Monday, April 13, 2009

(News) Phil Spector has been found guilty.

In 2003, Phil Spector was involved on suspicion of murdering actress Lana Clarkson. Spector is a very important and legendary man in the music business. Having worked with everyone from The Beatles, The Ramones, Tina Turner and writing hits like Then he kissed me, Da Doo Ron Ron, Rock N High School, and many more...Spector definitely seemed like an unlikely murder suspect. Apparently, he was involved in a volatile relationship with Lana Clarkson; who got her start as Mrs. Vargas in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

According to WENN News:
"Jurors, who were handed the case on 26 March, reached a verdict at Los Angeles Superior Court early on Monday, and ruled the mogul shot and killed actress Lana Clarkson in the foyer of his Alhambra, California mansion in February, 2003.
Spector and his defence team maintained depressed Clarkson shot herself. Throughout the trial, prosecutors depicted the producer as a sadistic misogynist. Spector was in court for the verdict. A sentencing date has still to be set.
Spector's first trial ended in 2007 with a jury deadlock. The majority favoured conviction."

Spector is known for his wild antics while recording groups as well as his increasingly bizarre behavior. According to sources, he actually held the Ramones at gunpoint and made them play in his home. He's also known for creating the "Wall of Sound" and the Wah pedal which was used a lot by many recording artists. He's 69 years old now and is looking at up to 18 years in prison.

(Memorial) Marilyn Chambers passes away.

70's bombshell Marilyn Chambers was found dead on sunday by her daughter. No details as to what was the cause. Chambers is known for her career defining role in Behind The Green Door; which is said to be the most successful porn film besides Deep Throat. Chambers also went to a feature film acting career with her first appearence in David Cronenberg's Rabid in 1977. She was also the model for Ivory Snow Detergent, which she had given up for her porn career. She was 57. R.I.P.

Friday, April 10, 2009

(News) Lots of actors are Expendable.

For those of you who know me on a personal basis, you've heard me speaking about this since last year. After Rocky Balboa and Rambo, Stallone has become a celebrity on another level to me. He's managed to make sequels just as near and dear to me as the originals were and right all the wrongs from before. So it's no surprise that when I heard he's doing another war film, I immediately was all ears. It's a project he's writing, starring, and directing called The Expendables. In the spirit of those great action films that we don't get to see anymore, (I'm not kidding, you call what we get these days action movies?) Stallone has combined some of the best talents of today and yesterday to make a monster of a film. His casting continues to grow and principal photography has already started, if he's on schedule that is. The many actors lined up for this opus of testosterone are: Slyvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Charisma Carpenter, Eric Roberts, Terry Crews (who replaced 50 Cent within days of his announcement, thank you Stallone), and Arnold Schwartzenegger is rumored to appear as the president of the United States. As of today, I got wind that two more people have been added to the cast, Brittany Murphy and David Zayas. To my understanding, Zayas is supposed to be the dictator that Stallone & crew is sent in to overthrow. Zayas is a phenomenal actor on so many levels. You may know him best as the lovable cuban detective Angel Batista in Dexter. Though if any of you dig a little deeper and watch OZ, he's possibly the best villain the spanish crews had on that show. His one day takeover with Enrique Morales is proof enough that Zayas is more than qualified to do this role. As soon as I get more info on this project, I'll let you guys know. On that note: THANK YOU STALLONE!!!

(News) Clash of the Titans remake: update

It's been confirmed that Liam Neeson has signed on to play Zeus in the remake of Clash of the Titans. Ralph Fiennes is also slated; but not signed as of yet, to play Hades, the god of the underworld. I'm extremely excited about this casting because Neeson has such a great screen presence and to counteract that balance with Fiennes? I downright loathe the Harry Potter films, though I hear he's great in those. However, I love In Bruges, Chumscrubber, Spider, and lots of other films with Fiennes. He definitely has the versatility to pull off something like this. I can't wait to see what they make of this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

(News) Year One gets an R Rating from the MPAA.

