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Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT Trilogy artwork.

Image of the Day... I recently stumbled upon the illustration above at an art store inside my local mall. Cool artwork...though I'm wondering why it features the Batsuit from The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises but uses the monorail and stylized architecture of Gotham City from Batman Begins in the background. I guess the artist obviously wanted to combine elements from all three Christopher Nolan films in this piece. Makes sense.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in DREDD 3D.

Dredd 3D... I saw the reboot of the 1995 Sylvester Stallone sci-fi action film yesterday, and one thing I need to ask is, was Stallone this badass in the original Judge Dredd? Dredd 3D has Karl Urban (from 2009's Star Trek) as the one-man judge, jury and executioner...but unlike Stallone in the original flick, Urban's identity is concealed by the large, Boba Fett-like helmet for the entire film. And while Stallone's version of "I am the law" sounded funny enough for co-star Rob Schneider to ridicule onscreen in Judge Dredd, Urban's utterance of that line is not to be taken lightly in this new film—especially when he already has his multipurpose automatic rifle in hand. As for Dredd 3D's main villain, Lena Headey (from 300 and the defunct FOX TV show, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) is interesting as the scarred, drugged-out gang leader, Ma-Ma. In fact, Headey is so relentless as Ma-Ma that the final scene between her and Dredd is rewarding because he hands her the verdict and punishment that she so thoroughly deserves. Urban's co-star Olivia Thirlby, who plays the telepathic judge named Anderson, kicks ass once things really start to heat up inside the Peach Trees apartment structure where she and Dredd are trapped by Ma-Ma's gang. I'd say more about this but I don't want to spoil the movie for y'all.

Olivia Thirlby as Anderson in DREDD 3D.

All-in-all, Dredd 3D is an entertaining flick. The 3-D itself is pretty awesome...especially during scenes where Ma-Ma and/or her gang inhale a drug, called Slo-Mo, that gives off the effect of (you guessed it) time slowing down. In one particular scene, Ma-Ma's thugs force a couple of victims to inhale Slo-Mo just before they're thrown off a balcony dozens of stories above the ground. The 3-D plays well as we get a P.O.V. shot from one of the victims as he slowly falls to his death. This is a horrible way to bite the dust in real life, but onscreen, it looked really cool. In terms of Dredd being a reboot, I hope that next year's version of RoboCop and even Starship Troopers will be as interesting as Dredd is. I never saw the new Total Recall, but based on how it fared at the box office this summer, it's safe to say that it didn't live up to Ah-nold's original 1990 flick. Carry on.

Lena Headey as Ma-Ma in DREDD 3D.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gollum (Andy Serkis) returns in THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.
© 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey... Check out the newest trailer to the first installment of The Lord of the Rings' prequel trilogy. Originally, there were only supposed to be two films for The Hobbit, with There and Back Again being released in cinemas on December 13, 2013. With the recent addition of a third flick, however, There and Back Again will be shown at theaters in 2014, while The Desolation of Smaug will be released next year.

It's not a surprise that Peter Jackson is going back to the movies that made him the Oscar-winning director he is today. George Lucas obviously returned to the Star Wars saga 16 years after the release of Return of the Jedi with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith...while Michael Bay will be back to helm a fourth Transformers flick after his first three films did stellar business at the box office in 2007, 2009 and 2011, respectively. And of course, Steven Spielberg and Lucas returned to the Indiana Jones series with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and an upcoming fifth installment. Along with the first two Star Wars prequels, however, I don't think the new Indy flicks are very good examples of why filmmakers should go back to the movie franchises that help boost their careers. Oh well.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Azrael-Batman brawls with the real Batman in the comic book series KNIGHTSEND.

The Iron Dark Knight... Ironically, this is probably how Azrael-Batman would look if Christopher Nolan actually featured him in any of the Dark Knight movies. Much more ironic is the fact that if the person who created the cool illustration below didn't tamper with Iron Man's red and gold color, the Iron Dark Knight would look even more similar to the Bat Who Broke The Man Who Broke The Bat (that would be Azrael defeating Bane, who in turn broke Bruce Wayne's— You know the story if you watched The Dark Knight Rises) in the Knightfall, Knightquest and KnightsEnd comic book series. That is all.

The Iron Dark Knight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tom Hardy as Forrest Bondurant and Jessica Chastain as Maggie Beauford in LAWLESS.

Lawless... I saw the gangster drama two days ago, and I must say, Tom Hardy has nine lives! (I'll resist the urge to lamely joke that he should've played Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises because of this.) Lawless is based on a true story, but I think it's safe to point out that the filmmaker (John Hillcoat) embellished the moments where the outlaw named Forrest Bondurant, who's played by Hardy, came so close to death in the movie. Shia LaBeouf, who plays Jack, Forrest's brother, did a good job portraying the young naive sibling who strives for greatness—even if it's as a bootlegging criminal during the Prohibition Era—after he witnesses a mob hit committed by the ruthless gangster Floyd Banner, portrayed by Gary Oldman. Kinda weird to see Oldman in a villainous role once again after playing Commissioner James Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogy, but it was awesome (though seldom) to see him weld a Tommy Gun as he nonchalantly laid waste to enemies in nondescript Virginia locales. Guy Pearce was cool as special agent Charlie Rakes, who kicks ass before taking names...even if he does wear a bow tie while trying to lay down the law. Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice in Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland, was constrained (appropriately so) but lovely as the preacher's daughter named Bertha Minnix. Jessica Chastain, in contrast, was all-out seductive as Maggie Beauford, a dancer from Chicago who wants to find some peace and quiet in a small forest town. Just ask Forrest Bondurant.

Shia LaBeouf as Jack Bondurant and Mia Wasikowska as Bertha Minnix in LAWLESS.

Film critics have pointed out that cinematography-wise, Lawless is visually bland. And I agree with them. From the looks of it, the movie was shot digitally, since it looks nowhere near as crisp as another mob flick like say, 2007's American Gangster (directed by Ridley Scott and featuring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe). Or The Godfather. Definitely not like The Godfather. Or even Scarface. But you get the idea... Carry on.

Guy Pearce as special agent Charlie Rakes in LAWLESS.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan (1957-2012)... I admit that I never saw Green Mile, but I did see Armageddon, Daredevil, 2001's Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King, The Island, Sin City and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby at the theater. It was Green Mile that Mr. Duncan received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor back in 1999, but he was cool, hilarious and/or intimidating (as intended) in the movies mentioned above. May Duncan Rest In Peace.

Michael Clarke Duncan.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Joker artwork.
Courtesy of Unreality Magazine

$1 Billion... That's how much The Dark Knight Rises has made worldwide as of today. The actual box office gross is $1.005 billion...which is attributed to TDKR making $574 million internationally and $431.2 million domestically at the cinemas. TDKR is only the 13th flick in history to reach the 10-figure dollar mark. The Dark Knight made $533 million domestically and $469.7 million internationally back in 2008...giving Christopher Nolan's second Batman film a worldwide gross of $1.003 billion.

Speaking of The Dark Knight, here are three extremely cool pieces of artwork of the Joker that I found online. These illustrations are amazing...but it angers me that when I looked up 'The Joker' on Google, photos of the S.O.B. who shot up that Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20 shows up next to awesome pics of Heath Ledger in the role that won him a posthumous Oscar back in 2009. Pretty frustrating.

The Joker and Harley Quinn artwork.
Courtesy of Iricolor's deviantART page

Artwork of the Joker leaving Arkham Asylum.
DC Comics - Lee Bermejo