Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Superman Cast!!!

Some interesting news today... Ever since I read that Zack Snyder was directing the Superman reboot, I have been curious about who was to be cast as Mr. Clark Kent. Personally, I was hoping that they would stick with Brandon Routh because even though I was not a fan of that movie, I thought that he was great as Superman. But, even though they didn't cast the guy I wanted, I can not complain about the guy that was cast. The newest Superman will be played by the very handsome Henry Cavill. I loved him on The Tudors, and I think he will be fantastic as one of the most famous superheroes in 2012's Superman: Man of Steel. Now I'm curious about who will be cast as Lois Lane...Hopefully, they'll pick someone better than Kate Bosworth.

My Review: The Rite

If you have never seen any movies about exorcism, then this movie might scare you. If you are like me and have seen several movies about exorcism, then this movie will seem relatively tame in comparison. Anthony Hopkins is great as always as an exorcist who is teaching this younger priest how to perform exorcisms. The young priest is not really sure what he believes in, but starts getting spooked by this young pregnant girl who is believed to be possessed by the devil. So, some demonic voices and contortions ensue, and everything that comes with being possessed I guess. I wasn't really all that impressed by the exoricism scenes. I mean when you've seen things like this....



and this...



and this...



a little back bending and roaring from a girl isn't really all that scary. I mean, the only thing that made it different was that she was pregnant, which did bring an uneasy feel to her scenes. Interestingly, there was a bit of comic relief in this movie, which I thought was strange during a horror movie like this. During the first exorcism, Anthony Hopkin's cell phone rings. When you're in the middle of an exorcism scene I don't know why you would want to break away from the horror element of it. Anyways, even though there is a great performance by Anthony Hopkins, this movie has been done before, and done better. My rating: 5/10

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spotlight On: Rick Baker

This week's spotlight is one on of the greatest film makeup artists of all time, Rick Baker. He does amazing work in several genres, but I love him for his contributions to the horror and sci fi genres. He has won six academy awards, and is also nominated this year for his work in The Wolfman. Here are some of the films that showcase his amazing talents.

It's Alive


For the film It's Alive, Rick Baker made one of the scariest looking creatures ever, a tiny, veiny, sharp-toothed little baby. The movie is about a baby who, as soon as it's born, kills all of the doctors in the room then goes on a massive killing spree. Normally, I would think, people would not consider a baby to be a threat, but when it looks like this, I wouldn't want that thing to be crawling after me.

King Kong


Not only did Rick Baker create this gorilla suit, he was also the man inside of it. Quite a difference between the stop motion animation gorilla of 1933 and the CGI gorilla from a few years ago. This was the first of his many hairy creatures he made throughout the years.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Now onto what makes me think that Rick Baker is one of the coolest men on the planet. He was a makeup artist for the very first Star Wars movie!! The most well-known work that he did for A New Hope was create the look of Figrin D'an and his band the Modal Nodes. Even if you don't know them by name, you will certainly know them by the song that they play.




An American Werewolf in London


This is the movie that Rick Baker is probably identified with the most, and for good reason. This movie shows that practical effects and makeup kick CGI's ass everytime. Even for today, everything in this movie looks amazing. From the one guy who is in a different state of decay every time you see him to the werewolf himself, everything is so wonderfully done.



Videodrome

I suppose it's not everyday that a makeup artist has to do makeup effects on a TV, but if anyone can do it, it's Rick Baker. There are a lot of really cool effects in Videodrome including a TV turning into flesh, a man's belly opening up, and tons of ooky stuff like that. Here is a little featurette from Videodrome and the part with Rick Baker starts at about 3:41.



Thriller

Do I seriously even have to talk about Thriller?  The greatest music video of all time, great makeup by the fabulous Rick Baker. 'Nuff said...


Wolf

In 1994 Baker did more great werewolf makeup, except this time it was on Jack Nicholson.

Ed Wood

Rick Baker's makeup job in this movie is so good that you don't even notice it. In Ed Wood, Baker completely transformed Martin Landau into Bela Lugosi. In real life, Martin Landau looks nothing like Lugosi, but Baker's did such a great job that one time my mom walked in the living room in the middle of me watching it that she actually thought that he was Bela Lugosi.



Men In Black

All of the creatures in Men in Black look amazing! Bwith all of the fantastic looking aliens, my favorite makeup job has to be transforming Vincent D'Onofrio into a bug wearing human skin.



How the Grinch Stole Christmas

God damn! In my opinion, it just does not get any cooler than this. When I look at this picture in no way do I see Jim Carrey there. I see nothing but the Grinch.




