Archive for May 2011

Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo RedBand Trailer Leaks. Booya!!!   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Anytime David Fincher has a project I try and follow the production closely, sucking up every detail I can get my eye on. When he went hard on an Americanised remake of the popular The Girl With Dragon Tattoo books and movie series made by Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev, I was intrigued what the outcome might be with a very R rated subject being brought to American studios.

After hearing that Fincher planed to keep the whole story set in Europe and leave all the disturbing content the original had, I was on board. I really want to see this film, especially after seeing the leaked redband trailer. The following is a cam-shot trailer leaked on youtube today so who knows how long it will be up but for those of you who catch it enjoy:

Loving what I see. Fincher has surprised me with every feature film he’s made as far as I’m concerned, I’m sure this will be no different. Looking forward to X-mas a little bit more this year.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

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Spielberg’s Tin Tin Trailer Gives Some Beautiful Eye Candy For Your Brain To Suck Up   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody

So we finally have a trailer for the first Tin Tin film Produced By Peter Jackson and directed by Steven Spielberg entitled  The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn I think the way they did the filming will yield a unique  looking film, hoping the storytelling is a bit better than the last Indiana Jones movie, but I’ll most likely take a look in the theater. Below you can take a gander at the eye candy Spielberg intends to unleash December 2011 :

Pretty cool looking to me, the effects in Imax will be pretty awesome I’m sure. Hopefully the humor is a good tone for adults as well because I hate it when they treat kids like they can’t handle a bit of dark storytelling. I loved it when I was a kid and still do to this day.  This could turn out to be quite a rad series of films if they’ve kept the tone from the book we should be in for a treat.

Till Nest Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Criterion’s Upcoming August HD Releases Fulfill A Big Hole In My Blu-Ray Collection’s Heart.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Close to the inception of LaserDisc in the early 80’s Criterion released a number of brilliantly mastered discs of classic and contemporary films alike that continued till 1994 and translated into the Company doing DVD releases with the highest quality of mastering and print recreation from the original negative elements and if possible director’s approval on coloring and picture transfers. A few years ago they released their first releases on Blu-Ray and the results are a mind blowing viewing experience for the classic film geek. The HD transfer of “The Third Man” from 1949 is incredible, I never thought it was possible to beat some of the transfers  from the DVDs of these older titles but the depth of the picture on Blu-Ray from the older slower black and white film of the 30’s and 40’s in nothing short of incredible. It pops off the screen with beautiful grain, perfectly balanced tones and ultra deep blacks. Fritz Lang’s “M” from 1931 is another incredible achievement considering the age of the original film elements at this point, it looks as close to perfection as is possible at this point in time. Just all around Beautiful work Criterion. As the growth of the Blu-Ray format continues so does the Criterion Catalogue of  HD releases.  The August 2011 Blu-Ray titles include Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers”, Roman Polanski’s “Cul-de-Sac”, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing”, Lee Chang-dong’s “Secret Sunshine”, Jean Cocteau’s “Orpheus”, Lindsay Anderson’s “If….“, and The Complete Jean Vigo collection, which features Vigo’s entire oeuvre—”À propos de Nice”, ” Taris, Zéro de conduite”, and “L’Atalante”.

The Battle of Algiers, If…., and Orpheus are Criterion DVDs receiving the Blu-ray upgrade; the rest are new to the Collection. Of particular interest to me are the special features for The Killing; Criterion has packed a restored edition of Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss in the set, his 1955 film noir previously unavailable on Blu-ray; if the transfer of Murder à la Mod released a few weeks ago on Criterion’s “Blow Out” disc is any indication, the A/V for Killer’s Kiss should prove to be of kick ass quality.

