star power…it’s a pity if it wasn’t.


Comingsoon.net Beowulf trailer page --- Lots of links to the trailers


Opens 22 November 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

About A Boy (2002)


The Story: Will Freeman is a privileged 30 something Londoner living a life free of responsibilities and always in search of women. His latest interest? Single mothers. And so he joins a single parent meeting in an effort to meet these single mothers, and comes to meet one that he feels interested in. What he doesn't expect was to meet Marcus, a 12 year old boy, through one of his dates. With some crazy idea about how Will might be the guy who would will be able to fill the void in his mother's life, Marcus starts appearing on Will's doorstep. Soon an unlikely friendship blossoms.

About a Boy...I had actually read the novel before I had a chance to view the film...and I loved it. It was one of the few novels that I've read that dealt with some serious issues like suicide and yet was able to be very humourous. And About a Boy the movie? I'd say its one of the best adaptation out there. It manages to capture all the drama and the humour of the novel. Of course like all adaptations there were a few changes...for one...Will's last name had been changed from Lightman to Freeman...which I totally don't get...There's also the different ending...its been a long time since reading the novel...I've actually forgotten how the actual ending was ( something with Nirvana and Ellie had a bigger role),but the movie ending actually works. With Will singing on stage with Marcus, trying to save him from humiliation...finally being selfless...pretty funny, and the whole family and friends getting together in the last scene...sweet...and since Marcus believes that two wasn't enough...he finally got his wish...


Performances...Hugh Grant I thought was pretty much perfect as Will the charming skirt chaser bachelor living off royalties. He was very convincing pulling off Will's charm, selfishness, his reluctance of Marcus initial attachment, the sarcasm, and ultimately the comedy that the role requires. I'd say this was probably his best performance...Nicholas Hoult too was equally good as Marcus who is at once wise and very aware of the implications of his mother's suicide attempts...and yet oblivious to the fact he's made himself an outcast at school and the bullying he suffers (or its just that he chooses not to dwell on it).

So great story, interesting characters, wonderful acting...some very funny witty lines and scenes...I really find very little fault in this little flick. I think its wonderful. It is a genuinely funny comedy and a heartwarming drama. This is definitely one of my favourites.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gossip Girl...The new OC


The new CW show Gossip Girl (based on a series of novels of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar) is set to become the new OC, following the lives of some very privileged teens, but instead of Newport Orange County...the setting is now Manhattans Upper East Side. With its pretty looking cast, expensive clothes...throw in some sex, lies...expensive liquor and haha...rock and roll ;)...I'm sure this will be many viewer's guilty pleasure just as the OC had been.


The story: Well it follows a couple of privileged prep school teens, mainly Blair and Serena and their group of friends. With Serena's sudden departure to boarding school about a year ago, Blair is now the most popular girl in school plus she's also the girlfriend of the hottest boy in school, Nate...her perfect plans are set. But Serena suddenly comes back and enrolls back in school just as sudden as she had left and Blair's plans start to fall apart as Nate starts to eye Serena. There's also that lingering question of what had happened between Serena and Nate just before she left. And now that she's back...we can be sure that things will unravel and drama will ensue.

Now the way the whole story is told to us is through a blog...yes a blog...and the author...an anonymous that goes by the name Gossip Girl...narrated by Kirsten Bell(Veronica Mars) in a very gossip queen tone. And hey you can even check out the blog here. Ingenious isn't it...in a day where almost everyone is into blogging...I'm sure this novelty will appeal to many and will contribute to some its success...but was it successful in reeling in viewers?...check out the ratings for its pilot episode here. I've actually seen a few previews posted online and I think the pilot looks good...sure there's some similarities with the OC...some outcasts there, a father who doesn't fit into the rich privileged world, the rich popular girl going out with the outcast...still I am interested and want to see the face off between Serena and Blair....oohh...Drama...Actually I think the series is going to be rather fun, nothing serious with its over the top characters,plenty of eye candy, fabulously expensive fashion...and just plain juicy gossip...I do hope it reaches here soon.