Planet of the Apes

You can say what you will about Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes, but there is nothing bad to say about the makeup. I didn't even know that that was Helena Bonham Carter until like a year ago. I mean wow, all of the apes look fantastic. I am amazed that he didn't win a seventh Oscar for this movie.

The Ring

Rick Baker is responsible for one of the biggest scares in the movie. I don't know about y'all, but the short of Amber Tamblyn's character in the closet after seeing "the ring" freaked the hell out of me...

Hellboy

 Some more great prosthetics work here transforming Ron Perlman into a red demon with a right hand of doom.

Norbit


Here is another example of how Rick Baker's excellent work fooled my mother. We were watching this movie one day, and my mom was convinced that that was a real woman, and not Eddie Murphy in a fat suit. She was being so stubborn and saying things like "there is no way that is fake!" and "that is a woman!" Nope, mother, that is not a woman, that is Eddie Murphy with great makeup done by the fantastic Rick Baker, who got his zillionth Oscar nom for this movie.

Tropic Thunder

Now instead of turning a man into a woman, he turns a white man into a black man. It's so funny because he's done all of these great prosthetics works and has made all of these creatures, and in this movie he is putting blackface on Robert Downey Jr...and it looks great!



The Wolfman

WOW!!! I remember being really excited when I heard that this mvoie was being made, but I was concerned about how the Wolfman would look. They, of course, chose the right person in Rick Baker who did an amazing job transforming Benicio Del Toro into this hairy beast. If he doesn't win the Oscar this year I will be very surprised!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Finished Reading: Red Dragon

This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a long time, and now I have and I loved it. I have seen all five Hannibal Lector movies (Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, and Hannibal Rising) and liked them so I knew I would love this book. While Silence of the Lambs is the most famous story, I have always been interested in the story that has two film adaptions, Red Dragon. Hannibal Lector isn't really an important character in this novel, and doesn't even appear in the second half of the book except for a few letters to Will Graham. The character that I was interested in reading about was Francis Dolarhyde, aka the "Tooth Fairy" or the "Dragon." He is a serial killer to believes that he is "becoming" the dragon and kills entire families whose home movies he had seen at the film developing plant he works at. There are so many great parts in this story, from Dolarhyde kidnapping Freddy Lounds ("Do you see?") to him taking a trip to the Metropolitan museum and eating the Blake painting. It was interesting reading the books and seeing the differences between it and Manhunter or Red Dragon the movie. Like, for instance, how Graham isn't even there when Molly shoots Dolarhyde, but he is in the movie. There are some books that take me forever to read because I slowly lose interest, and there are books that I can't put down. This book definitely belongs in the latter category.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Review: No Strings Attached

Let me start out by saying that this movie has the obvious happy ending. There are tons and tons of movies like this where the girl isn't looking for anything serious, but the guy falls in love with her, the girl gets annoyed and breaks it off and then realizes that she loves him too. That shouldn't be a spoiler for the movie because its is extremely cliche, and if I ruined the ending for anyone then they should really see more movies because they are all basically the same. I mean jeez, its been this way since Pride and Prejudice. Oh I do love Mr. Darcy! What makes a good romantic comedy is how it gets to the end point. While this movie wasn't anything spectacular, and I didn't really expect it to be, I actually ended up liking it. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher play two people named Emma and Adam who keep on bumping into each other every few years and end up sleeping together after he wakes up naked in her apartment. Emma isn't looking for anything serious (of course) so they become "fuck buddies." I'm not gonna lie, the first sex scene was pretty hot. Its nothing graphic and is just a closeup of their faces, but I was like DAMN! That is really the only actual sex scene, with the rest of the sex being in montage form. This movie was also pretty funny. Adam makes her a period mix tape (when they were singing Bleeding Love I was cracking up), and Emma's friend Patrice has the funniest line in the whole movie, "It looks like a crime scene in my pants." It also has some great supporting characters, like Greta Gerwig as Patrice, Kevin Kline as Adam's dad, and Mindy Kaling as Emma's friend Shira. Most romantic comedy endings are extremely cheesy, and while this movie isn't really an exception, I did have a bit of an aaaaawwwwww moment towards the end. When Adam says "If you come any closer, I won't let you go" and she steps forward and they kiss, it was so sweet! I'm not really a hopeless romantic, but if you are you'll probably cry. The only romance movie that I actually cried during was An Affair To Remember, but come on when Deborah Kerr opens the box at the end and its Cary Grant's grandmothers shawl, who wouldn't cry? And when he opens the door to her bedroom and his painting is in there....oh I was a mess. Anyways, No Strings Attached was a pretty cute movie. I'm curious about how it will compare to the movie Friends With Benefits thats coming out in a few months. Its basically the exact same plot except that it has a different pair of good-looking people, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. I guess I'll have to wait and see. My rating: 7/10

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So, yeah...I'm really excited for Sucker Punch....

