Friday, November 24, 2006
More on SPIDER-MAN 3... Last night, FOX aired the ‘world broadcast premiere’ to 2004's Spider-Man 2, and during most of the commercials, showed brief clips from the newest trailer to next year’s third Webslinger installment. Right before the movie started, however, there was a promo to these sneak previews, and a quick shot of Venom from the film was shown for the first time! In the words of Eric Cartman from TV's South Park: "Kiiick. Ass! Kiiick. Ass!" Thanks to the folks at SuperHeroHype.com for providing a video that combines all clips from the sneak previews. Word.
Monday, November 13, 2006
SPIDER-MAN 3 Trailer... Check out the newest preview to the third Spidey flick on iFilm.com, and in front of the next Bond flick Casino Royale...which comes out this Friday. Hopefully, a downloadable version of the trailer will be made available online once Royale is released. By the way, there's no sign of Venom in this preview (except Topher Grace playing Eddie Brock...Venom's human alterego). Sam Raimi is trying to keep the character under wraps, eh? Hopefully, Venom will look awesome when we finally see him on the big screen next May. That is all.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
"Kazakhstan is the greatest...country in the world..." So I saw Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan on Saturday, and what did I think? In the words of Mr. Sagdiyev himself (that’s Borat’s last name, in case you didn’t know yet): HIGH FIVE! The movie was hi-larious! From pointing out the town rapist in his home village at the beginning to trying to kidnap Pamela Anderson at the end, the movie was a non-stop crackup! Sacha Baron Cohen is one devoted comedian...considering he was willing to have a naked fat man (Azamat, Borat’s producer in the film) sit on his face and pretty much ‘69’ him during that hotel room wrestling scene, poking fun at his Jewish heritage (C’mon now... Who won’t admit they found guilty pleasure in laughing at him trying to pay off those two ‘Jewish cockroaches’ so they wouldn't kill him? Or videotape the Running of the Jews in his village? It’s good, satirical fun... Mel Gibson should be amused), commenting on the current US and A political climate ("We support your war...of terror. May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq.") and even mingling with a couple of male participants at a gay pride parade. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprise if he brought "Not" jokes back into popularity again. And one phrase I’ve never heard of that I'll probably incorporate into my own screenplays is the term "Make romance explosion on her stomach." If you don’t know what that means... Well, you haven’t watch enough pornos then, haha.
All in all, Borat delivered. Though I don’t know about buying it on DVD since, once again, that now-infamous wrestling scene doesn’t lend itself to repeat viewings (unless you like fat and skinny, butt-naked Kazakh reporters). This is similar to what I said about the last Sacha Baron Cohen flick, Talladega Nights. Anyways... Since I (and millions of other people who contributed to the movie’s $26.5 million opening weekend) watched the film, does that mean Borat will no longer be execute? If so... HIGH FIVE!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS: Blog #2... I saw the World War II epic today, and while it was not as intense as 1998's Saving Private Ryan, it was more moving and emotional. Like Private Ryan, Flags opens up with a modern-day sequence featuring a WWII veteran...who in the Clint Eastwood film recounts the significance of the flag raising photo shot in Iwo Jima. The battle scenes in Flags are just as realistic and gut-wrenching as those in the Steven Spielberg epic. But unlike Private Ryan, the modern-day scenes also take place during the movie...and they are actually pivotal to the story in Flags. The modern-day scenes at the beginning and end of Private Ryan, on the other hand, could've been deleted from that film...which would've probably made the '99 Best Picture nominee a much better movie. It's still a great film, though.
Proof that Flags of Our Fathers was emotional and moving was evident at the finale, when most of the theater audience remained still and silent during the end credits sequence. As the credits rolled, actual photos taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima came up on screen...and it was interesting to see how close Clint Eastwood came to re-creating certain events that took place in the 1945 Pacific conflict.
Friday, October 20, 2006
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS... Clint Eastwood’s World War II epic about the famous photo taken in Iwo Jima comes out today. I’ll probably watch it sometime this weekend. Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige is also out in release. I’ll probably watch that too... Don’t know when, though. Definitely can’t wait for Borat to come out (it opens on November 3rd). That looks like a hilarious film. "I support your war...of terror." ‘Nuff said.
