January 2012

Warner Brothers Putting The Pain Back Into New Release Rental

They've decided to postpone the release of their new releases for rental for 56 days after the initial retail release...and that's not all.

The media giant Warner Brothers is taking a few steps to inconvenience customers that may want to stream or rent their newly released movies. Warner Brothers is looking to its new release dvd sales revenue as it makes this decision, attempting to increase the inconvenience and hassle of getting their newly released movies and to make the purchase of their new dvd’s more attractive. The company must be taking a significant hit in new release dvd sales if they’re willing to make such a frustratingly petty move.

First, Warner Brother has imposed a 56-day wait on rental companies like Blockbuster and Netflix because they allow those companies to start renting out their films. This way new release dvds his retail shelves almost a full two months before customers can rent them. The rental companies do have the option of purchasing the new release dvds at full retail price, but it’s likely to increase their overhead and be passed on to the customers in the form of significantly higher rental fees.

Albert Nobbs

An achievement for Glenn Close.

I went to see the Glenn Close film, Albert Nobbs, last night.  The film is unusual in its subject matter: it follows an emotionally-stifled woman who cross-dresses as a man in 19th-century Dublin. The movie has been getting quite a bit of criticism, but I was impressed with its restraint and its insistent ambiguity, both factors which I think frustrated many viewers and reviewers, as well as limited the film’s appeal to audiences.

'The Artist': A Feel-Good, Phenomenal Film

Don't let the whole "silent movie" bit stop you from seeing this one

Ever had one of those moments, sitting in a theater watching a movie, where you just wanted to get up and dance you were so happy? That was my reaction during -- and after -- seeing the masterpiece that is The Artist!

After months of reading how awesome The Artist is, I finally got to see it over the weekend. Yes, my tiny town got it (that in itself is "awesome"). Even with all of the hype, all of the Oscar nominations and all of the Globe and SAG wins, I was still a bit skeptical. It's a silent movie. It's in black and white. Oh, and it's French! But trust me when I tell you it's wonderful and not at all what you'd expect.

Dark Knight Rises Giving Me Goosebumps

July 20th, 2012, will be the date of one of the biggest movie releases of all time.  The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s contribution to the franchise, is probably one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and has been the subject of many rumors, speculations and information leaks.  The new movie takes place eight years after the last film leaves off and Batman, who has been hiding from the law all this time, must reemerge to battle the newest villain, Bane. 

Movie Review: Gone Fishin'

"This summer's gonna be a ten"

“Gone Fishin’” is a 1997 cinematic depiction of Murphy’s Law, where anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. “Gone Fishin’” stars Joe Pesci and Danny Glover as best friends Joe and Gus. Ever since they were young boys, Joe and Gus have gone on fishing trips together. And, on every one of their fishing trips, something always goes wrong. Joe and Gus have started fires, gotten arrested and had accidents, among other calamities.

Joe and Gus are getting ready to embark on another fishing trip. They have won a free fishing trip to the Florida Everglades in a contest. Their wives are worried, since they both know that things always seem to go wrong on Joe and Gus’s fishing trips.

300

There are few movies that can get a man's heart pumping than the action packed adventure 300. Set in Greece, it follows the exploits of King Leonidas and 300 fellow Spartans as they took on more than 100,000 Persians led by King Xerxes.

You know going into the movie that there was no chance of them surviving. It's part of history, it's not like they can suddenly change it all and go “and he killed 100,000 Persians and had lots of little babies.”

There are several things that sets 300 apart from other movies of this type. It was made with a completely computer generated background like Sin City. This made for a darker movie and while it looked good, it still didn't quite look real enough.

The Ides of March

A political film with classic literary chops.

The Ides of March is a pretty literary title, and as a result I was expecting a fairly literary movie. I was not disappointed on that fact. George Clooney, who directed, starred, and co-wrote the film based on Beua Willimon’s play Farragut North, is an ageless tale of the corruptive powers of high-profile position. Following a fictitious liberal governor (Mike Morris played by Clooney) with purposefully admirable qualities of being both honorable and idealistic, the movie wraps us up in his campaign and the good that will be done should he receive the Democratic nomination. It’s timely in its political bent, but the themes and conflicts that emerge in the film are closer to the Shakespearian, even Classical literature from which the title originates.

Ryan Gosling has always played the young swaggering upstart with a tangible believability, and this movie is no different. As a young but unflappable campaign manager (Stephen Meyers), he nonetheless flirts with at a deal with the devil, meeting with a rival campaign manager to discuss his honor. Though he seemingly does the right thing (reveals the breach of trust to his own director), it nonetheless plays him in a tailspin of events that has all the literary of substance of a good tragedy. Caught in the middle is the young, beautiful intern (I know, it sounds cliché) who is the truest victim in this story. Played by Evan Rachel Wood, Molly Stearns gets caught up in the moral failings of both the governor and Meyers, becoming an unwitting pawn in both men’s ambitions.