Okay....so every year there is always one movie that I get really really excited for. Last year it was Alice in Wonderland. I was beyond excited for that movie. Everytime a new picture came on the internet I freaked out, and when the trailer finally came out it was like Christmas. The problem with this is that I hype up these movies so much in my mind, that they tend to disappoint when I actually see them in theaters. This was the case with Alice in Wonderland. While the 3D looked really cool, and the visuals were amazing, I wasn't really impressed with the overall movie. I thought that Johnny Depp would be perfect as the Mad Hatter, but he wasn't as great as I thought he would be. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the movie. My little sisters have it on DVD, and I watch it with them from time to time and enjoy it, too. I thought that Mia Wasikowska was a great choice for Alice and I loved the Cheshire Cat and the March Hare. I think it was because I had been hyping up the movie in my mind for over a year (since the moment I first read about it being made) that made it a disappointment for me.
I'm really hoping that is not going to be the case for Sucker Punch. From the moment I read about Zack Snyder making an all female action movie, I was hooked. I have loved all of Zack Snyder's past movies, and I'm a sucker for some kick ass film heroines. I was at first kind of irked with the change in casting because I thought that it would be great with Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone, and Evan Rachel Wood. And even though I still think that Emma Stone would have been a much better choice than Jena Malone, I think that Malone, Emily Browning, and Jamie Chung are going to be great alongside Abbie Cornish and Vanessa Hudgens. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was amazed! It had to be one of the coolest trailers I had ever seen, and was only surpassed by the second trailer that gave a bit more of the plot. I mean damn! These chicks are fighting samurai, dragons, robots, and demon-looking army guys. How much cooler can it get?!? The visuals in this movie just look fantastic, and I'm definitely going to shell out some money to see this in IMAX if possible. I don't even know where the hell I can do that around here, but I'm going to try to find out! Interestingly enough, this movie isn't going to be in 3D like every other action movie, but from the looks of the trailer, it doesn't need to be in 3D for all of the special effects to look really impressive. It comes out two months from yesterday, and I am super excited!!! Mr. Snyder hasn't disappointed me with a movie yet, and I'm hoping Sucker Punch won't be any different! I even got super excited when I saw this little cut-out ad at the movie theater yesterday....



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations

This morning the nominations were announced for the 2011 Academy Awards. Here is who I think should win....

Best Picture

Last year I thought that having 10 Best Picture nominees was rediculous, but it really fits this year because there were so many good movies that came out. It would have been extremely hard to pick just five. I have only seen 8 of them, not having seen 127 Hours or Winter's Bone, so for all I know those two could be complete genius, or absolutely awful. Of the ones I have seen, I think that they are all really good choices. Personally, I think that The Kids Are All Right was a bit overrated because I wasn't really all that impressed with it. I thought that the performances were great, but the overall movie was just ok. I liked Inception, but I really don't think that it deserves to win Best Picture. Of the other six, though, its a pretty difficult choice. I loved all of those movies: The Fighter, Toy Story 3, True Grit, The King's Speech, and The Social Network, but the movie that I really want to win is my favorite movie that came out in 2010, and one of my favorite movies of the past decade....Black Swan.
It was everything I love in a movie. It was creepy, suspenseful, interesting, and different from all other movies I have seen. I left the movie theatre completely awestruck after seeing this movie, and that rarely happens.

Best Director

This one is tough, because it three directors are nominated that I really love: Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, and The Coen Brothers. I'm gonna have to go with Darren Aronofsky, though, because Black Swan was just sensational, and I think he did a really great job with it.


 Best Actor

This is another one that is extremely tough. I haven't seen 127 Hours or Biutiful, but I'm sure that James Franco and Javier Bardem are great in those movies because they are two of my favorite actors. Of the three that I have seen, though. I can't choose between Colin Firth or Jeff Bridges. I thought that Jesse Eisenberg was great in The Social Network, but I'm more in favor of the other two actors. Firth and Bridges were both fantastic in The King's Speech and True Grit, so I would be happy either way.



