Thursday, October 20, 2011

So I saw Abduction today...

And it was pretty entertaining, actually laughable at some parts, but good in others. I was really holding out for Taylor Lautner's dad to be Matt Damon but that didn't happen (frowny face)

So Lautner's character is like on the run, right? And he brings this girl along that he's crushin on because he needs to protect her and he likes her and all that. And all this horrible stuff happens. Like Lautner's parents get murdered in front of him, this girl gets a gun held to her head numerous times, they're being shot at, Taylor Lautner actually kills a man at one point. How old is he supposed to be? 17? 18 max. And he's like killing people. So anyway, at the end these two are being all cute and couple-y at this empty baseball stadium where Lautner's just avoided death by tricking a guy into chasing him so that that guy could get sniped dead. SO many dead people in this movie. And he's like "Hey sorry we missed the game" like "I was running from death girl." And this girl is like "Its okay let's plan a second date, it'll be sweet." And Lautner's all, "Yeah but you have to admit this was like an adventurous first date, it was AWESOME," and then they laugh over that hilarious joke. And that's the end of the movie.

Too soon, Taylor Lautner. Too soon. Your parents just died like 48 hours ago. You killed a dude. Too soon for the "adventure date" chuckle okay. Too soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Distinctive Face: Benedict Cumberbatch

I swear I did not even make up that name
Benedict Cumberbatch is fairly unknown in the States. And by that I don't mean he isn't Tom Cruise yet, I mean he's below Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin and David Tennant as actors no one really knows unless you're from a fandom. But in that fandom, and in the UK he's a big deal.

Look in my twinkling eyes, and you'll know why

American viewers might know him from Atonement or his small role in The Other Boleyn Girl. Fans know him from his fabulous work on the stage, and his new role as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series featuring a Sherlock Holmes with a cell phone set in present-day London. It's brilliant. And well it should be seeing as it was written by Doctor Who's Steven Moffat. In the UK Steven Moffat = Joss Whedon in case you needed some comparison.

Cumberbatch brings a bite to every line, and intensity of gaze that puts the viewer on edge. He delivers with such British precision; he has a face that, with a twitch of the lip or a furrow of the brow, speaks volumes. He can be cold as ice and then red hot. In addition Cumberbatch has a dash of swashbuckling in him, and a fierceness, not to mention a sense of comedic timing that will leave your shoulders shaking and your belly aching from laughing.
Did you forget how awesome I am? Here's a picture to remind you

Just to cement in your mind how hilarious and awesome the Batch is let me reveal this to you: he does an Alan Rickman impression. And I don't mean he does that Hans Gruber impression I can do, I mean he does Alan Rickman better than Alan Rickman does Alan Rickman. Here's a radio clip of him singing Elton effing John as Alan Rickman

And in case you aren't convinced, here's an adorable Ben Cumberbatch reading a children's fairytale. He's so talented that I can't tell if he's serious or if he's trying very very hard to not laugh as he reads "The Little Red Hen" in his pretentious British accent.

So he's a top-notch actor capable of handling both ends of the Drama-to-Comedy spectrum, but let's not forget that he's adorable to boot. With that mop of curly hair, and those sparkling blue eyes, and those ridiculous cheekbones, he's quite the heartthrob.
Look at that cupid's bow
But don't tell that to the Sherlock/Watson shippers, they're rabid fans of Ben's, and they're sure he's in love with Watson.
Oh come on, two guys living and spending all their time together? It's normal for people to assume
The BBC's Sherlock is utterly and without a doubt brilliant. I liked Guy Ritchie's take on Sherlock, and I liked Robert Downey Jr. as the boxing buff detective, but then I saw Cumberbatch as Sherlock. He's phenomenal. He carries that show. He is walking the tightrope of how complicated a character Sherlock is with absolute and confident grace. Sherlock is at once lonely, and distant, and condescending, while at the same time being isolated, and cavalier, and downright dismissive or mean toward other people. Cumberbatch's Sherlock is so isolated from people, in many ways of his own accord because he thinks they're all idiots, and yet he knows the human insect so well that he can pretend for entire conversations to be as normal and friendly as they. That is the level of depth to which Cumberbatch will go.
Bloody 'ell I'm so brilliant
Cumberbatch is a genius, I tell you. A genius.