For now check out the links below to satisfy your Gossip Girl fix.

Gossip Girl CW website
Gossip Girl.Tv
Gossip Girl Central
Gossip Girl Report
Gossip Girl Online
Gossip Girl Online.Net
Gossip Girl Insider

Monday, September 24, 2007

Trailer Watch: Juno


In Juno, Ellen Page stars as the title character a rather smart teen who faces an unplanned pregnancy by her friend Bleeker (Michael Cera). The movie follows her through her pregnancy. Her finding the perfect parents for her unborn child, a well to do suburban couple played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner, who's looking to adopt. And her growing up and trying to find out where she belongs.


Ok...you've got to check out the trailer...its really good...the movie seems real funny. The dialogue too...its smart, sharp, witty and very funny. The stuff that comes out of Juno's mouth...full of sarcasm and wit. I really am looking forward to this being released here. Hopefully it does...ya :) . And guess what...this is by the same director that gave us Thank You for Smoking...though its by a different screenwriter and all...but I can totally see that this is going to be a great dark comedy...with all the smart witty lines...just like TYfS. Check out the trailer below and some of its clips here.



Opens December 14, 2007 (US)

Trauma





**Contains Spoilers**

Look at the cover...looks like a gritty psychological thriller eh? Thats what I thought...a bruised face with some stitchings right above the eyebrow...maybe something like Fight Club...some suppressed emotions/memories...It could be good? Wrong.

The story: After a car crash, Ben awakes from a coma and is told that his wife has died in the accident. He becomes guilt ridden (cause he was the one who was driving and a fight they had seconds before) and obsesses over his wife...replaying the last scenes over and over again...we see a lot of flashbacks...He sees a psychiatrist to cope with the depression and tries to rebuild his life. He moves into a new apartment and meets his new neighbour, Charlotte who he later becomes attracted to. Also, he believes that he might have suffered memory loss because of the crash, and starts suspecting and fears that he had a hand in the murder of Lauren Paris (a celebrity,whom his wife used to work with). The lines of what is real and what's not becomes blurry to Ben.

I was soo wrong about this movie...it was boring...it was awful...I couldn't wait for it to end. To think it was only 90minutes long...it sure felt a whole lot longer. There was a lot going on for one...wife being dead, the flashbacks.Living in an apartment that was an ex hospital...(why would anyone recovering the loss of someone they loved live in a hospital...and place still pretty much look liked a hospital down to the morgue in the basement...how creepy is that). The painting of Ben's wife that was suddenly blacked out. The Lauren Paris murder. The creepy ant house...for art was it? The talks with psychiatrist who we never get to see?...And for that, I guessed he must be a little (or a lot) out of it...not because he was talking to the psychiatrist...but because we didn't see this psychiatrist...thats pretty much a signal he was talking to himself...So pretty much what he's seeing...wasn't real...now this kinda seems like its trying to be Jacobs Ladder though not as good...Reality and imaginary fused together. Ok sure I never really paid much attention when I was watching it, on account it being so slow and boring...the events are so patchy...the characters dull, I thought the story didn't really come together well...sure he's crazy...some of it is all in his head...but what's with the ant farm? the dead celebrity? What's the connection? Why did he kill Charlotte?Which was creepy too. I was confused. Some of it is answered on this IMDB thread if you're interested...but the rest...still confused..didn't like it one bit...felt I wasted 90minutes.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hollywood’s Remake of Korean Films

Hollywood has been remaking films since forever…taking a successful film and remaking it…sometimes with a whole different take, a new interpretation of the original plot…or just the same copy of the original… frame by frame…yes…go figure. So the trend now is to look at Asia…for more remake ideas…mostly…it has been for the horror genre…taking a successful film…westernize it…and making it more appealing to the western market. First there were the Japanese remakes…The Ring, The Grudge, Dark Water, Shall We Dance and One Missed Call…Now it looks like Korean films are the next big thing in the world of remakes. Last year there was The Lake House…now…we can look forward to My Sassy Girl, Addicted/Possession and Tale of Two Sisters.