The Battle of Algiers(9 August 2011)

  • High-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Marcello Gatti (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship of Truth, a documentary narrated by literary critic Edward Said
  • Marxist Poetry: The Making of “The Battle of Algiers,” a documentary featuring interviews with Pontecorvo, Gatti, composer Ennio Morricone, and others
  • Interviews with Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone on the film’s influence, style, and importance
  • Remembering History, a documentary reconstructing the Algerian experience of the battle for independence
  • “États d’armes,” a documentary excerpt featuring senior French military officers recalling the use of torture and execution to combat the Algerian rebellion
  • “The Battle of Algiers”: A Case Study, a video piece featuring U.S. counterterrorism experts
  • Gillo Pontecorvo’s Return to Algiers, a documentary in which the filmmaker revisits the country after three decades of independence
  • Production gallery
  • Theatrical and rerelease trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Peter Matthews, excerpts from Algeria’s National Liberation Front leader Saadi Yacef’s original account of his arrest, excerpts from the film’s screenplay, a reprinted interview with cowriter Franco Solinas, and biographical sketches of key figures in the French-Algerian War

Cul-de-sac(16 August 2011)

  • New digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Two Gangsters and an Island, a 2003 short documentary about the making of Cul-de-sac, featuring interviews with Polanski, producer Gene Gutowski, and cinematographer Gil Taylor
  • Interview with Polanski from 1967
  • Theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thompson


The Killing(16 August 2011)

  • New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • New video interview with producer James B. Harris
  • Excerpts of interviews with actor Sterling Hayden from the French television series Cinéma cinemas
  • New video interview with film scholar Robert Polito about writer Jim Thompson and his work on The Killing
  • Restored transfer of Stanley Kubrick’s 1955 noir feature Killer’s Kiss
  • New video appreciation of Killer’s Kiss with film critic Geoffrey O’Brien
  • Theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film historian Haden Guest and a reprinted interview with Marie Windsor on The Killing

Secret Sunshine(23 August 2011)

  • New digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Lee Chang-dong and cinematographer Cho Yong-kyu (with DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition)
  • New interview with Lee
  • On the Set of “Secret Sunshine,” a video piece featuring interviews with actors Jeon Do-yeon and Song Kang-ho, as well as behind-the-scenes footage
  • U.S. theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Dennis Lim


Orpheus(30 August 2011)

  • New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Audio commentary by French film scholar James Williams
  • Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown, a 1984 feature-length documentary
  • Video piece from 2008 featuring assistant director Claude Pinoteau on the special effects in the film
  • 40 Minutes with Jean Cocteau, an interview with the director from 1957
  • In Search of Jazz, a 1956 interview with Cocteau on the use of jazz in the film
  • La villa Santo-Sospir, a 16 mm color Cocteau film from 1951
  • Gallery of images by French film portrait photographer Roger Corbeau
  • Raw newsreel footage
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Mark Polizzotti, selected Cocteau writings on the film, and an essay on La villa Santo-Sospir by Williams

If….(30 August 2011)

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček and assistant editor Ian Rakoff (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Audio commentary featuring film critic and historian David Robinson and actor Malcolm McDowell
  • Episode of the Scottish TV series Cast and Crew from 2003, featuring interviews with McDowell, Ondříček, Rakoff, director’s assistant Stephen Frears, producer Michael Medwin, and screenwriter David Sherwin
  • Video interview with actor Graham Crowden
  • Thursday’s Children (1954), an Academy Award–winning documentary about a school for deaf children, by director Lindsay Anderson and Guy Brenton and narrated by actor Richard Burton
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein as well as reprinted pieces by Sherwin and Anderson


The Complete Jean Vigo (30 August 2011)

  • New, high-definition digital restorations of all of Jean Vigo’s films: À propos de Nice, Taris, Zéro de conduite, and L’Atalante (with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Audio commentaries featuring Michael Temple, author of Jean Vigo
  • Alternate shots from À propos de Nice, featuring footage Vigo cut from the film
  • Animated tribute to Vigo by filmmaker Michel Gondry
  • Ninety-minute 1964 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps on Vigo, directed by Jacques Rozier
  • Conversation from 1968 between filmmakers François Truffaut and Eric Rohmer on L’Atalante
  • Les voyages de “L’Atalante,” Bernard Eisenschitz’s 2001 documentary tracking the history of the film
  • Video interview from 2007 with director Otar Iosseliani on Vigo
  • New and improved English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film writers Michael Almereyda, Robert Polito, B. Kite, and Luc Sante

So that’s August for Criterion and I know there’s a few in there I’ll be picking up for the collection. I’m excited for “The Killing” 1956 ,  it’s finally time to retire my second DVD of the film. Love me some Kubrick.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

The Wookie Factory Finally Releases Details And Features About The Impending Star Wars Blu-Rays. Lucas Primed To Convert All Humans To Blu-Ray Consumers September 2011.   1 comment