But the UK already knows that. His last name is a verb now, something can be "cumberbatched". It means something ordinary has been immediately made more awesome.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Just a few more...

True Blood and Genius Advertising

First of all, the classic white background True Blood adverts are so punny and great: "vamp stamp", "cup o Joe", there are so many more. But on top of that they actually put out these posters supposedly sponsored by the Fellowship of the Sun (an anti-vampire "church" in the show) and the American Vampire League (who are trying to pass a Vampire Rights Amendment). Then, a few days later, the signs will be defaced, graffiti-ed, vandalized by the advertisers. It's genius I tell you. These guys are amazing.


to everyone who encouraged me to keep posting! Thanks for the inspiration! I'll have more for you soon!

Distinctive Face: Angelina Jolie

Okay come on, you knew this was coming. She has one of the most distinctive faces ever. Is it the jawline? The enormous eyes, the lips? Oh it's definitely all of those. Angelina Jolie has been the face Hollywood has love to love for the last twenty years. She's was making three or four films a year even before her breakout role in 1998's Gia, and has continued to work prolifically. Although perhaps being the daughter of Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight didn't hurt her getting started either.
Also being insanely good looking helps
She's done about every genre there is, and excelled in each of them, although she tends toward action and high tension films. Even in movies in which she's not the main character, she's been known to steal the show (See Girl, Interrupted).

Angelina really became a household name when Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came out. Yeah, they picked Jolie because of her acting capabilities, you can say that if you like, but Angelina also shared other...famous assets... with the video game character. It was an entertaining action flick, and it really gave her the boost she needed. She's had her pick of awesome films ever since.

Seriously, who wouldn't give this lady anything she wants?
Her next film is Cleopatra, in which we can only hope she does a better version of a "historical" figure than she did in Alexander. It wasn't really her fault in the latter, the script was horrible. Jolie took a slow-down in her career in 2005 and 2006, and it looks like she's taking a two year break now because Cleo won't be out until 2013. But, having like several bazillion adopted children, she's probably pretty busy at home. Okay, that's an exaggeration, she has three adopted children and three kids by partner Brad Pitt. In addition Ms. Jolie-not-Pitt-until-gays-can-marry-freely is also active throughout the world for humanitarian causes, often inspired by her adopted children and their birthplaces, and disasters the rest of the world neglects. The actress refuses to shy away from danger, often visiting nations at war to bring aid and a message of hope.
YUP, I'M TOTES AWESOME but this position is uncomfortable and weird kind of

We So Excited: Drive

This looks amazing. It's part Transporter, part Human Target, part RyanGoslingIsAwesome.

In the film, Gosling plays a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver. Gosling, who came out in Remember the Titans, got our attention with Murder by Numbers, and exploded into teen fandom with The Notebook, has been doing his greatest work in the last five years. He's explored dramas, comedies, devastating tragedies, and indie films. This is his first role as an action hero since Young Hercules 1999.

And yes, I've been waiting for this. Every actor of Gosling's caliber dabbles in all the genres. Well it looks like he's picked a winner, that's for sure. The cast is subtle, but solid. These aren't huge blockbuster names that everyone knows, but they're very very good. And Gosling is surely right for this part. His quiet demeanor, and soulful eyes, will bring a lot of humanity and character to a piece that may have otherwise come across as merely violent and adrenaline-hungry.

"Oh hey you're all greasy and cute, and I'm adorable too, let's hang out"
The movie also stars Carey Mulligan, one of Hollywood's hottest up and comings. She's like Saoirse Ronan, she can do no wrong. She's brilliant.

Also did I mention this film already won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival?  Yeah. This is going to be really good.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I give you the new Footloose trailer from Paramount Pictures starring unknown Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Golden Globe Nominee Dennis Quaid. Wormald is the new Ren MacCormack, once played by Kevin Bacon in the original Footloose film. Julianne Hough is the preacher (Quaid)'s daughter, who likes dancing and bad boys. Just to put things in perspective Wormald has been a backup dancer in films for the last ten years, Hough is a country singer, and according to her IMDb profile, a "professional dancer". Right.