Posted by Richard at 1:18 AM
Monday, October 9, 2006
THE DEPARTED... So I saw the film yesterday, and there’s really one thing I need to point out: In the hands of a capable director like Martin Scorsese, violence rocks!! Yes, you heard right... It might be my dark, sadistic subconscience talking...but nothing gets the adrenaline pumpin' faster than having most of the main characters get blasted away at the en— Err, you can finish the sentence. Storywise, I’m well aware that Scorsese actually remade a little Hong Kong film known as Infernal Affairs, but since I didn’t see that movie, I’ll treat Departed as being completely original and kicking ass. Jack Nicholson, unsurprisingly, gave a great, wacky performance as mob boss Frank Castello (especially in that scene where he was giving that little imitation of a rat. Yes, the actual rodent). Matt Damon gave a good, straightforward performance as mob mole Colin Sullivan. Mark Wahlberg gave an amusing performance as trash-talking police investigator Dignam...and Leonardo DiCaprio gave a strong performance as Jack Dawso—err, Howard Hugh—I mean, police mole Billy Costigan. And Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin were okay, too. So that was Anthony Anderson. And I thought that was Maggie Gyllenhaal who played Madolyn. My bad. It was another lady named Vera Farmiga.
Now that I’m done listing the main cast, what else should I mention? I already pointed out the violence, and how it kicked ass, so I’ll switch to something else. One negative comment I have about the film is that the editing was very haphazard in many of the scenes. Apparently, the script supervisor was dozing off on set...since some of the actors' gestures were inconsistent with the shots that followed the previous ones. In one shot Leonardo Dicaprio will be staring straight ahead at a wall, in the shot after that his head is turned as he is conversing with Martin Sheen or making a move on Vera Farmiga’s character. To the film editor: It must’ve been fun working on the Avid for this film, eh? Anyways, that is the only nitpick I have. Don’t know if this film will be Oscar material for Scorsese, but we shall see...
Sunday, September 24, 2006
THE SIMPSONS GAVE CREDIT TO THE PREQUELS??? OF COURSE NOT! But today's episode where Bart and Principal Skinner engage in a peanut and shrimp-toting stick fight featured the "Duel of the Fates" music theme from Star Wars Episodes' I and III (and that brief scene of Anakin riding that speeder bike across the Tatooine desert in Episode II). The question is... Will The Simpsons ever make a reference to Revenge of the Sith? And if it does... Will it be a positive reference? Or will Lenny and Carl engage in another mock-lightsaber fight talking about how Revenge of the Sith sucked more than Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace (Sith ruled, FYI!)? We shall see...
Saturday, August 19, 2006
SNAKES ON A MOTHERF***IN’ PLANE... I saw the Samuel L. Jackson film during a free screening at the Ontario Mills in California today, and needless to say, it rocked! Or maybe I just have low standards when it comes to critiquing movies. Anyways, the filmmakers—or should I say, the geeks on the online message boards who gave suggestions about what they wanted to see in the film (RE: more violence, profanity and nudity)—did not run out of creative ways of showing the snakes wreak havoc. Highlights of the film (Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD): The hot blonde chick getting bit on one of her tits, that fat dude getting bit on the ass, that other dude getting bit in the crotch while taking a piss (ouch!) and that one geezer who gets crushed and eaten by a boa constrictor. Oh, and don't forget that dog that gets also eaten by the boa constrictor. Then again, maybe "creative" wasn't the right word to use there...but "predictable". As in, predictably amusing. Of course, how can we overlook that much-anticipated Sam Jackson line: "I’ve had it with these motherf***in’ snakes...on this motherf***in’ plane!" You rock, Shaft—err, Mace Windu—err, Jules.
Though I’m kinda surprised... A couple of coworkers and I were actually doing an exit poll at Ontario Mills...and most of the screenings we polled yesterday and tonight had a measly average of 30 to 40 people attending each show. Wow, I guess all that Internet buzz isn’t gonna help the box office take for Snakes on a Plane at all. I wonder if this film is gonna even make $20 million this weekend. We'll see.
UPDATE (August 20): Snakes on a Plane made $15.2 million during opening weekend. Considering the hype— GOOD GOD, that's sad...
Monday, August 14, 2006
THE DARK KNIGHT... That will be the name of the sequel to last year’s Batman Begins, with Lords of Dogtown/Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger set to play the role of the Joker. The Dark Knight will start principal photography—err, filming, in 2007, with a release date set for 2008. Click here for more details.