My Sassy Girl


A romantic comedy of sort…about how a regular guy meets a loud reckless girl or something like that…I wouldn’t really know…I have yet to watch this Korean flick…but it was suppose to be a huge hit in Korea…and even in Singapore…I think it did pretty well at the local box office…lets hope they’re able to keep the comedy in the remake. So when is it going to be released…since on IMDB…the status…it says its completed…then…I guess it should be released later this year…maybe be around the Christmas holiday period? Who does it stars? Jesse Bradford (Bring It On, Swimfan) and Elisha Cuthbert (24, House of Wax, Captivity) plays the lead characters. Trailers…Posters? Nope none released so far…we have no idea how this movie is going to look like right now.


Addicted/Possession



I’ve no idea what the actual title is going to be...should be either of this. It’s supposed to be a remake Jungdok…which I’ve never heard of before I actually saw a trailer of the remake…and the trailer looks interesting enough for me…Jessica and Ryan are a young happily married couple…until Ryan’s brother starts living with them…then…he and Ryan both gets in a freak car accident…leaving both in a coma…And when the brother wakes up…he starts saying he’s Ryan…Creepy right…soon even Jessica starts to believe it…Hmm I’m getting a hint of Birth here…definitely curious to see what the actual deal is. So when is it going to be released? According to IMDB…it’s 29 February 2008. Who does it stars? Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions, The Grudge) as Jessica and Lee Pace as the brother-in-law. Sarah Michelle Gellar …hmm…she does presently seem like the go to girl to star in horror/thriller flicks eh? In the late 90’s…she was in Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer then the 2000’s there was both of the Grudge, the Return and now Addicted…what’s her next project gonna be? It seems she will be playing the title role of Alice …you know the Alice who went to Wonderland…this one is supposed to be a wicked dark take of the original so it looks like another horror/thriller for her again. Anyway back to Addicted…yes the trailer is out. Check it out.




A Tale of Two Sisters



Pretty much the only one out of the 3 where I have actually watched the original Korean movie. Have to say this one differs from a lot of the other Asian horror flicks out there…Its not a horror/ghost story… with the typical pale girl with long dark hair…or a terrifying curse…no…this one is more psychological horror. The original story: Two sisters return home after a stint at a mental hospital where they now have to deal with their creepy stepmother and the tragedy that happened before they left. Also creepy stuff starts to occur within the house. Ok…Its been 3 years since I watched it, I have forgotten parts of it but I would say much of the scary factor is contributed by the rather large house…it is dark, gloomy…undeniably eerie…as if carrying the weight of a tragedy that had happened…plus the house also seemed rather isolated which further adds to the sinister atmosphere. The house plays and important role in the story…so I’m curious how the mansion is going to look…I imagined it to be large with plenty of rooms to get lost in…with heavy dark wood paneling and rich blue or red wallpapers…check out ShockTillYouDrop and IESB.net for their account of the remake set visit…its pretty interesting. Plus, I’m also curious at how much of the story they’re actually changing…and whether it would all work well ( According to IESB.net..instead of two, only one sister was sent to the mental hospital). So now when is it going to be released? 2008. Who does it star? Emily Browning (Ghost Ship, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) will play the younger sister and Ariel Kibbell (The Grudge 2, John Tucker Must Die) the older sister. The father will be played by David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) and the stepmother played by Elizabeth Banks (Spider-Man). Trailers or Posters? None..

Friday, September 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD out on 11th December


That's for the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Region 1 DVD of course and that's pretty old news...what we don't know is when the Region 3 is going to be released...we might get it later or earlier (as in the case of 300 almost a month earlier). The cover art is pretty much the same for the Bluray and HD DVD.



What I just found, when my cousin showed me the picture above a few days ago, was that they're also going to release the Harry Potter Limited Edition Gift Set on the same day. Now...I wonder if we're getting it here in Singapore?...I doubt so. Anyway...don't you think it looks cool. I just love the leather like trunk box...and the DVDs set in "leather bound books"...the packaging is just awesome...Am I tempted to buy it...of course...I love a good packaging...plus this includes a lot of cool extra stuff.