Best Actress

Of the five actresses nominated for Best Actress, I have only seen two of the films, The Kids Are All Right and Black Swan. I haven't seen Winter's Bone, Blue Valentine, or Rabbit Hole. That doesn't really matter, though, because while I thought Annette Bening was great in The Kid's Are All Right, I am rooting for Natalie Portman.


Best Supporting Actor

I have not seen The Town or Winter's Bone, so I can't really judge how good Jeremy Renner of John Hawkes's performances were. Of the other three actors, it is a really hard choice. Christian Bale, Geoffrey Rush and Mark Ruffalo all gave excellent performances this year in The Fighter, The King's Speech, and The Kids Are All Right. I'm going to have to go with Christian Bale, though. He was great as the crack addicted former boxer Dicky Eklund, and I think his win should make up for Mark Wahlberg not even being nominated. (Which he should have been!)


Best Supporting Actress

If it were up to me, I would give the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Barbara Hershey. She was perfect as Natalie Portman's controlling mom in Black Swan, and I can't believe she was snubbed! I know the Academy loves nominating kids, but they could easily give her Hailee Steinfeld's spot. I thought Steinfeld was good in True Grit, but I didn't think her performance was Oscar-worthy. I love Helena Bonham Carter, and I thought that she was fantastic in The King's Speech, but I think this year the Oscar is going to go to The Fighter's Melissa Leo. Although I do agree that she was a bit too young to play the mother of 9 kids in their 30s and 40s, her age wasn't something that was distracting because she was so great in her role as Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg's mom.


Best Visual Effects

I'm not even going to talk about the others because this one should go to Inception! From half of the city curving up to the zero gravity fight scenes, this movie just looked really cool! Nothing else really compared to it visually this year. Having said that, I'm pretty bummed that Tron: Legacy wasn't nominated in this category...

Best Costume Design

This year I was crazy about the costumes in Alice in Wonderland. I loved everything that Mia Wasikowska wore in that movie. Even the armor she wears at the end is fantastic! If this movie doesn't win for Best Costume Design, I will be very disappointed!


Best Makeup

I haven't seen Barney's Version or The Way Back, but I don't really care because I am rooting for Rick Baker all the way!!! Baker and David Elsey are nominated for The Wolfman, and should definitely win. I am a huge fan of monster makeup, and they did a great job transforming a handsome dude like Benicio Del Toro into the Wolfman.



Character of the Week: LeeLoo


This week's character of the week is from one of my favorite Sci-fi (not Syfy) movies, The Fifth Element. Her name is LeeLoo and she is the "perfect" being, and the fifth element along with four stones that are the only way to defeat the "Great Evil." She is played by Milla Jovovich who, with Angelina Jolie, is one of only two real female action stars today. I could be wrong, but those are the only two that I can think of. In this movie she starts off being sort of helpless and childlike, but by the end of the movie she starts to kick some serious ass. She doesn't say a whole lot in the movie, and when she does speak it is usually not in English, but she is probably the best thing about the whole movie. She is both a badass fighter, and sort of also the comic relief in this movie.



The best scene in the movie, and in my opinion, one of the greatest fight scenes ever, is the scene where she is fighting all of those aliens with the Diva Dance in the background. Not only is that a great song, but LeeLoo does some serious ass kicking in that scene. The best part is probably when she punches the guy behind her before punching the guy in front of her.



 

My Review: The King's Speech


What is it about British accents that makes everything they say sound so important? Even with his stammer, every time Colin Firth speaks it sounds so regal and dashing. The same thing goes for Helena Bonham Carter. Those two were meant to play royalty, so they were perfect for their parts as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The King's Speech is about The Duke of York, who eventually becomes King, and his speech impediment. He has a stammering problem, which is bad because he is royalty, and thus is required to make speeches. So his wife, played by the always fantastic Helena Bonham Carter, seeks out the help of an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. While the Duke/ future King is hesitant about his new speech therapist's methods at first, he soon realizes that he is the only person who can help him. Colin Firth is fantastic in this movie. My heart broke every time he had trouble giving his speeches, and especially during the part where he had trouble talking to his brother, played by Guy Pearce. When his brother called him B-B-Bertie,  I wanted to punch him in the face. And I like Guy Pearce, so that shows how much I was getting into this movie. The scenes with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were definitely the best parts of the movie. From Colin shouting out curse words to Geoffrey Rush getting him ready for his coronation, all the scenes with the two of them are both entertaining and moving at the same time. Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush all deserve their Oscar nominations, and this movie definitely deserved its nomination for Best Picture. My rating: 9/10

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Sucker Punch Character Posters!!

Jesus fuckin' Christ could this movie look any cooler?????


Why is it not March 25th right now????