CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS!
The bizarre town of Chewandswallow makes its big screen debut in the new CGI animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The impressive feature, now showing in regular, 3-D and IMAX 3-D formats, is based very loosely on the 1978, children’s book of the same name written by Judi Barrett and beautifully illustrated by Ron Barrett. The film opened in 3,119 theaters last weekend with the number one total box office sales ($30.3M) beating out The Informant! ($10.5M), and Love Happens ($8.1M).
The Informant! is an enjoyable quirky comedy from Steven Soderbergh based on the real story of Mark Whitacre, who served as a corporate whistle-blower in the mid-90s. That is actually only the outer layer of the story. While Mark was working with the FBI as an insider at ADM, he was also embezzling money and taking kickbacks totaling over $9 million. This is not a thriller about corporate intrigue and FBI operations. It is a goofy comedy about how a seemingly normal man was able to get himself into deeper and deeper legal trouble, and then his many attempts to get back out again.
Jen Lawthorne is showing her documentary El Viajecito de un Sueno (The Little Trip of a Dream) at U of R this Friday as part of a program at U of R's Center for Civic Engagement. It's a really wonderful and touching documentary. Check it out it is FREE!
An animation by Valeria Fonseca presenting a satirical view of the orgins of the "war on terror" as well as the results.
Thanks to Bizhan over at Mended Arrow for bringing this to our attention and check out his blog regularly for great posts.
We learn early on in Whiteout that Antarctica is a terrifying place. The bitter cold makes it impossible to survive without shelter for very long.
There is something to be said for a film that takes a played out premise and still finds a way to make it feel original. We have all seen countless movies in which technology turns on humanity and leaves the world populated by only a handful of survivors trying to live by avoiding monstrous hordes of evil machines. Shane Acker’s 9 turns that premise on its ear a bit.
Some movies are so bad that, by the end, you find that merely viewing the film has put you in a bad mood. Three years ago, Crank had that effect on me. Now, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the writer directing team behind that movie, return to give us Gamer. Once again, I find myself incapable of discerning any redeeming qualities in their work. Gamer is being advertised as the last big movie of the summer. It is truly a shame that the season must end this way.
Halloween II finds Rob Zombie returning to the series of remakes he began two years ago. Though Rob Zombie’s first film was a straight remake, this sequel demonstrates his desire to separate himself from the iconic originals from thirty years ago.
When local filmmaker Michael Hagan made the decision to make his friend David Shultz the focus of his documentary film class project, no one involved knew what it would eventually become. Hagan would embark on a project that would take six years to tell its tale. That tale is of David Shultz and the Skyline and the realities of what it takes to make creating music a career.
I was not sure what to hope for from Inglourious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino wrote the film years ago, and put it on hold because he did not know how to end it. He decided to make Kill Bill instead. After such a long lapse, nearly all of the actors that appear in the final film are second, third, or even fourth choices. These seem to be the circumstances that can turn an otherwise great movie bad. If you are, however, a Tarantino fan that has held out hope, you will be relieved to know that he has managed to succeed yet again, despite the odds against him. As far as I am concerned, Quentin Tarantino has never made a bad movie. Inglourious Basterds does not tarnish his record.
ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE, SCRATCH, HYPE!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time -- people who've profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry.
To begin with, I will say that the marketing team behind District 9 has done a fantastic job of concealing what this film is actually all about. The earliest trailers implied a slow drama about government oppression of alien visitors. The more recent trailers and television commercials shifted the focus, creating the impression that the movie would be more of a science fiction action film. The commercials show off a lot of battles between aliens and humans, and seem to be more in line with what one would expect from a summer movie. I’m happy to report that District 9 falls into a perfect middle ground between these two extremes. There is political commentary, but it is not heavy handed, nor is it the sole focus of the film. There is also a lot of action, but the film smartly builds to it, and none of it is done for the sole purpose of spectacle (though rest assured, the effects are spectacular). The result is a film that is both thoughtful and exciting, and definitely very satisfying.
It is probably a safe assumption that most young men between the ages of 20 and 35 spent a great deal of their childhoods watching Transformers or G.I. Joe or both. Hasbro owned the children of the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Richmond's own video tricksters Dave Stewart and Will Carsola (DayByDay) have two videos in a contest on Funny or Die. Vote for them! Vote for them and send them dirty messages:
In recent years, the idea of a film about romance has required quite the makeover. There are still audiences that will pay the rising admission rate to see a motion picture that follows typical tropes, familiar character archetypes and simple plot devices. While (500) Days of Summer does find it’s way floating back and forth between these moments, it does discover it’s own unique set of legs and marks a bit of unfamiliar territory for this genre.
After serving as producer on several comedies in the last few years, Judd Apatow finally returns to directing to bring us Funny People, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.
Moon is that one film that science-fiction enthusiasts wait for. After an onslaught of commercial pictures in the genre, a film like this reminds us that science fiction can exist in an intelligent realm.
With his first film release since 1987's Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick returned to American cinemas with Eye's Wide Shut on July 16. 1999 .