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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daniel Day-Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

80th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS... As expected, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men and the so-called "Titanic for this generation" (minus James Cameron, Kate Winslet's knockers, the $600 million domestic box office gross and eye-popping visual effects), Atonement, got Best Picture nominations. However, Ridley Scott's American Gangster was surprisingly snubbed from the major categories...except for Best Supporting Actress (Ruby Dee) and a technical nom for Art Direction. Oh well.

Bumblebee in the city.

Also as expected (woohoo), Transformers got nominated not only for Best Visual Effects, but for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing as well. Winning all three will probably be a longshot, but Visual FX should be a lock. Never saw The Golden Compass, but I’m pretty sure the effects aren’t anything that we haven’t already seen in other fantasy flicks like The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter. The effects work in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was awesome, but again, it’s nothing that we haven’t already seen in the first two POTC films.

Bonecrusher obliterates a bus on a freeway as he pursues the Autobots in TRANSFORMERS.

It would’ve also been cool if Steve Jablonsky got a Best Original Score nod for his music in Transformers. It’s gonna be a while till I stop listening to it on my car’s CD player while driving. You heard me. I listen to orchestral music instead of rap or punk rock while cruisin’ down the 60 Freeway. But that's only if I don't have passengers in my car.


Optimus Prime in TRANSFORMERS.
Heath Ledger

HEATH LEDGER: 1979-2008... I'm completely stunned. Not to sound tactless or anything, but if this is anything like Brandon Lee's death increasing interest in The Crow in 1994, then you can expect some major publicity for The Dark Knight when it gets released in July.

RIP, Heath. Your portrayal of the Joker looks badass.

Heath Ledger as the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Statue of Liberty lies headless in the cold New York night.

CLOVERFIELD... I saw the film tonight, and thought it was pretty good. However, many in the audience two of my friends and I watched it with made negative comments right after the ending (cause it was abrupt), but those people are ignoramuses. C’mon now— You must have a far more severe mental issue than ADD to not realize that the flick was treated as a ‘documentary’ from the very start... What makes you think it wasn’t gonna have that documentary feel at the end as well? What, did these folks expect some dramatic music (courtesy of Steve Jablonsky or John Williams) to accompany the final scenes in Cloverfield? Or the camera conveniently capturing footage on its own of the military folks who found the device inside the rubble (not to spoil the ending for y’all who haven’t seen the movie yet)? Wouldn’t that have been nice...

A crowd gathers around the severed head of the Statue of Liberty...after it was flung onto the Manhattan street by the monster.

No, the movie was treated as if it was actually raw footage that was pieced together so government officials could view it and find out what happened (for those folks reading this who have ADD). Trust me— A movie that has more of a "WTF??" ending to it is something like 28 Weeks Later...or Rob Zombie’s recent take on Halloween. Basically, the more standard horror fare. I’m definitely gonna buy Cloverfield once it gets released on DVD.

Rob, Marlena and Lily stare up at the unseen monster wreaking havoc on New York City.

What actually peeves me more than the local audience's reaction to J.J. Abrams' thriller is the fact Hollywood is making too many movies like Bring It On. You have Bring It On’s straight-to-DVD sequels, Stomp the Yard, Honey (but that one has Jessica Alba in it, so all is forgiven), Rize, You Got Served, the upcoming How She Move, and Step It Up’s sequel, Step Up 2 The Streets...whose preview was shown in front of Cloverfield (I had to do research online to find all the recent dance flicks, FYI). Um, just how many of these films do we need to see of a bunch of (insert any derogatory name for urban kids here) krumping and doing all that crap? Of course, that's Tinseltown. Gladiator was a hit in 2000, so, gotta make more sword-and-sandal epics that can also become huge successes...like Lord of the Rings, or major flops like Uwe Boll's recent In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Saw was a huge hit too, so, gotta make more torture porn like Hostel...and more additional Saw sequels (Saw 5 comes out this October...Good God). But I’m just going off on a rant here.

Rob and Beth videotape their last moment together before the military obliterates New York City in an attempt to kill the monster.

Basically, Cloverfield was good. And for those of you who read my last Blog on the film, the monster looked NOTHING like the image I posted. It looked more like something from the XBox video game Gears of War (which I also wrote a Blog on) or the creatures in The Mist (film review here) than it did a giant whale. And the pic below? Nope— Not a Monster Louse. But a really gruesome ending for one of the movie’s main human characters. Not to spoil the flick for ya. That is all.

A silhouette of Marlena as she gets ready to explode after getting bit by a Monster Louse inside a subway tunnel.

UPDATE (January 21): A screenshot of the monster...

A screenshot of the monster...

All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures / Bad Robot Productions

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) search for the truth in THE X-FILES 2.
Twentieth Century Fox

THE X-FILES 2... ComingSoon.net has posted up four new images from the upcoming film, which gets released in theaters on July 25. Unlike the first X-Files motion picture (which came out in 1998), this installment will not delve into the aliens-among-us "mythology" that formed the backbone of the hit FOX TV series (which aired from 1993 to 2002) and the ’98 movie. The sequel will be a stand-alone film that deals with the supernatural. The actual storyline is closely being kept under wraps by X-Files creator and director Chris Carter.

The X-Files 2 reunites David Duchovny as FBI agent/conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as FBI agent/skeptic Dana Scully. Also in this movie will be Amanda Peet and, um, rapper Xzibit. Wow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

CLOVERFIELD Poster.

The CLOVERFIELD Monster? The image below has been all over the Web since last September, but whatever. Someone made this cool artwork depicting what he thinks the creature in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film will look like. Don’t know how close this sketch looks to the real (so-to-speak) thing, but the "Monster Louse" looks pretty similar to what we see in one of the Cloverfield TV spots. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s a scene in the commercial where a group of people hiding inside an Army tent see the silhouette of a creature attacking someone outside. The shape of that creature, from what I recall, definitely looks like the artwork below. Anyways, can’t wait for the film to come out in theaters on January 18.

...

I hope this film doesn’t let me down like Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s take on Godzilla did in 1998. *Crosses fingers*


Concept art depicting the CLOVERFIELD creature and its tick-like 'Monster Louse'.
Courtesy of HorrorMovies.ca

UPDATE: A screencapture of the scene mentioned above:

TV commercial screencapture showing a Monster Louse attacking a human.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The February 2008 cover of VANITY FAIR magazine.
Annie Leibovitz

INDIANA JONES IV... The February 2008 issue of Vanity Fair focuses on this May’s release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Below are photos from the magazine:

Harrison Ford chatting with executive producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg on the Indy film set in Los Angeles.
Annie Leibovitz

Harrison Ford chatting with executive producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg on the Indy film set in Los Angeles.

Shia LaBeouf and Karen Allen (reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood...last seen in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark) on set in Downey, California.
Annie Leibovitz

Shia LaBeouf and Karen Allen (reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood...last seen in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark) on set in Downey, California.

Cate Blanchett as Russian spy, Agent Spalko.  Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes place in 1957—in the midst of the Cold War—as Soviet agents pursue Indy as he goes about looking for the mysterious crystal skulls.
Annie Leibovitz

Cate Blanchett as Russian spy, Agent Spalko. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes place in 1957—in the midst of the Cold War—as Soviet agents pursue Indy as he goes about looking for the mysterious crystal skulls.

And of course, here’s the poster that is currently displayed at movie theaters everywhere. It is created by artist Drew Struzan, who did the posters for the first three Indiana Jones films and all 6 movies in the Star Wars saga.

The theatrical movie poster for INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.
Paramount Pictures / Lucasfilm Ltd. / Drew Struzan