So what's exactly inside the limited edition set? According to DVD Times

-Harry Potters Years 1-5
-Harry Potter DVD game Hogwarts Challenge
-bonus disc containing over 2 hours of enhanced content
-Harry Potter's Bookmark Collection
-collectible trading cards

And the price? Its US$119.97...actually the price is not too bad for such a gift set. So how much does it cost to buy from amazon.com? *does a quick calculation* Hmm... $214 that's Singapore dollars of course plus shipping and everything. Hmm...I don't have money to burn right now...Sooo... I shall restrain myself...I shall not be tempted to buy it...even though it looks great and everything...I shall wait till all seven are out...seeing how awesome this set is...the last gift set is going to be way cooler with tons of extra stuff...yes...so I shall wait...haha. Ok so head on over to DVD Times...to see a bigger image of the gift set and a more detailed info on the extras.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Babel (2006)

Babel is four stories weaved together spanning over four different cultures and countries and is basically about misunderstandings, miscommunication and culture clashes. It begins in Morocco where two Moroccan boys are practicing using their new rifle, that was to be used to scare jackals from their goats…While target practicing they accidentally hit a bus and ultimately an American tourist, Susan, (Cate Blanchett) on it. What follows is her husband’s, Richard, (Brad Pitt ) desperate attempts to get her help in a rather remote part of Morocco with no hospitals nearby. And when American officials come to know of this incident…they read it as an act of terrorism further hindering efforts to get medical help. This also sets off a man hunt in Morocco for the shooters which gives us the next story which is of the Moroccans boys with the rifle. With Richard and Susan stranded in Morocco, the movie moves to the United States and Mexico, where having no place to leave the children…their nanny brings the kids along to her son’s wedding in Mexico…that gives us the 3rd story…the Nanny and the kids ordeal at the border. And finally the last story is of a deaf girl in Japan, whose father is the registered owner of the rifle…this last one…was the one that I felt most disjointed, distant from the rest of the stories…Unlike the other three stories, its connection is not at all immediate…there is a connection no doubt…but rather loose…one of the flaws of this flick.

The movie…it was rather long…slow moving with those intense silent moments or with little dialogue…yes you know that type of stuff…Does the movie makes or have any point…I guess…it does…like its tagline “If you want to be understood…listen”…to a certain extent the movie does illustrate this…especially with the story in Japan…with the father and daughter…though ironically…the father just stood there hugging her…she herself didn’t really sign much to him…hah…again the intense “meaningful” silent moments come to play….What the film also illustrates…is that…do stupid things…and it will probably lead to huge extremely unfavourable consequences…examples of silly things…guns are not toys…don’t play target practicing with a bus…do not take your boss’s children out of the country…especially if you are an illegal immigrant…yes what lessons…

Oh and what issit with Japan and simultaneously Tokyo as country/city of choice as settings for alienation…cause as I watched this movie…it kinda reminded me of Lost in Translation…hmm maybe because the makers of the two flicks share the same view that people tend to feel the loneliest in a place crowded with people you know or don’t…and with Tokyo being rather packed and crowded…yes I get their drift… Performances…other then those nominated…I thought Brad Pitt did particularly well…finally…he seems to act and look his age with the scruffy beard...looking worn out and tired…quite unglamorous …playing a pretty humble role…a husband a father…a good convincing performance.

Overall… it was ok…the movie does make sense…and does come together in the end. Quite liked it…though not that I’ll watch it again( thoughtful silent moments…are not my type of thing)..if only it moved a tad faster… plus more dialogues and with a closer knitted story…6/10

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Atonement....premiere...pictures...clips




With Atonement opening in the UK 7th Sept...they've actually had the UK premiere...the Venice Film festival screening...thus a lot of pictures of the cast floating around. Yes :) You should check out

WireImage---Atonement UK Premiere
IMDB---Venice Film Festival Photocall
Keira Seduction---Venice Film Festival Photocall
Keira Seduction---Atonement UK Premiere
Keira Seduction---Venice Film Festival Premiere

Hmm...You kinda wonder from all the pictures...where is Ramola Garai...??? She plays Briony too...no doubt one of the main cast...how come she's missing from the pictures?

