March 2012

Disney Releases First 10 Minutes of 'John Carter' Online

Why didn't they do this sooner?!

Not long ago, I pretty much slammed John Carter. This was after watching a couple of trailers that, quite frankly, left me scratching my head and wondering what all the fuss was about. Now, thankfully, Disney has helped me out, by releasing the first 10 minutes of the movie online.

All I can say is, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh." Seriously, I wish I'd seen this sooner, because now I have a much better idea of what's going on. I think.

"Far from Heaven" (2002)

One of Julianne Moore's best roles.

Julianne Moore is a fabulous actress. We’ve seen her play numerous free spirits and she will soon step into Sarah Palin’s shoes, but perhaps some of her greatest performances have been as repressed housewives. She was memorable in The Hours (2002) playing a housewife with a hidden affection for her female neighbor, but one of her most nuanced and poignant performances was as housewife Cathy Whitaker in Far from Heaven (2002).

Hugo

A great movie for all ages.

I didn’t plan on seeing Martin Scorcese’s Hugo until it pulled in five Academy Awards a few weeks ago. It’s billed as a children’s film and appears to be some sort of sci-fi movie ala Artificial Intelligence about an automaton who comes to life.

I don’t know if the marketing was off or if I should blame my own negligence. Hugo was wonderful.

American Pie

I was a huge fan od Buffy the Vampire Slayer and when I say that Willow Rosenberg was in a movie I had to see it. The story is about a group of high school students that want to have sex. Big surprise, I know. One of them has a steady girlfriend and is sexually active, one has had sex before and Jason Biggs really wants to get laid.

It’s a coming of age story where their conceptions of sex and relationships change as the movie progresses. The sexually active character loses his girlfriend, the gigolo wants a relationship and the virgin finally has sex.

The movie was the first of several with each one focusing on Jason Biggs’s character growing up. In the first one, he’s gets a girlfriend and has sex. In the second, he realizes that there is more to life than just sex and wants stable long term relationship. In the third, he is taking that plunge and committing to her for life.

There were also a few side movies that had the American Pie name, but didn’t really have anything to do with the original movies. A final movie is being made featuring the original cast and should act as a closer for the entire series.

Shrek

Ogres are like onions

One of my favorite animated movies is "Shrek". It had been awhile since I'd seen it, but it was on television this evening so I decided to watch it.

"Shrek" might be animated and appealing to children, but it also contains a lot of humor that only adults would find humorous.

Made in 2001, "Shrek" features the voices of Mike Myers (Shrek), Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), and John Lithgow (Lord Farquad). Shrek'is an ogre whose swamp is overrun with fairy tale characters who have been evicted from their homes by Lord Farquad. Shrek goes to Farquad's castle to try and get his swamp back.

Farquad tells Shrek that if he goes to rescue his one true love, Princess Fiona, from the dragon and bring her to him so they can marry, then Shrek can have his swamp back. Shrek agrees, and sets off on his adventure with the talking and singing Donkey.

Shrek and Donkey reach Princess Fiona and start on their journey back to Lord Farquad. During their journey, Princess Fiona insists on stopping for the night. She quickly heads into a cave that Shrek has discovered so that Shrek and Donkey do not discover her secret. When Fiona was younger, a witch cast a spell that causes Fiona to change into an ogre when the sun goes down. The spell will be broken only when Fiona is kissed by her one true love. She is sure that the spell will leave her when she marries Lord Farquad.

John Hughes' Pretty In Pink

Another 1980s teen angst movie

I was flipping channels earlier today looking for something to watch when I came across the movie “Pretty in Pink”. It had just started, so I decided to leave it on. I hadn’t seen this movie lately, and figure I’d only seen it a couple of times since it came out in 1986. From what I remembered, it wasn’t a bad movie.

“Pretty in Pink” is one of the many teen angst movies produced by John Hughes in the 1980s.”Pretty in Pink” stars Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, James Spader, Annie Potts and Harry Dean Stanton.

Molly Ringwald is Andie, a high school senior from the poor side of the tracks. Her best friends are Duckie (Cryer), whom she’s known since elementary school; and Iona, who owns the mall record store where Andie works.

Dune (1984) versus Dune (2000)

Fans of Frank Herbert’s Dune series are split on this touchy subject of which was more entertaining, the David Lynch movie from the mid-80s or the more accurate, but less expensive 2000 television mini-series.  Each has their own advantages, though in my opinion neither quite lives up to telling the tale that the original print had to offer.

When David Lynch put together his stylistic Dune vision, he made some serious divergence from the original storyline.  Though the general start-middle-finish plotline still holds, the methods that Lynch uses to get from point-A to point-B are far from being true to Herbert.  The movie displays some visual madness which makes it very entertaining to watch, and actors such as Sean Young, Max von Sydow and Sting bring some acting skills to the screen as well. 

Kill The Irishman

Flawed Take on Danny Greene

I've been waiting for them to make a movie about Danny Greene ever since I first heard about the man. So who was he? Danny Greene was an Irish Mob boss in Cleveland in the 1970s. He dressed in green suits and used a green pen with green ink in a green office. He was absolutely obsessed with his Irish heritage, and thought of himself as a mythical Celtic warrior. In fact, his gang was called the Celtic Club, and all the gang members were required to study Celtic mythology.

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