The mighty MPAA have decided to give the Judd Apatow/Harold Ramis comedy Year One, an R rating. Apatow and Ramis have apparently been taking it to the appeals board, but they won't budge on this decision. I don't know what the big deal is personally. I'm wondering if it's really Apatow and Ramis that are upset about it, or the producers of the film? Maybe they have plans to gear the film towards a younger audience, and an R rating won't quite get their target audience. I'd be a nightmare to work with when it comes to making films. When I make a film, I wouldn't let a bunch of cretins like the MPAA tell me what I can and can't show in a film. I could care less about drawing in the pre-pubescent protoplasms that litter the theaters texting their garbage on twitter about watching my movie. I'd take a limited release, X or NC-17 and release the film the way I'd want it to be released. Then again, plenty of producers would probably not want to work with me either. I doubt this film really deserves an R anyways, judging from the scenes I've seen thus far in the trailer. We'll see?

EDIT (April 10th 2009) - I just read that Apatow and Ramis have cut the film to the liking of the MPAA and they won the PG-13 rating. Honestly? I don't care...

(Opinion) Movies to look out for in 2009.

For the past two years, there have been a number of movies coming out in theaters that rejuvenated my interest in going to the movies. We've seriously had streak the past two years that's reminiscent of my favorite decade in cinema, the 70's! So with this in mind, I will admit that so far this year; aside from watchmen, it hasn't been a really extraordinary year so far...but it's only looking to get better folks. I'm here to bring a few films to your attention that you should be on the lookout for and/or look forward to.

Inglorious Basterds - Release Date: Aug 21st 2009
Quentin Tarantino's return to the big screen has been looked forward to since his last film Death Proof. This time, he brings us a throwback to war films starring Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Mike Myers, and Cloris Leachman. Interesting cast? Definitely! If you've already seen the trailer, you know this is going to be entertaining to say the least. Skeptics are saying that Tarantino has lost his touch ever since Pulp Fiction. He's been a victim of what I call "The Orson Welles Syndrome". He did one of his best films in the eyes of his fans so early in his career, that it's almost as if everything he does after is a disappointment. Not true, as good as Pulp Fiction was, I truly believe his craft has improved over the years. Jackie Brown and Death Proof have been my personal favorites. Debates ensue whenever I say this statement, and by this time I'm used to it. However, everyone judges Tarantino's merit on comparing what he does to Pulp Fiction, which is what people did to Orson Welles after Citizen Kane. If you stop looking at it that way, you might find something more special. Orson Welle's best years weren't behind him, his whole career was his best years...just like Tarantino. Basterds is about a group of specially picked soldiers assigned to reign fear among the nazis during World War II. Rumors are that it's a remake of the 1978 original with Fred Williamson, though Tarantino says it isn't. Hence why he purposely spelled bastards "basterds".

Public Enemies - Release Date: July 1st 2009
Michael Mann returns to the genre he knows best, crime. Public Enemies is the true story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and the tenacious Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) out to arrest him, set in the 1930s. Mann has been at the forefront of superb crime drama since the 80s. Starting with "Miami Vice", being the first person to bring Hannibal Lector to the screen in 1986's "Manhunter", and creating possibly the greatest crime drama of all time; 1995's "Heat". Don't worry, I have not forgotten possibly the best role in Cruise's career which was Mann's ode to the L.A. nightlife "Collateral". We are already aware that Mann has a knack for this genre and it's also due to his unorthodox method of story telling along with the way he shoots his films. Using DV since Collateral, he's given the crime drama a new layer of grittiness that we haven't seen since the 70's with Sam Peckinpah's style of direction. As lackluster as it was, Mann even made his revamped Miami Vice look absolutely stunning with his style of shooting. Armed with a stellar cast including Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Giovanni Ribisi, Rory Cochrane, Stephen Dorff, and Billy Crudup, this film shows that Mann has worked on bringing us an odyssey to the underworld as engaging as Heat was.

