RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK has inspired countless kids to grow up and want to make movies. For Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, they have done the seemingly impossible: made their own shot-for-shot remake of that film. RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE, documents the lengths these two crazy guys went through to make their dreams come true. Spoiler alert: they went through a lot of resources and time (30 years!) to finish this. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to catch it at SXSW on March 14. Continue ReadingRead More »
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Written by: Chris Weitz
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi, Helena Bonham Carter
Rising above one’s station and breaking away from unjust oppression is the prototypical fairy tale made famous by Charles Perrault’s CINDERELLA. In the years since the Disney animated classic arrived, many have put their own spin on it. EVER AFTER, ELLA ENCHANTED, A CINDERELLA STORY and even other rags-to-riches stories like PRETTY WOMAN and KINGSMAN have put forth the notion that everyone is capable of greatness. Now, in the post-modern feminist era where a man rescuing a woman is seen as a cinematic taboo, we’re given director Kenneth Branagh’s very traditional take, CINDERELLA. While screenwriter Chris Weitz has some fun showing that our heroine is no pushover, and the film fleshes out some things a little better than the animated iteration, this adaptation isn’t as unconventional and unique as those glass slippers on Cinderella’s feet. Continue ReadingRead More »
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Director Liv Corfixen & Nicolas Winding Refn Talk MY LIFE DIRECTED BY NICOLAS WINDING REFN
Director Liv Corfixen has done an incredible feat with her latest documentary MY LIFE DIRECTED BY NICOLAS WINDING REFN. For as much as the title implies we’ll be seeing a documentary exclusively on her husband, filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, we’re granted an all access pass as to what her life with the auteur entails. Back in 2012 when Refn was busy filming ONLY GOD FORGIVES, Corfixen and their young daughters joined him in Bangkok for the shoot. From moments of brutal honesty between the pair, to moments of heart-trending vulnerability, the documentary is a must-see. Continue ReadingRead More »
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Screenplay by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, B.D. Wong, Gerald McRaney, Adrian Martinez, Robert Taylor
Just a decade ago, the mere idea of an African-American president, let alone the prospect of a constitutionally recognized right to same-sex marriage or marriage equality seemed not just unlikely, but nearly impossible. In just ten years, however, an African-American president became a reality and the U.S. Supreme Court teeters on the verge of recognizing an inclusive right to marriage. As often happens, however, fiction (film, TV, literature), jumped ahead of reality, giving us an African-American president, Morgan Freeman in DEEP IMPACT, a decade before Barack Obama became president. Other, related representations, however, were kept offscreen, specifically interracial relationships. Despite his box-office power and consequent superstardom, Will Smith’s romantic pairings were generally on the “safe” side. Even when he was paired with an actress of the Caucasian persuasion, Bridget Moynahan, in I, ROBOT (2004), their relationship never rose above friendship (or friend zone) level, ending with a last shot implying the possibility of more, but eschewing something as supposedly non-transgressive as holding hands. Continue ReadingRead More »
BIG HERO 6
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
MSRP: Amazon has the blu-ray for $18.90.
Running Time: 102 minutes
What’s Going On?
Based loosely on the Marvel comic of the same name, BIG HERO 6 takes place in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. The young Hiro Hamada is brilliant, but would rather spend his time building and fighting robots than studying in school. Tragedy strikes in the form of an explosion at a science convention, and Hiro’s world is changed forever. With the help of Baymax, Hiro’s brother’s robot, and his brother’s friends, the group works together to find out what caused the explosion and who is planning more destruction in the city by finding the heroes within themselves.
Who’s In It:
BIG HERO 6 features the voices of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit (30 ROCK), Jamie Chung (SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, SUCKER PUNCH), T.J. MILLER (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, SILICON VALLEY), Damon Wayans Jr. (LET’S BE COPS, HAPPY ENDINGS, NEW GIRL), James Cromwell (AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM), and Alan Tudyk (WRECK-IT RALPH, SUBURGATORY, FIREFLY).
If You Like…:
Robots, anime, fighting, super suits, fusion, microbots, portals of doom, and squishing things, then give this a shot.
The Technical Gist
The Academy Award winning short “Feast”, about a very hungry dog, is included here.
Hiro’s Journey, hosted by actress Jamie Chung goes over adapting the comic to the Disney changes from the original source material, influences from the animators lives that helped shape the film, developing Baymax, crafting the film’s unique setting, film’s villain, and the central theme.
There are also deleted scenes.
I definitely appreciated how colorful and engaging the world of BIG HERO 6 was and how distinctive San Fransokyo was. Apart from that, I found the story fairly predictable and while the characters were fun, I wasn’t ever really drawn into any of the emotional arcs, in spite of the film’s best efforts.
However, it is better than FROZEN. Yeah, I said it. QUEUE ITRead More »
This Week’s Big Releases
BIG HERO 6
Synopsis: Loosley based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, BIG HERO 6 follows Hiro, a young boy living in the futuristic San Fransokyo, who with the help of his robot friend Baymax and a colorful cast, the group sets off on an adventure to discover a mysterious and dangerous figure who threatens the whole city.
