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Thursday, December 30, 2010

PHOTO OF THE DAY... Just thought I'd post this image after it's been taking up space on my computer desktop since September.

Lucas: Past and Present.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Natalie Portman.

JUST READ ONLINE today that Natalie Portman is pregnant. Well good for her. Now where's a Polis Massan droid doctor when you need one? (Yes... That was a Star Wars reference.)

A Polis Massan medical droid addresses Obi-Wan, Yoda and Bail Organa about Padme's current state of condition...in STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

TRON: LEGACY.

TRON: LEGACY... I saw the movie today, and as expected, the visual effects (VFX) were AMAZING. From the gladiatorial fights between Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) and the programs to the Light Cycle race on The Grid, and then the aerial dogfight between Clu (Jeff Bridges) and Sam’s father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges again) at the climax of this film, Tron: Legacy didn’t fail to entertain. There were two issues I had with the flick, but other than that, I’ll possibly buy this on DVD when it gets released.

TRON: LEGACY.

Tron: Legacy wasn’t short on hot gals. Despite wearing a short black wig, Olivia Wilde still looked totally stunning. Heck, even the Light Runner (shown above) her character Quorra used to rescue Sam from The Grid was pretty awesome. Beau Garrett as the ‘Siren’ known as Gem looked gorgeous. And so was Elizabeth Mathis (who was last seen wearing a Hooters outfit in the recent Tony Scott action film, Unstoppable) as another Siren. I’m assuming if this film got at least a PG-13 rating, Gem’s outfit would’ve been even hotter. But hey, this is a Disney film... This is all wishful thinking.

TRON: LEGACY.

In terms of the issues I had with the Tron sequel, it was the opening real-world scene and the ending that I took notice with. Granted, the whole premise of both this flick and the classic 1982 original was a total exercise in suspension of disbelief (humans get zapped by a laser projector and become digitized into a video game where the computer programs are so lifelike they dance and drink at bars). While I was waiting for Sam to get zapped into the world of Tron, I felt that the shot of him finally getting hit by the digitizing laser was too abrupt. In fact, we don’t even see him getting shot by the laser. One would think that dramatic music and some cool CGI sequence (like the shot where Jake Sully's mind connects with his avatar's body for the first time in Avatar) would accompany Sam’s entry into the realm that his father created, but nope. The movie wastes no time (if you didn’t think watching Sam parachute off that ENCOM skyscraper was a waste of time... What other expedient way could he have escaped the building?) in getting to the real—RE: digital—action. And now onto the ending.

TRON: LEGACY.

While one can rationalize that Kevin and Sam Flynn are able to re-enter the real world from The Grid because they’re originally humans, Tron: Legacy doesn’t bother to explain how Clu and his army could convert to actual living organisms if they succeeded in entering that portal. Of course, Tron doesn’t need to bother explaining this particular plot-point...because it didn’t bother explaining how Quorra could become human after she joined Sam in the real world at the end of the movie (apparently, that laser projector is so advanced that it can create body organs even for non-biological things that leave The Grid). Also, the movie didn’t bother to show Sam and Quorra actually re-emerging from the digitizing laser in the finale...but this one isn’t really a criticism. I’m not one of those moviegoers who need everything spelled out for me in a film. Okay— That’s not really true. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have typed these last two paragraphs.


(By the way, am I the only one here who noticed that Kevin Flynn suddenly impersonated Obi-Wan Kenobi—complete with the hood—the minute he showed up at The Grid? Just being facetious.)

TRON: LEGACY.

So will I watch Tron: Legacy at the theater again? Most likely...but definitely not in IMAX (since I spent $17.50 on the ticket today. Good grief). If I can watch Avatar numerous times at the theater last Christmas, I can re-watch Tron 2. Its story wasn’t as derivative as that of the James Cameron flick, but the VFX was just as awesome. That is all.

TRON: LEGACY.

Friday, December 17, 2010

TRON: LEGACY.

TODAY, Tron: Legacy finally comes out in movie theaters everywhere (in the U.S., that is). Of course, I'm probably not gonna watch it till this Sunday. What I will do today, however, is finish buying Christmas gifts and The Town on DVD. That film is awesome. That is all.