Hey Everybody,   Lucas has finally announced the details of the Star Wars Blu-Ray set due in September. With a whole swack of unseen extras, deleted scenes and most likely other tweeks to all six films in the Saga (Here’s hoping that Han will be back to taking the first shot in the Cantina again). Any geek or fanboy/girl who hasn’t up converted to the HD disc world yet will have a hard time passing up this set and purchase of  a Blu-Ray player of some sort at the same time.   For me it was seeing the leap in picture quality from DVD  in the initial 5 Kubrick released films that convinced me to get into Blu-Ray  (2001:A Space Odyssey, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal jacket and Eyes Wide Shut ) for many this will be the set to finally get them to make the leap into the format. I figure it will be the big seller at X-mas this year, breaking all sales records and providing more loot to keep the machine at Lucas running another few years or so; Or at least to get things primed for the impending 3D theater releases the next 6 years, and more licensing of every product known to humans and beyond. Long live the Empire, keep that money rollin’ into old uncle George’s mitts kids, otherwise he might have to shut the Wookie factory down interrupting our flow of  pure concentrated Midi-chlorian we’ve been accustom to low these many years. My God Yoda No!

Here’s the full press release dealio from StarWars.com:

Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars with your whole family — when STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGAcomes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments — in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.The comprehensive collection also features numerous deleted, extended and alternate scenes, new documentaries and a cross-section of the countless Star Wars spoofs that have appeared in pop culture over the past three decades. Marking the first time ever that the full Saga is available in one complete collection, STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY also features a coveted peek into the making of the Saga with vintage documentaries, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, prop and costume turnarounds, retrospectives and more.

Episodes I-III and IV-VI will also be available as distinct Blu-ray Trilogy collections.

Fans will get an exclusive first look at some of the collection’s extensive special features at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International — which marks Lucasfilm’s 35th anniversary as a Comic-Con presence. In 1976, the fledgling film company was looking for innovative, grass-roots ways to promote its underdog release, a film no one expected to succeed — a space opera known (at the time) only as Star Wars. One of the first film companies to reach out directly to core audiences by way of fan conventions, Lucasfilm will return to the venue to showcase the full evolution of the epic story with a special first look at STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY.

Special Features:

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY is presented in widescreen with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Special features include:

  • Disc One- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Two – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Three – Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Four – Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Five – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Six – Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
    • Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
    • Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew
  • Disc Seven – New! Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III
    • Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more
  • Disc Eight – New! Star Wars Archives: Episode IV-VI
    • Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more
  • Disc Nine – The Star WarsDocumentaries
    • NEW! Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) – Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures… these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Warscostume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.
    • NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) – George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Backin this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.
    • NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) – The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more – and don’t miss “Weird Al” Yankovic’s one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!
    • The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) – Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Warsmovie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
    • The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) – Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Backinto reality!
    • Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) – Go behind the scenes — and into the costumes — as production footage from Return of the Jediis interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams.
    • Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) – See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars1997 Special Edition update.
    • Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) – Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

Like most collectors I’m hook in for a full set of this bullshit, got my loot again you bastards. Oh well, I have to digress to some human eccentricities or I really love me some Star Wars Yo, Gimme Gimme Gimme!

Brainstorming about potential deleted or changed scenes for the trilogy. Here one I would like to see below:

You guys?

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned

J.

Nispel’s Conan The Barbarian Gets New Trailer, New Poster And Reportedly Still Has A Hard R Rating, As Should Be…   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Look like a big summer for action flicks, lots of competition this blockbuster season. The reboot of Conan the Barbarian in August is a long awaited return of the Cimmerian Barbarian from Hyboria to the big screen ring. Lots of older people I talk to about the project are having a hard time separating the Conan character and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal in two feature films 1982 and 1984. He kicked ass and as far as most humans are concerned he is Conan period. I’m thinking younger people will have a better time with the character because it’s been so long that most teens and 20 somethings haven’t even seen the Arnold films and don’t associate him with Conan and Ron E Howard’s Hyboria universe. Jason Momoa has a good chance to bring the character to a whole new audience unaware of the awesome brutalness of  Conan and his world. The new trailer finally gives us a better view into the new version of Hyboria and directors Marcus Nispel’s vision for the Barbarian Reboot and Momoa’s take on the Conan Character.