Ok...soo other than the pictures...there's also tons of film clips...and features...check out

Atonement Official site---Video Clips
ComingSoon.net---Atonement Clips
Venice Film Festival Premiere Clip

The ones I really like was the "Briony's play rehearsal"...we actually get to see the twins, Lola and of course Briony preparing for the play...cute...then there's the "Investigation" clip...one of the crucial scenes...where Briony makes the accusation...so far from the clips...I say the movie looks good...if the ratings on IMDB are anything to go by...it actually has a 9.2/10...than this movie should be great...I hope its great...seeing the photos and clips...I soo want to watch it... :) can't wait. Oh...and some time ago...the Times Online...had a little feature about adapting Atonement...click here...to read...its pretty interesting.

Opens on 13 December 2007 ( Singapore)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Trailer Watch: 1408/ One Missed Call/ The Mist

1408



After the death of his daughter, Mike Enslin becomes obsessed with the after life and seeks the existence of ghosts and the supernatural. And so he goes to stay at allegedly haunted hotel rooms to find ghosts. When he doesn't find any...he becomes skeptical but soon comes to know of the notorious room 1408 of the Dolphin hotel that would challenge his belief. A movie based on a short story by Stephen King...I actually thought it looked kinda similar to the Shining also based on a story written by Stephen King. Haunted hotel room...haunted hotel. A room that seems to play with your mind, scaring you to death and driving you insane...a hotel that drove Jack Torrance murderous crazy. Overall...I think it looks pretty good...it does have the typical haunted room/house flick kinda look...the typical sudden scares...but maybe the story comes together well...it certainly has a good rating on imdb...a 7.5...certainly am interested in watching this.

Opens 30th August 2007


One Missed Call



Yes another Asian horror remake. This one a remake of Japanese horror film Chakushin Ari. Its basically about a bunch of people receiving terrifying messages on their phones a recording of their last moment...usually consisting of the victim screaming...yes terrifying....I've never watched the original...I guess after a while, they all seem to look the same. A pale girl with long black hair crawling...her fingers stretching to grab you...the Ring, the Grudge...thus I was never really interested in watching Chakushin Ari. The remake kinda reminds me of Final Destination...except this one...death leaves you a message about your own death...especially that scene with the guy in the middle of the road with some construction things falling on to him...I thought that was very Final Destination. But of course...the creepy pale pasty ghosts lurking in the corners and the pale wrinkly outstretched hands (that surfaces from rivers) that grabs you...thats all pretty much typical Asian horror stuff. I've heard that the remake has changed a lot of stuff...I did take a look at clip of the original...it does seem different...it has the usual pale long haired girl which seems to be missing from this remake by the look of this trailer...and the ring tone too was changed...for me the ring tone wasn't really creepy...just annoying. Anyway...the trailer doesn't really look appealing to me...I'd probably give it a miss.

Opens January/February? 2008


The Mist



Another Stephen King short story made into a film. This time after a storm hits a small town...a mysterious mist begins to engulf it. A group of inhabitants seek shelter at the local grocery store and are terribly fearful of what might lurk in the thick mist. Ok so what immediately comes to mind here is the Fog. Next it kinda reminds me of the Storm of the Century...where the people are pretty mush trapped...Of course I'm sure the story line here differs a lot from those two that were mention...this flick seems to involve some weird alien bug like creatures attacking the local inhabitants. I'm not really into creature features...and the creatures here doesn't really look impressive. But maybe this one is more looking at peoples' behavior and the choices people make under pressure...especially with the tag line "belief divides them" the tension that's revealed in the trailer with the presence of an overly religious woman preaching and preaching, causing a lot of disorder after the already inherent fear of the mysterious mist certainly makes things look interesting...so I might just take a look at this flick when it becomes available... for rent that is.

Opening November 2007-February 2008?

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