THE TOWN.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

TRANSFORMERS 3 Update... In case you’ve been noticing the pattern regarding my last couple of journal entries (and my Blog as a whole for the past 4 years); this month has been very significant in regards to space-related news. From the astrobiology-related discovery that microbes may potentially thrive on deadly arsenic, the successful return of the Orbital Test Vehicle to Earth and the disappointment over Akatsuki at Venus, to yesterday’s historic launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft, any space geek out there would have lots of things to talk about since the beginning of December. And now, space exploration finds itself as a major theme in next year’s summer blockbuster movie, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It’s apparent in the teaser trailer (and obviously the title), which was released online yesterday and can be viewed below...



The new Dark of the Moon trailer should be shown at the theaters in front of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader this Friday and Tron: Legacy on December 17. So apparently, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had 21 minutes during the Apollo 11 mission to explore a derelict spaceship on the lunar surface. Presumably, this spaceship is The Ark—the Autobots’ mothership in the comics and original 1980’s cartoon, as well as the rival vessel to the Decepticons’ Nemesis...which was seen in last year's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (during that scene where a resurrected Megatron flies out to an alien planet and reunites with Starscream and The Fallen). And the Transformer that we see at the very end of this trailer is rumored to be Alpha Trion. Even if it ain’t Trion, it sure as heck ain’t Shockwave, the main bad guy in Dark of the Moon. Hopefully, we’ll take our first glimpse of this evil one-eyed purple ‘bot in the next theatrical trailer...or at least on a TV spot during next February’s Super Bowl XLV. That’s not too much to ask for. That is all.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Monday, November 29, 2010

REST IN PEACE, LESLIE NIELSEN (1926-2010) & IRVIN KERSHNER (1923-2010)... I'll always remember how much The Naked Gun movies cracked me when I watched them when I was young. That scene where Detective Lt. Frank Drebin (humorously played by Nielsen) accidentally knocked a wheelchair-bound O.J. Simpson off a stadium ledge at the end of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!? Hi-larious. Though it's been a while since I've seen Airplane!. I should rent it on DVD.

Leslie Nielsen.

As for Mr. Kershner... The Empire Strikes Back will always be the best film in the Star Wars saga. Always. I also found out that he directed Robocop 2. Even more awesomeness.

These two fellas will be missed.

Irvin Kershner with the villains of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which Kershner directed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TRON: LEGACY.

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!!! Just thought I’d share these images and posters from Disney’s Tron: Legacy...which comes out in theaters next month. This movie has absolutely nothing to do with Turkey Day, but it does have something to do with how gorgeous Olivia Wilde is (I don’t know the meaning of the word 'obsession', haha), and how friggin’ awesome the visual FX will be in this sequel to the classic 1982 film...which, as an FYI, was one of the first flicks to utilize computer-generated imagery. I'm sure you wanted to know that.

TRON: LEGACY.

So anyways; enjoy your turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and shrimp cocktail...and don’t forget that 2007’s The Simpsons Movie will be broadcast on television for the first time later night (on FOX). Oh, and as for today's football schedule: The New England Patriots will play against the Detroit Lions, the New Orleans Saints will compete against the Dallas Cowboys, and the Cincinnati Bengals will take on the New York Jets. That is all.

TRON: LEGACY.

TRON: LEGACY.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lord Voldemort plots out his plan to kill Harry Potter in Part 1 of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 1... In case you’re wondering why I made fun of the movie’s title like this, click on this link to a journal entry that I posted about the first Harry Potter film back in 2001. Anyways, I saw Deathly Hallows yesterday...and thought it was good for the most part. The tone of this film is COMPLETELY 180° from that of the first Potter flick, The Sorcerer's Stone, in '01. Lots of blood (and exposed muscle tissue on one of Ron Weasley's arms in one scene... Nasty) are in this movie, and don’t forget that sexual image of Harry and Hermione Granger—both essentially nude as they make out in front of Ron during the moment he destroys that locket with the Sword of Gryffindor (yes, I went on Google to make sure I spelled that name right).

The treacherous Professor Snape...in Part 1 of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

Deathly Hallows had several Lord of the Rings-type moments, which in one way was a good thing (the serious undertone was a welcome change after the kiddy atmosphere in the first 6 movies...though Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix were actually pretty boring because of the dark tone that started to emerge as those films went on) and in another way wasn't. There were shots after shots of Potter and his two threesome partners (err, Hermione and Ron) walking aimlessly about across a grassy/forest landscape before brooding inside that large magical tent that Hermione somehow kept inside her purse. I was waiting for Frodo and the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring to make a cameo, haha. These drawn out sulking scenes were obviously the result of dividing this story into two separate movies. David Yates (who directed this film as well as The Half-Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix) had to find SOME way to get this Potter flick to the usual 2-½ hour running time...