The scale of the battles is looking sick and I like the size and physicality of Momoa. I also see some visual references to old Conan art I love, “Horse vs. Chain”  an absolute classic. A lot of fast cuts in the trailer don’t give you too much time to focus on anything specific to criticize, but it hard to tell what the end result will be. All I can say is I’ve read the script and it is really really  great, so I hope that translated to screen well.

I really wish director Marcus Nispel all the luck on this one, could be a big money maker and hit with fans and newbies alike. We’ll see in August if the 2011 Nispel/Momoa Conan the Barbarian holds up or surpasses the 1982 Milius/Schwarzenegger version; For some this is an impossible feat that can’t be done, for others such as myself, we are ready for a new great take on our favorite R rated childhood Barbarian anti-hero, and possible sequels taking the character through new stories and places in Ron E. Howard’s Hyboria would be a real treat .

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Thor Is A Great Kick Off To The Summer Blockbuster Season For Geeks And Non Geeks Alike.   1 comment

Hey Everybody,

Thor is one of those Marvel characters that I never did an extensive amount of reading on when I was younger. I had one friend that was into the tale of Asgard and I read a few of those in my day. So going into the movie on Friday afternoon, it was one of the least informed viewing of a comic adaptation film I’ve ever had. I knew very little of the over all source material of the Thor world and how it fits into the over all Marvel Universe besides in 80’s and 90’s Avenger comics.As usual I never want to spoil any part of a movie for someone, with out doing that I would say you will really dig Thor. I enjoyed the film on many levels and it had me laughing much more that I had anticipated, very funny at the right times and switching to a serious tone when it matter to the story and characters. All and all a great introduction to the characters of Asgard and a superb addition to the Marvel film universe.

The one thing that surprised me the most is the brilliant melding of fantasy, magic, science and folklore in the film. This story opens up a whole new can of worms for Marvel Studios and future possible film properties. Making the worlds of myth and modern day realities all come together in a logical and comprehensive way. I can’t wait for some of the more supernatural  Marvel characters to make their way into some films if Thor kicks enough ass at the box office (I always wanted to see a 10 rings/ Mandarin Iron Man film done right).


Bottom line is director Kenneth Bragnagh has given us 2011’s first great summer blockbuster film. Thor is more than just great action sequences and CG, it has a tight story, fun dialog and charismatic star in Chris Hemsworth. You will walk out of this movie itching to see Hemsworth in something else with as much “badassery” as Thor. He will star in many, many films after this, that I pretty much guarantee.

And when you go don’t forget to stay for the after credit sequence which is customarily in Marvel Studio flick the last few years. It’s short but gives you an idea where the over all story is headed.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.

Tarzem’s IMMORTALS Trailer Looking Pretty Sick. Hopefully The Story Hold Up.   Leave a comment

Hey Everybody,

Tarsem Sing is a director I’ve been interested in since seeing his first feature directorial effort “The Cell”  in 2000.  The visuals were something that really stuck in your head even if the story was lack luster and full of holes.

Directing many music videos and commercials the next 5 years following into his 2006 feature film “The Fall”. Tarsem brought a stunning vision to the screen with his original adult fairytale. The visuals in “The Fall” are some of the most stunning totally “in camera” shots of landscapes and locations. When you see the film you would swear the locations are a green screen back drop, but surprisingly there was no green screen or set extension used.  A stunning film, well worth a look on Blu-Ray or DVD.

  We come to 2011 and we get  “Immortals”, from the producers of “300”  a sword, sandal and sorcery  epic “a la” green screen sets. Henry Cavill plays Theseus, a man chosen by the gods to lead a rebellion against the evil King Hyperion/Mickey Rourke. Supporting him in his corner are priestess Pheadra/Freida Pinto and Zeus/Luke Evans. Judging from the trailer we get a “300” looking film with a Clash of The Titans reluctant hero story. Take a peak ( best to switch the player to 1080p for the full effect)

If you can take the manufactured digital look of the film, you might be in for something special here. Looking at Henry Cavill in this trailer I have no dought he has the body for the Superman roll he starts filming in June, absolutely ripped.I like the look of this so far. With some more time on the CG rendering before November release will crisp everything up nice I’m sure. As long as there is some sort of a decent story  I think it could be a pretty awesome film, we’ll see on November 11th 2011.

Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.

J.