It's like Step Up 4: Country Style.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Green Lantern

Look everyone's been ripping into Green Lantern because either they're fanboys and it doesn't live up to their expectations, or because it wasn't as good as Dark Knight, or because it has "clunky writing" as Rolling Stones' Peter Travers puts it. Eh, I guess all those things are true. It isn't a fanboy's film, and Dark Knight created a new standard for superhero films, and it does have some dialogue that doesn't work too well, but I found it really entertaining.
He has super powers. It's hard to not be entertaining. Unless you
turn into like a green troll as your super power. Man that would suck.
Green Lantern is the story of the irresponsible, but born-to-do-this fighter pilot, Hal Jordan. Then he is selected to be part of an elite fighting force, the Green Lanterns, who protect the universe from evil with  a no-fear attitude and a magical green ring that can conjure anything the wearer’s imagination can conceive. Will Hal become a hero or walk away? Hm. I wonder.
From this poster I deduce he chooses hero.
 I've been very apprehensive from the start about Green Lantern. I saw the  trailer and noticed a few things: first, Blake Lively. Anybody seen her acting? Yeah, not great. I don't care how much you like Gossip Girl or The Town she isn't what makes either of em any good. Second, the suit looked a little fake. Third, Ryan Reynolds. 

Yeah. You know why. You know.
So as it turned out I ended up being right. The suit was really tight and a little unbelievable even if it is created by Hal's magical green lantern powers. And Lively seemed to ruin all of her lines, clunky writing or no. In addition it was predictable. Like I called the villains and their backstories, and I'm not even a fankid. Plus I called the ending and the sequel story. And I’m not even a fankid. 
Hal: So you've never been able to act? Wow
Whatshername: Nope, never. But they keep hiring me. I'm pretty I guess.


"Hey there. It's me, Ryan Reynolds, just doin' some of my best
work ever in Blade Trinity. I stole Wesley Snipes' own movie from
him. I know. I should be dead. But I'm too awesome."
Did you know he has some magical ability to make any movie better? Yeah that’s right. I hate predictability and I loathe bad acting, especially by “strong female characters” and Reynolds pretty much makes up for all of it. He’s funny, he’s entertaining, he’s good lookin’. Done.

Wow, look at that. No, not at his abs. Look at the fact that he’s making this review like ten thousand times better. I know. Amazing.

Other reviewers have been complaining that the effects are boring or not very good. My dad complained that Hal Jordan didn’t do a lot of hand to hand combat. But every action movie has some rolling on the floor fight with the good guy getting the crap beat out of him before making a comeback and defeating the villain. Personally I thought it was interesting to see how Hal Jordan used his superpower, instead of a cliché fight with the bad guy.

Blake Lively's best acting: pretending to be unconscious

Oh did I mention that already? Sorry.

Look, nothing’s going to measure up to Dark Knight. Maaaaybe the next Batman might have a shot, might, and it’s directed by Chris Nolan himself. But the Iron Mans? Eh. The Spiderman sequels? Disasters. Honestly, I’m hoping Captain America  will be awesome, but the trailer makes the dialogue sound a little hokey, and the relationship between Captain America and Whatsherface seems a little cheesy. The new trailer looks aight, and the villain is played by the incredible, the talented, the wonderful Hugo Weaving (Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta), but I’m not gonna lie it does kind of look like some kind of weird government propaganda, and Weaving looks a little plastic as the villain.
 Green Lantern was fun. I laughed, I liked Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, it was short and sweet and didn’t drag. And it wasn’t some movie about saving the rainforest. I’m all for political messages in movies, but sometimes when the superhero turns out fighting global warming itself it’s kind of weird. This had a regular villain, who’s super evil and wants to destroy everything, and a great hero who wants to save everyone. Bing bang boom, done.
"I'm a hero. Look how serious my serious face is. Also I have great hair."
If you have low expectations, then see it. If you don’t then don’t, okay? Not that hard.

Rating: PG-13
Trivia: A Central City sign can be seen in the film. Central City is the home of Green Lantern's superhuman ally and close friend, the Flash.

Whoops, how did this get in here?