Rubeus Hagrid attempts to um, fly Harry Potter to safety on Hagrid's motorcycle in Part 1 of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

One thing I really liked about Deathly Hallows, however, were the large number of action scenes in this flick compared to the previous movies. The best scenes in Deathly Hallows were obviously those of Lord Voldemort and/or his minions as they hunted down Potter and company. And nice allegory to the Nazi discrimination of Jews with the whole Muggle persecution by the Ministry of Magic thing. I guess this was J.K. Rowling’s attempt at bringing substance and relevance to this first installment in the final Hairy Pothead film chapter. That is all.

Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley attempt to elude Lord Voldemort's minions in Part 1 of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

Friday, November 19, 2010

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES... I obviously don’t know how good the alien invasion movie (which comes out in theaters next March) is gonna be, but HOLY S**T, the trailer for it looks totally bad-ass. You can tell by the screenshots I posted below...

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.

And of course, here is the Battle: Los Angeles trailer itself:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SKYLINE.

SKYLINE... I saw the low budget sci-fi film last Saturday, and here are a couple of notes on it:

-- The computer-generated imagery in Skyline was simply awesome. Of course, this is due to the fact the filmmakers (Colin Strause and Greg Strause...the brothers who brought you Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) employed a bunch of no-name actors that you would see on a CW Network TV show like um, Gossip Girl to save money that was obviously devoted to the visual FX. (This no-name cast excludes David Zayas—who was last seen as a dictator being manipulated by Eric Roberts in last August’s action film The Expendables.)

-- The first 10-15 minutes of Skyline had the most pathetic attempts at character development I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Out of all the so-called characterization (some dude travels from out of state to Los Angeles to hang with rapper friend; rapper friend cheats on his girlfriend with another hoochie mama; and the girlfriend of the dude who came from out of state to hang with rapper friend is pregnant), there was only one storyline that managed to be focused on at the end of the film: One of the girls being um, 'preggers'. Of course, the fact that all but two of the characters mentioned above get killed over the course of the movie is a good reason for this. But still...Skyline's character development was atrocious.

SKYLINE.

-- It’s a wise move that the military would use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the initial attack on the alien ships. Nice use of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B...a prototype UAV that, in real life, may possibly conduct its first flight next month.

-- I like how the aliens are more gruesome than Predator in that they not only rip people's heads off, but they also ingest the humans' brains and gain whatever memory is inside it.

-- Skyline is worthy of being considered an Oscar contender for Best Visual FX (that is...before the nominees are narrowed down to 3 choices). Best Art Direction? Probably not. This is because the aliens were a cross between Predator, the Cloverfield monster, the aliens from Señor Spielbergo's War of the Worlds and the Arachnids from Starship Troopers. Also, the mothership (that gets shot down by an X-47B armed with a nuclear missile) resembled the Romulan vessel Narada from the 2009 Star Trek film...while the smaller aerial craft/creatures were a rip-off of the Sentinels from The Matrix.

-- Skyline cost $10 million to make and made $13.2 million at the box office as of this journal entry. Nice to know that it won’t be considered a flop.


That is all.

SKYLINE.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON logo.

AND...THAT'S A WRAP! On Tuesday, principal photography (a.k.a. filming) was officially completed on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The news came from TF3 actor Tyrese Gibson via his Twitter page. Awesome news. Assuming, of course, the final product will be as fun as the original 2007 film and not have as many plot issues as Revenge of the Fallen did. Anyways, now comes the postproduction work on Dark of the Moon...where Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain will spend the next 6-7 months bringing Giant Alien Robots back to life—including the new Decepticon baddie, Shockwave. We should be getting some nice official photos from the TF3 film shoot by the end of this year, while we’ll presumbably see actual footage from the film via a Super Bowl TV spot by...early February. Can’t wait.


Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Co. complete TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON filming in Culver City, California on November 9, 2010.
Courtesy of Splash and Just Jared

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to avert disaster as Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) snoozes in DUE DATE.