Monday, August 7, 2006
TALLADEGA NIGHTS... So I watched the Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy yesterday, and needless to say, it was more enjoyable than his previous film, Anchorman (which was still funny). Will I buy this one on DVD? Hmm... Good question. Then again, I did buy The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions on DVD, so you never know. I like squandering money. Just kidding... Not really. Anyways, where was I? Oh yea... The racing scenes in Talladega Nights were well-staged (especially the car crashes), Leslie Bibb is hot (and so is Amy Adams, who plays Susan), Will Ferrell was actually pretty convincing as a NASCAR driver, those two kids (Walker and Texas Ranger) were hilarious and Sacha Baron Cohen as the gay French Formula One-turned-NASCAR driver Jean Girard was a crack-up. Though now thinking about it, buying the DVD will probably be ruled out since there’re only so many times one could watch Borat liplock with Andy Richter and Will Ferrell at the end. Unless you’re not hetero. Or a chick. Haha. For those of you who haven’t watched the film yet, check it out (it IS 76% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com right now...which is pretty good for a film comedy that doesn’t have Woody Allen-style humor in it). Next up on the "To-see" list: the college flick Accepted...which comes out on August 18.
One more thing: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy... What’s up with Will Ferrell and biographical titles with colons in them? Err, whatever.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
MIAMI VICE... Since the movie opened Friday, and I watched it during a press screening in Hollywood last Wednesday, I guess it’s safe to give a full review here. Actually, I don’t feel like giving a full review. All I’m gonna say is, cinematography-wise, the movie looked great (especially during the aerial shots of the planes soaring through the clouds over South America, and that scene where Colin Farrell is driving that nice-ass speedboat across the sea to, um, Cuba? Got confused with that one)...and action-wise, there was hardly any. But when there was an action scene (re: gunfights), you rooted for Sonny (Farrell) and Ricardo (Jamie Foxx) to start blasting away at some drug dealers and white supremacists. Or did I spoil the plot for you? Anyways, I thought Collateral was a lot better than this film. For starters, I could understand the dialogue in Collateral (I know, I know... Michael Mann is trying to convey realistic cop talk in this latest film), and the story wasn’t convoluted in the 2004 thriller. So anyways, again, that’s all. What’s the next film I want to see this summer? Don’t know... This summer blows.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
CLERKS II... I didn’t watch the first one in its entirety, but now I should just to see how it compares to the sequel, which was totally hilarious and witty! Don’t know about you, but Kevin Smith writes some of the best damn dialogue in movies...especially when the dialogue is about movies. That one scene where Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) is getting in that heated argument with Elias (Trevor Fehrman) and a customer (played by Quentin Tarantino look-alike Kevin Weisman) about The Lord of the Rings was a crack-up...and true. Of course, the dialogue about "Mannequin Skywalker" and the Star Wars prequels (well, only Star Wars: Episodes' I and II, that is. Ahem) was also true. Jay and Silent Bob, those crazy potheads, almost stole the show. And Rosario Dawson was waaay better than Dante Hick’s (Brian O’Halloran) fiancée, Emma (played by Jennifer Schwalbach Smith... Do any of you even care that I list the real name of the actors? Don’t answer that). By the way, that one shaggy-haired diner patron sitting at a table who utters the line "F**kin’ ay" was a former classmate of mine (Steve R.). We both graduated from film school at Cal State Long Beach in ‘04. How he made a small cameo in Clerks II, I do not know. Lucky punk. Then again, I was in 2002's $400 million behemoth, Spider-Man, so all is forgiven.
About the scene where Dante and Randal go Go Cart racing... That looked like it was filmed at Speed Zone, which is only a couple of miles from where I live (in southern California). If that is Speed Zone in Clerks II, then this would be the second time the SoCal racing park was featured in a movie that ironically took place in a northeastern state (Clerks took place in New Jersey, while the other film I’m talking about, 2005’s Guess Who starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, took place in New York...which I’m heading to next month, by the way). I’ll stop wasting your time with meaningless trivia now.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Farewell, Paramount Pictures... Yesterday was officially my last day working at the studio, after being there for a year. All in all, it's a great place to work! So historic. I'd write a longer entry, but I don't wanna. Maybe later. Click here to check out several photos that I took while I was at Paramount. Some of the photos include a prop vehicle from the upcoming Spider-Man 3 and the Batmobile from the old 1960's Batman TV show.