True Grit

And Honest Storytelling

This is going to really upset some people, but I'll say it anyway- I don't like John Wayne. I never have. I see the John Wayne approach to the Western movie as being fundamentally dishonest, myth-as-propaganda instead of myth-as-truthtelling. The whole point of a John Wayne Western movie, it seems to me, is to present a skewed and false version of the Old West in support of a skewed and false version of what modern America should be.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

What a bummer. And not in a good way.

I finally got to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last night. I enjoyed Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 book of the same name, and I had high hopes for the film adaptation with Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Thomas Horn in the lead roles. I was quite disappointed. It wasn’t that the movie was unwatchable; rather that it was so obviously calibrated for awards season that you could almost see the screenwriter and director’s hands moving the characters around, all the while hoping for that elusive golden trophy. It never reached sentimental relevance; it only mimicked it.

Historical costuming in movies

Detail and specialty fabrics are key.

I went to see an exhibit on costuming in historical movies the other day. The costumes were certainly more than I had expected. In this era of green screens and animation and the like, it seems that movies’ elements are constructed entirely onscreen, and contain few traces of real-world intricacy. Not so for the costuming on display. Rich fabric, spot-on undergarments and minute detail work made the costumes as beautiful—and authentic-looking—on-display as they were on-screen. The exhibit, Cut! Costume and Cinema, will be touring the country, exhibiting costumes worn by the likes of Drew Barrymore, Keira Knightley and Daniel Craig.

Oscar Nominations 2012: Did Your Favorites Movies Get the Nod?

Nominees include 'Hugo,' 'The Artist,' 'The Help' and 'The Descendants'

The nominees for the 84th annual Academy Awards were announced early this morning, and Hugo leads the way with a whopping 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese. The Artist was a close second with 10 nominations -- also including Best Picture and Director for French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius.

Did your favorite films of 2011 make the cut?

Resident Evil

When I was in college, the game that I played all the time were in the Resident Evil franchise. It created and revolutionized the genre of survival horror. In 2002, they came out with a movie version that turned zombie horror into an action genre.

It followed the exploits of the amnesiac Alice as she and a group of military personnel try to find out what happened to a secret underground Umbrella Corporation laboratory. Scientists were developing a virus that could heal and end disease, but also ended up reanimating dead flesh. When the virus escaped into the environment, the computer system called “The Red Queen” sealed off the compound killing everyone inside.

The group enters the facility and battles zombies, zombie dogs and other monsters made famous by the video games. This was the first of five movies based on the Resident Evil games. The only character that reoccurs through each one is Alice, which is funny considering she's is not in any of the video games.

Red Tails

"Courage knows no color"

I’m looking forward to seeing “Red Tails”. From what I’ve seen in the previews, it looks like a great movie. However, it looks like I’m going to have to wait awhile. It’s not showing at our local four-screen theater. The only new movie showing there this week is “Underworld: Awakening”, which I have no desire to see.

“Red Tails” is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American men who became one of the greatest fighter pilot units in World War II. These men, part of the Tuskegee pilot training program, have spent the first part of the war eliminating ground-based targets. It is widely believed, at the time, that men of color lack the intelligence needed to pursue moving targets. Nevertheless, the Tuskegee Airmen take on every assignment offered to them, no matter how small or unimportant it may seem.

Movie Review: Space Cowboys

This fun movie stars Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner

“Space Cowboys” is a fun movie. It stars Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner. While I enjoy “Space Cowboys”, watching it makes me feel old. I remember watching all four of its stars back in their heydays when they, and I, were much younger.

Eastwood is electrical engineer Frank Corvin, Jones is pilot Hawk Hawkins, Sutherland is designer Jerry O’Neill and Garner is navigator Tank Sutherland. In 1958, the four men were test pilots who were destined to be the first men sent into space. However, Eugene Davis, played by William Devane, was determined to keep the men out of the fledging space organization, NASA, and labeled them as non-team players.

The Changing Quality of Horror Films

There was a time, not long ago, when horror films were meant to frighten people.  The monsters crept around, looking for their victims, and jumping out at the right time to give you a fright.  Nowadays, it seems as if the horror genre has taken to graphic violence as its primary element.  Practically gone are the days of such classics as Friday the 13th, Aliens or Jaws.  Now we are left with Saw and Hostel and other such splatter-fests.

Movie Review: Deadly Honeymoon

"Deadly Honeymoon is not as good as some of the other Lifetime Movies that you may have stumbled upon"

Deadly Honeymoon is one of those Lifetime movies that keep you constantly on an edge. You will expect one thing to happen or sure that one person did something and it switches up on you in the spur of a moment. This movie will have you wondering if this really took place or if it is something that another person was thinking. However, it is something that I really enjoyed watching.

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