DUE DATE... I saw the film last weekend, and while it had a couple of funny moments like The Hangover did, Due Date wasn’t without its flaws. The first issue I have is with the number of times Robert Downey Jr. (as Peter Highman) gets into an accident thanks to Zach Galifianakis (as Ethan Tremblay)—obviously intentional—and pretty much comes out of ‘em as if they were mere paper cuts. In one example (shown above), Ethan falls asleep behind the steering wheel and causes the car he’s driving to veer off an overpass and crash onto the highway below. While he did come away with a broken arm and ribs, Peter still seems 'OK' enough to withstand a future mishap at the hands of Tremblay (in the form of...a gunshot wound)—who didn’t have a scratch or bruise on his face even though he didn’t "tense" up enough to get injured like Peter did during the accident. In another scene, Peter is getting bounced around like a ping-pong ball inside a truck trailer as Ethan—behind the wheel of a Mexican police cruiser towing the trailer—tries to evade pursuing cop cars while the duo tries to head back to the U.S. border (after accidentally driving to Mexico). The trailer flips over during a collision at one point in the chase, and Highman is still well enough to thank Tremblay for getting his arse back into the U.S. moments later. More on this scene below...

Michelle Monaghan as Sarah, Peter Highman's wife, in DUE DATE.

In terms of plot issues in Due Date, much of ‘em revolved around the car chase in Mexico. For starters, how did Highman and Tremblay manage to re-enter the U.S. without any additional obstacles...considering the fact that not only did they not have passports on ‘em, but they were driving around in a stolen Mexican police truck with its right passenger door missing? How did they manage to reach Los Angeles and NOT get pulled over by LAPD and/or California Highway Patrol officers who would find it suspicious that a law enforcement vehicle from another country was cruising down a freeway with its sirens blazing, AND missing the door? I obviously understand that the movie is about slapstick comedy and whatnot...but I kinda had trouble suspending my disbelief during these moments.

Peter and Ethan carpool with Peter's friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx) in DUE DATE.

All-in-all, Due Date could’ve been a better film. I like how Highman doesn’t completely lay an ass-whupping on Tremblay after realizing that this entire situation is caused by Ethan’s "vulnerability" due to the death of his father. The scene at the Grand Canyon was a nice moment—though overall, one wonders if Tremblay truly had what it took to act on a formidable TV show like...Two and a Half Men. Probably. I wouldn’t say that Jon Cryer is an Oscar-caliber actor either.

Peter and Ethan scuffle after a poignant moment at the Grand Canyon in DUE DATE.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Dark Knight.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES... As mentioned in this previous journal entry (though you probably didn’t read it and ended up just staring at the photos instead), the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s über-successful take on the Caped Crusader franchise is set to begin filming next April. Here are other bits of info—some confirmed, most rumored—that we know about Batman 3...now known as The Dark Knight Rises:

- Batman 3 will officially have filming take place in New Orleans. Whether or not principal photography will also be done in Chicago—where Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were shot—is currently unknown. Though it should probably be a given.

- Tom Hardy, who recently starred as Eames, a.k.a. The Forger, in Nolan’s latest blockbuster film Inception, was cast in Batman 3. Whether or not he plays a good guy or villain is unknown.

- Marion Cotillard, recently known for her role as the psychotic dead wife of Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, reportedly refused to be in Batman 3. Reports say that she would’ve been up for the role as Catwoman. It’s all good that Cotillard won’t be in the movie. I prefer Emily Blunt instead...or Minka Kelly (but as Talia al Ghul, not Catwoman).

- Rumored/favorite bad guys are: Killer Croc, Hush, Deadshot, Scarecrow and Black Mask. The Riddler will definitely NOT be in the movie, according to Nolan. There are even online rumors that Two-Face might return. After stumbling upon this awesome artwork below, I prefer Black Mask. If not, then Bane and Azrael.

- Ed Norton of The Italian Job (I reference this movie because I saw it again on DVD two weeks ago... Great film) was rumored to play The Riddler. He has denied that this is true. Which is obviously the case since this villain won't be in The Dark Knight Rises.

- The film will NOT be shot in 3-D (Thank God!). However, it should be safe to assume that Batman 3, like the two previous flicks, will be shown on IMAX.

And last, but not least:

- The fact that Christopher Nolan officially returned to direct Batman 3. This franchise, to borrow a line from Commissioner Gordon at the end of The Dark Knight, will finally get the awesome film trilogy that Batman fans deserve. None of this Joel Schumacher and nippled Batsuit crap. Can’t wait till 2012...