The Hangover - Release Date: June 5th 2009
Todd Phillip's career showed a lot of promise, from his college film Hated; a documentary about the infamous GG Allin, to his big studio comedies like Road Trip and Old School, he's proven to be a director to look forward to. He's hit a few bumps in the road with Starsky & Hutch and School For Scoundrels (the failure of this film in particular I blame Jon Heder for, absolutely one of the worst actors ever) but Old School has to be one of the most hilarious comedies in the style of greats as Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, etc... The Hangover stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianikis as three groomsmen who lose their guest of honor during a drunken night of partying in Las Vegas. Little promotion has been going on for this film right now, but there is definitely a buzz. Test screenings have done well over above average, and word on the street is it's going to be greenlit already for a sequel. Raunchy R rated comedies have been making a serious comeback, thanks to movies like Superbad, Knocked Up, and the 40 Year Old Virgin. I'd like to Phillips and Apatow at the helm of this generations raunchy comedy front like John Landis was back in the 80's. Check out the trailer for yourself, hell! even Mike Tyson's cameo looks worth paying the admission fee alone.

Where The Wild Things Are - Release Date: October 16th 2009
I have to admit that when I first heard about this, I completely wrote it off. I mean how did the last few films based on 30 page children books do? Remember Cat in the Hat? How The Grinch Stole Christmas? Exactly... However, Spike Jonze is a visionary director and I must admit that Adaptation and Being John Malcovich are two films that I think EVERYONE should see. Jonze brings Maurice Sendak's classic book to life in a way of which I've never seen, at least from the looks of the trailer. The story is about a boy who's sent to bed without his supper after being disobedient, He then creates an imaginative world with different creatures that crown him king, and so the story begins. The trailer as I said, turned my opinion completely around. This is something Jonze has apparently wanted to do for a long time considering he produced/directed and did all the legwork to bring this to the screen, all by himself. Check out the trailer for yourself courtesy of WWW.APPLE.COM/TRAILERS

The Informers - Release Date: April 24th 2009 (limited release)
This movie has been done for a while, the cast is outstanding and the reviews are really positive...yet this film had a hard time finding a distributor? Bret Easton Ellis' work translates well on screen, but in the hands of a good director. American Psycho is probably the hardest book in the history of literature to adapt, aside from Naked Lunch. I'd say because the book is absolutely psychotic. That didn't stop Mary Herron, who penned the adaptation as well as directed. Roger Avery also did an exceptional job on Rules of Attraction. Less Than Zero has it's moments, but fell somewhat flat. Like Ellis' Less Than Zero, The Informers is a multi layered narrative story about the high life of L.A. You've got your movie executives, rich drug addicted teenagers, ex cons, etc... Their lives all mix in this surrealistic setting that Ellis created of 1983 Los Angeles. Ellis' books are visceral in the storytelling department, which makes the books a hard sell for movies. If you tame it down, it loses it's impact. If you follow to the last line, you make a deplorable and morally depraved film. It's a fine line you have to walk with Ellis' work, which is partly to blame for the adaptation of Less Than Zero. The cast is illuminating with everyone from Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thorton, Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke, and the late Brad Renfro (in his last film appearance since his death in 2008).

Monday, April 6, 2009

(News) Watchmen director's cut coming soon.

Watchmen director; Zach Snyder, has revealed news of a director's cut of his hero epic. reports:

"As you might remember during the “Watchmen” junket a few months back, Zack announced a plan to release the director’s cut of “Watchmen” this July in a very limited run - maybe in New York and Los Angeles.

Since the movie didn’t do as well theatrically as all of us expected, many have wondered if that meant the theatrical run of the director’s cut might be called off. According to Zack, that isn’t the case and the plan is still to do a limited run.