Yep, that's a rescue pup. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Distinctive Face: Jude Law

Incredibly unoriginal people.
Lately I've been bored with my amazement (that definitely conflicts but I just don't care) that celebrities can manage to look exactly alike. Jessie J is cute I guess, and her song that calls us to "forget about the pricetag", which I don't think for a second she actually means, is okay, but why did she pick a look that makes her look like everyone else? I mean, Ke$ha's gross but at least she doesn't sound like everyone else.
I just barfed glitter onto my face. Cute, right?
I mean, even J Biebs has that hair...wait. No. HAD that hair. But he's got his own color, and guys obsessively copy his hoodie and skinnies style while totally denying they are wearing purple because the Biebs does it.
I am adowable
His looks are the only thing he's got goin' for him. Well, except for those killer vocals, and playing four instruments, and that charm, oh, and a legion of crazed fangirls. Other than that. It's just his looks. Moving on.

Jude Law.
Definitely a distinctive face. On top of that he has a distinctive voice, also acting ability.

Law began acting in 1989 in TV movies, and it wasn't until 1997, nearly ten years later, when he finally landed an actually-worth-mentioning role in the biopic Wilde. The role gave him a fantastic number of opportunities, nearly all of which he took, completing seven films in the next two years when he would have his true "big break" in Anthony Minghella's twisted thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. In addition to giving us this
Matt Damon in a neon green speedo

it also gave us Jude Law. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Academy, the Golden Globes, and a bunch of other people, walking away with the BAFTA that year as well. MTV, in appropriately ridiculous fashion, even nominated him for Best Musical Performance for his saxophoning in the film (and that's not even a sexual metaphor. He seriously learned to play sax).

After that Law had his pick of great projects. He did a war film, Enemy at the Gates, worked with Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition, Steven Spielberg wanted him for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Anthony Minghella got him back for the Civil War drama Cold Mountain.

Most don't know but A.I, in which Law plays a prostitute robot, was the baby project of legendary director Stanley Kubrick for over a decade, and was continued by Steven Spielberg after his death. It had to be epic. Kubrick was waiting to make the film until the main character, an almost-human robotic boy, could be played by an actual robot. Spielberg did one better and got acting prodigy Haley Joel Osment for the part, as well as recruiting John Williams for the score. (Why is he a child prodigy? Osment suggested that because he was a robot his character shouldn't blink. The director agreed, and Osment gave one of the best performances of his career. All while not blinking.) The end result was a heartwrenching futuristic Pinocchio tale about love and humanity, and Law as the plastic sexbot Gigolo Joe was perfect.
Cold Mountain garnered him rave reviews, and more nominations - this time for Best Actor - from every major guild, including the Academy, the BAFTAs, and the Golden Globes. Law hasn't been nominated since then for a major award, but he sure has been enjoying himself with comedies, period pieces, biopics, dramas, and romantic comedies. Lately he's been hugely successful acting opposite Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes. The guy is on top of the world. His IMDb page shows not one, not two, not- skip to the end- but six projects in the works (including a Sherlock sequel).

In addition to acting on the big screen, Law is also a stage veteran. In 2009 he portrayed Shakespeare's Hamlet to sold out crowds in London. His performance earned him a Tony nom for Best Actor.

Pretty much, he's great.*

Let's do a photo and wrap this up, shall we?
It's the chin. Also his receding hairline.

*Also he's kind of a man whore. He has four children by three different women, none of whom he is currently seeing.

His IMDb page is here

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Music Artists: I call you Copycats.

I love Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream", I like "California Girls", and I love "Firework". And Lady Gaga is one of the greatest pop artists of all time, no question. Is it too much to call her the Shakespeare of her time- inventing new words and catering to the mob rather than snooty royalty? But honestly, these two spend so much time trying to be unique that I'm constantly sighing over how boring they are. All the overdone make up, the glitter and paint, untoppable unstoppable "creativity" seems mostly to just make them look more like...everyone and anyone else. I liked early Gaga better than the Monster, and I liked Katy Perry better, well never; it was her voice, not her image that made her great- she should quit with the Gaga ogling and let her voice speak for itself.

Review: 127 Hours

127 Hours was the film that started the series, "I'm Most Excited About". It's actually part of what got me back to writing on this blog at all, and I finally saw it.