The Black Mask.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

YESTERDAY, I saw Paranormal Activity 2...and as expected, I thought the film was pretty darn scary. Every time that ominous rumbling sound was heard in the background during a scene, you know that something freaky was obviously gonna happen inside that house—whether it was at night or at day. Of course, it would’ve been more frightening if most of the shocking moments in the movie weren’t seen in the TV ads [though it was showing shots from these scary scenes that obviously got me and every other person who saw this film to wanna watch Paranormal Activity 2 (or PA2)...DUHHH]. In the first Paranormal Activity, the most intense scene in that flick was the moment Katie was dragged out of her bed and down the stairs in her house by an evil unseen entity. A similar scene occurs with Katie’s sister Kristi after she is dragged out of her son’s nursery room in PA2...but for me, the "been there, seen that" attitude after seeing the first flick diminishes the impact of this scene. However, I have to give the filmmakers credit for nicely tying the story of this film with the first one. Paranormal Activity 2 is a prequel to the 2009 surprise hit (which was actually shown at the Screamfest Film Festival in 2007 but released nationwide in the U.S. on October 16 of last year).

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

If there’s one gripe that I have with Paranormal Activity 2, it’s that the backstory seemed like it was ripped off from an episode of the hit TV show Supernatural (the whole "making a deal with a demon to live a more prosperous life" bit). I’m surprised Jared Padalecki and/or Jensen Ackles (who play ghosthunters Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural) didn’t make cameos in the movie. Or at the very least, the daughter in PA2, Ali, tried to find out via her laptop computer how to contact a ‘crossroads demon’ (a recurring character/villain on Supernatural) to deal with the haunting of her family. Anyways...

Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) talk about time travel outside the Twin Pines Mall in BACK TO THE FUTURE.

I also watched Back to the Future at the theater yesterday. The 1985 sci-fi adventure classic was shown during a special 12:30 PM screening at the AMC theater in Puente Hills Mall (which served as the Twin Pines Mall in Back to the Future). Needless to say, it was a sell-out crowd...as lots of other people wanted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Robert Zemeckis’ hit film. Everyone in the audience got free theatrical posters of the movie afterwards. Would you guys chew me out if I said this was actually the first time I saw Back to the Future in its entirety? Would you chew me out even more if I said I never saw Back to the Future 2 and only bits and pieces of Back to the Future 3 as well? Great Scott! Quit hurling tomatoes at me!



Outside the Twin Pines Mall, Doc Brown and Marty McFly stare at the after-effects of the DeLorean traveling back in time in BACK TO THE FUTURE.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jesse Eisenberg in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK... I saw the film two days ago, and thought it was pretty good. Definitely not the piece of crap that the teaser trailer made it out to be. (PUNK... PROPHET... BILLIONAIRE... STFU!) Jesse Eisenberg—of Zombieland fame—was amusing as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg...though it’s funny how little Eisenberg sounded like the real Internet billionaire [Zuckerberg made a guess appearance on last week’s episode of The Simpsons...and the dude has a pretty deep voice. Of course, The Social Network is based on events 7 years ago, but I doubt Zuckerberg sounds any different than he did when he was a hated(?) Harvard computer nerd in 2003].

Rooney Mara and Jesse Eisenberg in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Justin Timberlake did a notable job as Napster founder Sean Parker...though I wonder if Parker is anything close to acting like the somewhat douchey and cowardly partygoer that Timberlake portrayed him as. I don’t know much about British actor Andrew Garfield except that he's gonna play the next Peter Parker, but my hopes for 2012’s Spider-Man reboot have gone up a little after seeing his commendable performance as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song and Andrew Garfield in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

The actress who plays Saverin’s girlfriend, Brenda Song, looked so friggin’ hot in the movie. Seeing as how Song is credited on IMDb only as "Christy" in The Social Network, was her character fictitious? Just kidding... Upon further research, I know that her full name is Christy Lee. It's Erica Albright, the girl played by Rooney Mara who is the reason why Zuckerberg created Facebook in the movie, that doesn't exist. Supposedly.

Malese Jow and Brenda Song in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Before you ask... No, I didn’t post a status update about The Social Network on Facebook after I watched the movie. But I did tweet about it on my Twitter page (I’d provide a link...but I’ll probably end up deleting my Twitter account a few months from now...only to create a new profile on the same day. Just because). I wonder if the origins of MySpace and Friendster were just as dark as that of Facebook. Probably not. Otherwise, we would have already seen a Friendster movie...and Tom, the creator of MySpace, wouldn’t have been relegated to a cameo in last year’s unfunny flick Funny People. That is all.

Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.