Sunday, July 9, 2006
SQUIDHEAD... So about an hour ago, I came back from the theater after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. The movie was okay... I could see that the filmmakers were obviously trying to make the film a lot more complex and darker than the first installment (in the same vein as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Empire Strikes Back...though neither of the two aforementioned films compare to Empire’s excellence). A major flaw in the movie was that much of the dialogue was inaudible—either because of the heavy British accents, or Hans Zimmer’s bombastic score (which I still liked...though some of the music sounded very similar to his work in Gladiator, Crimson Tide and even Pearl Harbor). Heavy accents are what marred the viewing experience of the last Harry Potter installment for me as well, but I’m not talking about the Goblet of Fire here. Um, obviously. The prosthetics used to turn actor Bill Nighy into the multi-tentacled Davy Jones were well-done.
Back to Pirates 2. I can’t wait to see (Warning: a major spoiler ahead for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet) how a certain character’s comeback from The Curse of the Black Pearl is explained in the third Pirates film...to be released next year. I also hope the dialogue will also be more intelligible. Other than that, I have nothing else to say. Oh yea... End Spoiler. $132 million in three days. Good Lord...
Sunday, July 2, 2006
INDEPENDENCE DAY... Ten years ago today, the sci-fi mega-blockbuster made its debut in advance screenings around the USA. Independence Day (a.k.a. ID4) would turn out to be the highest grossing movie of 1996 (making $306.2 million domestically), win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects the following year and encourage filmmaker Roland Emmerich to make less-memorable disaster movies such as Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow years later. ID4 was my favorite flick of ’96—despite the numerous ridiculous and/or inaccurate plot elements, such as the fact an extraterrestrial species is capable of destroying our planet’s largest cities with a single laser beam coming from 15-mile-wide hovering spaceships, only to fall victim to a virus that was able to be uploaded to the 500-mile-wide mothership’s computer within seconds...and the fact F/A-18 Hornets were depicted as having drag chutes. Hornets don’t have drag chutes. The SR-71 Blackbird and space shuttles use one, but the F/A-18 doesn’t. That, and B-2 Stealth Bombers aren’t armed with AMRAAM missile launchers as Will Smith said. Anyways... David Arnold's patriotic music score for ID4 is totally awesome. I listen to it on my MP3 player now and then.
Here are some memorable publicity photos and screenshots from the alien invasion hit.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
SPIDER-MAN 3... Click here to view the official teaser trailer for 2007’s most anticipated film (YEA, YOU HEARD RIGHT). From the footage that’s shown, this movie is gonna rock!! Spidey looks totally badass in the black outfit, Sandman looks pretty cool when he transforms into, you guessed it, sand, Kirsten Dunst appears much prettier in the SM3 footage than she did in Spider-Man 2 (no offense, haha) and Harry Osborne...uh, looks pretty determine to get revenge on Spidey while soaring on the Goblin’s glider (though I wonder if Osborne will be donning more than just that mask seen in the trailer for his Hobgoblin attire. Is he even called the Hobgoblin in SM3?). The one character most notably missing from the trailer, of course, is Spidey’s slithery arch-nemesis himself, Venom. Topher Grace’s Ed Brock is shown, but not his evil symbiotic version. Well, more power to Columbia Pictures for keeping Venom under wraps...till the full theatrical trailer comes out next Spring, that is. Did I mention how this movie is gonna rock??
Monday, June 19, 2006
THE MOVIE... About two weeks ago, it was confirmed that 20th Century Fox and 24’s producers reached an agreement to release a big-screen version of the hit TV drama...to be released in theaters around summer of 2008. It’ll be interesting to see how they pull this off without using the unique real-time structure employed on the TV show. I really hope the writers have a totally kick-ass story in mind, since I wouldn’t want this to be another version of Kiefer Sutherland’s previous film, The Sentinel (which I never saw, but from what I read in most reviews, didn’t miss much). I cringe at the thought of 24: The Movie being derided as nothing more than a standard action film, so here’s hoping that there’ll be some clever, unique twists in the plot the same way there are in the TV episodes (though hopefully the plot won’t be 'unique' to the point that it seemed outlandish like the story in 1998's X-Files: The Movie). And also... Let’s see a brief nude scene with Chloe O'Brian. Just kidding! Or are I? (Bad grammar done intentionally.) According to Wikipedia.org, lensing for the movie will begin on May 30th, 2007 (after Season 6 ends), and is expected to be released between Seasons 7 and 8—assuming those seasons come into existence...which I hope they do.