Despite the common misconception, the film is
not actually 127 hours long.
127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, stars James Franco as the mountaineer/climber Aron Ralston. Ralston drove into Utah's canyons one weekend to hike a trail he knew well. It just wasn't his weekend. He slipped and fell into a canyon; a boulder came tumbling down with him and pinned his hand to a rock wall. Ralston was trapped. He had limited water, virtually no food, and only rope, carabiners, and a pocket knife as tools. He knew he was going to die. After five days he was waterless, severely dehydrated, and his hand was decomposing still attached to him. His only choice is to slice through skin, snip nerves, sever arteries, and saw through his muscle to amputate his own arm.

This movie was amazing. Remember when I Am Legend came out, and everyone was like, "Who wants to watch a movie of just Will Smith wandering around?" This concept is kind of like that. 70 of the film's 90 minutes are of one guy trapped in the bottom of a canyon. He literally cannot move from that spot. So what's so interesting about it? 

This guy.
James Franco owned this movie. First off, can we talk about how awesome James Franco is for like two seconds? This guy in running at a breakneck pace through life. He's an extremely successful actor who has worked on comedies, as well as several Oscar award-winning films, not to mention - oddly- General Hospital. He has a Bachelor's Degree, a Master's Degree, and has been accepted toYale University to earn his PhD in literature and creative writing. He's attended schools for a degree or just for the hell of it, including UCLA, Columbia University, NYU, and now Yale. He acts, directs, produces, and writes. He's had a book published, hosted the Oscars, been named Sexiest Man Alive, hosted Saturday Night Live twice, had his art displayed in LA art galleries, produces funny home videos for the comedy website Funny or Die, and frequently paints. He's obviously brilliant. 
Also he looks like this
Franco took this role, and became putty. He molded himself to not fit Ralston, but to become him. When the dust settles after his fall and he realizes he is trapped, that moment of realization? The horror in his face is unbelievably awful. You feel his desperation, and his pain, and when he films his last goodbyes to his family you aren't seeing a close-up on James Franco; you're looking into the eyes of a dying man.

So. James Franco. Also 127 Hours is brought to you courtesy of director Danny Boyle, who also directed the 2008 international megahit Slumdog Millionaire. These guys slaved away for hours on a set the size of Harry Potter's closet-room at the Dursley's. The set was so claustrophobic that Franco resorted to the not-weird-at-all behavior of hiding his textbooks near him so he could remind himself during breaks that he wasn't actually going to die on the set. As I've explained to you before, Aron Ralston did actually film himself hallucinating, recalling memories, and saying his last goodbyes. The footage is so disturbing and so personal that it has never been released to the public. Only Franco and the director were allowed to review the footage to accurately portray Ralston and his state of mind.
Which was pretty much "[every cuss word evar] + I AM GOING TO DIE"
Boyle does a fantastic job of breaking from Franco to show us his hallucinations, to relive his memories, to truly let the audience have this experience with him. As he is an audience to his own recollections, so are the viewers. I noticed a deliberate use of sensual elements to convey a sense of time and place to the audience. The use of color, the super-saturation or the absence of sunny color is a superb storyteller, as are the sound effects- slurping water, echoes, and the like.

The idea is to trap you in that canyon with Ralston. You are supposed to feel this experience with him. Because the story isn't about him being trapped, it's about his escaping. The guy epic-ly cuts off his own damn arm with a dull pocket knife, after breaking the both bones of his trapped arm because he knew he couldn't chip through them with his blade. He is still stuck in the bottom of a canyon with a bleeding stump of an arm, but manages to get out of the canyon, rappels down a cliff, and starts hiking out of the desert. Dehydrated, hemorrhaging, and starving.  
The tourniquet and knife Ralston used to amputate his arm
In the video below the real Ralston describes his experience of being trapped....

This film is something you should see if you can stomach a little gore. Honestly, I was expecting a nasty, splurting (I just made up that word) gorefest of an amputation, and that's not at all what it is. This is a film about hope, about humanity, about adversity, about triumph. You shouldn't miss it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Length: 94 min
Rated: Rated R for language and some disturbing violent content/bloody images.
See the IMDb page here



Find out which films to absolutely skip and which you can't miss. THese are my opinions on current films and timeless classics