Tomatometer Rating: 90%
Special Features: Special features include the Academy Award winning short “Feast”, an overview of how the filmakers transformed the Marvel graphic novel into the film, deleted scenes and interviews with the animators.
Deals: Amazon has the blu-ray combo pack for $18.90.
Buy/Queue/Skip: While BIG HERO 6 wasn’t my favorite animated film of the year, it’s still another strong entry from Disney, and creates a bright and colorful world in a cinematic landscape filled with blue, orange and grit. Also, your child will become obsessed with Baymax (at least he doesn’t sing). QUEUE IT.
Synopsis: Miles Teller plays a talented and ambitious drumming student at a music conservatory who clashes with a ruthless and unconventional professor (an Academy Award winning and career defining performance from J.K. Simmons) who breaks his students down to bring out greatness in them.
Tomatometer Rating: 95%
Deals: Amazon has the blu-ray (which is temporarily sold out!) for $16.99.
Buy/Queue/Skip: This was easily my favorite film of 2014, and features another stellar performance from Miles Teller, who I’ve loved in other films like THE SPECTACULAR NOW, and features a monstrous performance from J.K. Simmons. The film tackles ambition, drive, and determination in a way that anyone who’s ever really wanted anything can understand. MUST QUEUE.
Also Available This Week
If you need an 80’s hotties double feature, try American Gigolo
LILTING starring Ben Wishaw, which is available now on Netflix Watch Instantly. Wishaw plays a young man who is faced with the task of comforting a grieving mother from the shocking death of her son, who kept his homosexuality from her all his life. It’s a powerful and meditative film exploring how grief can help us understand each other, centered by another stellar performance from Wishaw, who always manages to be the best thing in any movie he’s in. This one will hit you right in the feels.
See you next week!Read More »
Oscar Awards 2015 just came and went within no time and yes it did not disappoint any of us. This awards night is considered as Hollywood’s biggest night of the year and has the tendency to get too preachy or political.
Let us have a look at 9 powerful statements made by Oscar winners:
1.The best supporting actor for ‘Whiplash’ was awarded to JK Simmons.
His statement was, “If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them. Don’t text, don’t email. Call them. Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”
2.The best supporting actress for ‘Boyhood’ was given to Patricia Arquette.
Her statement was, ‘To every woman who gave birth, to every citizen and taxpayer, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women of the United States of America!”
3.The most best was heart-warming speech given by Graham Moore for ‘The Imitation Game’ (Best Adapted Screenplay)
He stated that, “When I was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt different and that I didn’t belong. Now I’m here, and I want this moment to be for that kid who feels weird or different. Stay weird, stay different.”
4.The winner of Foreign Language Film – “Ida” – Pawel Pawlikowski
He stated that, “We made a film about the need for silence and withdrawal… and here we are at the epicentre of noise and excitement. Life is full of surprises.”
5.The best original song ‘Glory’ from ‘Selma’ was awarded to John Legend and Common.
They stated that, “We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today then were under slavery in 1850. We are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”
6.The Best Actress for the role in ‘Still Alice’ was won by Julianne Moore.
She stated that, “I’m so happy that we were able to hopefully shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease. So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized, and one of the wonderful things about movies is it makes us feel seen and not alone. And people with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so we can find a cure.”
7.The Best Actor award was won by Eddie Redmayne for his great performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in the movie ‘The Theory of Everything’
His statement was, “I’m fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man. This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family, and I will be its custodian and I promise you that I will polish him, and wait on him hand and foot.”
8.The director of ‘Birdman’
Alejandro González gave funny statement, “Fear is the condom of life. It doesn’t allow you to enjoy things.”
9.The last was the Academy President, Cheryl Boone Isacs who defended free speech stating that,
“Tonight we are here to celebrate story tellers… your voice can be shared without fear of personal or professional attack. We honour the courage of filmmakers who cross borders and test boundaries.”
Thus, these were the powerful statements made by the happy winners at the Oscar nights.Read More »
Directed By: Joe Lynch
Written By: Yale Hannon (screenplay), Yale Hannon and Joe Lynch (story)
Starring: Salma Hayek, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Gabriella Wright, Akie Kotabe, Jennifer Blanc, Togo Igawa, Aisha Ayamah, Laura Cepeda
Being stuck at home isn’t exactly a bad thing – unless you’re Salma Hayek’s titular character in director Joe Lynch’s EVERLY. Then it’s pretty horrific. Forced to remain in her apartment as a barrage of assassins pay a visit on behalf of a sadistic ex-boyfriend, she must battle her way back from the brink of death. The film’s concept may sound like B-movie schlock, but this is a grade-A film all the way. With kickass action sequences and straight-forward storytelling, this is 90 minutes of pure adrenaline filled with reckoning, revenge and rebirth. Continue ReadingRead More »