Last Friday, Fox TV began airing 2 rerun episodes of Season 5 from 8 PM to 10 PM. So not only is KCAL Channel 9 (in Los Angeles) airing Season 2 episodes of 24 on Sunday mornings (12 AM) and nights (11 PM), but fans (those living in L.A., at least) also get to stay home all 3 weekend nights to watch Jack Bauer and Co. torture or shoot (mostly both) the bad guys. Sweeet.
Monday, June 12, 2006
EVEN MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE... Those screencaps that I posted in this last entry may have belonged to a fan-made film, but the image above is from the actual Transformers: The Movie website. There is not much on this page yet...except for some dramatic music, a countdown to next year's release date and that cool close-up of a robotic eye. The question is...does that eye belong to an Autobot or a Decepticon? Probably a Decepticon...since it looks pretty sinister. Yep. Obviously.
That is all.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE... Last Tuesday, Cinescape.com posted a link to a website that had a cool video clip of Optimus Prime transforming from truck into Autobot mode. This was just an early CGI test for Transformers: The Movie, but needless to say, the CGI looked awesome! I just might be looking forward to this film when it comes out next year. But one question remains: Will the Dinobots be in it?? Just kidding. Click here to view the Quicktime clip.
EDIT: I heard that this video clip is most likely fan-made, but whatever... It still rocks!
EDIT: I heard that this video clip is most likely fan-made, but whatever... It still rocks!
Sunday, May 7, 2006
THE ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION OF THE STAR WARS TRILOGY TO BE RELEASED ON DVD??? BAH!! So contrary to George Lucas’ assertion that he’s sorry that fans "fell in love with a half-made film (alluding to Episode IV: A New Hope)", he’s planning to release the 1977, ’80, and ’83 versions of the first three Star Wars films out on the digital format this September 12. Nooo! Why did he have to give in to the purists??? Now the question is... Do I support the Lucas critics' claim that die-hard Star Wars fans will buy anything that the Dude From Modesto conjures up and puts out in stores, or do I draw the line and let my potential copy of the upcoming DVDs collect dust on a Best Buy shelf? Considering the fact I like the Special Editions (except for that new, lame-ass music number in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi), I think I’ll decline on buying the new DVDs. What’s even worse is that both the 2004 versions and the original versions of the films will be included in the new set, making me spend $50 on the previous package for nothing. Arg! Screw the purists!! ALL HAIL GREEDO SHOOTING FIRST!!!
Click here to read up on this sad, sad news. If you're not a purist.
Click here to read up on this sad, sad news. If you're not a purist.
Monday, May 1, 2006
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III... Despite the fact I have to see the first one again to get the story, and I didn’t watch the second one directed by John Woo, can’t wait till M:I:3 comes out this Friday! I currently work at Paramount Pictures, which financed the film (and where Tom Cruise’s production company is located), so I’ll be able to watch it for free at the lot next weekend. Paramount-produced films are generally screened all 3 days at the lot on opening weekend, but I should be able to watch it on Friday after work. Below are screenshots from the film. Bring on the 2006 summer movie season!
UPDATE (May 6): I watched M:I:3 twice at Paramount Studios yesterday (there were two employee screenings, one at 6:30 PM and the other 9 PM), and I would have to say it was a really good film. Fun too, obviously. Philip Seymour Hoffman is one sadistic, badass dude (damn you, Capote!!), I feel bad for Felicity, Ving Rhames and Laurence Fishburne are hilarious, and Maggie Q and Michelle Monaghan (who plays Tom Cruise’s wife in the film) are hot. And of course, Cruise and J. J. Abrams rule. I’m probably not gonna watch it again at a regular theater, since paying for a ticket would defeat the purpose of watching it for free at the studio where it was produced (haha), but I’ll definitely buy it when the DVD comes out! Hope I don’t get in trouble for mentioning this, but I’ve been to the office where the DVD package is currently being designed. M:I:3 is gonna be released on High-Def!! Woohoo!!
No wait, does my DVD player even play HD DVD?? Uhhh...