But, while the theatrical cut of “Watchmen” was released in IMAX, don’t expect an IMAX version of the director’s cut. Zack told us the movie barely fit on the IMAX projector as a 2hr 40 minute film, so it’ll never fit as a 3hr 10 minute release."

I'm all for a longer cut of the film. As of this year, Watchmen is still possibly the best movie I've seen thus far. It was so complex, intricate, and imaginative. I knew nothing about it prior to it's release and I was amazed by the film's intensity. I read the book after and I must say that it's pretty faithful, though it's such a massive story that Snyder clearly couldn't have covered everything in one film. A 3hr and 10 minute running time would still not be enough to do this justice. However, it is an ambitious film for Snyder; still fresh in his career. He's proving to be getting better as he continues though. I'm excited to see what he does next.

(News) Joel Schumacher's "Twelve" has a set cast.

It seems as though Joel Schumacher is coming out with another movie soon called "twelve". The cast has been set, mostly good, and one really bad choice. reports:

"Gaumont, Radar Pictures and Original Media have set a Joel Schumacher-directed adaptation of the Nick McDonell novel "Twelve."
Pic will star Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Ellen Barkin and Kiefer Sutherland.

Production begins April 20 in New York. Jordan Melamed wrote the script.

In 2002, then 17-year-old McDonell wrote a novel that starkly depicted teenage drug use and decadence on the Upper East Side.

Story follows a high school dropout-turned-drug dealer. His lucrative life sours when the dealer's cousin is brutally murdered on an East Harlem playground and his best friend is arrested for the crime."

It's no secret that I down right loathe 50 Cent. The fact that he keeps getting roles is beyond me. He became especially laughable after his role in "Righteous Kill". Remember him? How could you not? He was the cliche gangster/club owner that had his own music actually playing in the club sound system; I'm not kidding. Schumacher's career is very hit or miss at this point. He's done a few memorable hits but he's done more bombs too. We'll see how this turns out.

(DVD) Do The Right Thing gets 2 disc treatment!

Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing is receiving the special edition treatment very soon. They haven't released the artwork yet, but I found the new features which are as follows.

"Universal Studios Home Entertainment have announced the US DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of Do The Right Thing (20th Anniversary Edition) on 30th June 2009. This Spike Lee joint is given the Anniversary Edition treatment by Universal with both DVD and Blu-ray offering what looks to be most of the old Criterion edition extras alongside a new commentary by Spike Lee. Features are outlined below...


Disc 1: Main Feature
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
English, French and Spanish DD5.1 Surround
English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles
Do The Right Thing: 20 Years Later
Deleted and Extended Scenes
20th Anniversary Edition Feature Commentary by Director Spike Lee
Feature Commentary by Director Spike Lee, Director of Photography Ernest Dickerson, Production Designer Wynn Thomas, and Actor Joie Lee

Disc 2: Bonus Disc
Behind the Scenes
Making "Do The Right Thing"
Editor Barry Brown
The Riot Sequence
Cannes, 1989

Blu-ray Disc
1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
French and Spanish 5.1 DTS Surround
English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles
BD Live: Download Centre
Do The Right Thing: 20 Years Later
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Making "Do The Right Thing"
Editor Barry Brown
The Riot Sequence
Cannes, 1989
20th Anniversary Edition Feature Commentary with Director Spike Lee
Feature Commentary with Director Spike Lee, Director of Photography Ernest Dickerson, Production Designer Wynn Thomas, and Actor Joie Lee

Especially interesting, is the footage of Lee and crew going to Cannes. The film was praised there and put Lee on the map as a sought after director. Years later, he would continue his great streak with amazing films like Mo Better Blues, Malcolm X, Get on the Bus, Summer of Sam, and The Inside Man. Lee is a really gifted and versatile director and this is a nice retrospective after 20 years. If you guys wanna see something really special, I highly recommend Lee's documentary "When The Levees Broke". It's a 4 hour eulogy to the chaos and impact Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans as well as this country.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DVDs to look out for in April.

JCVD - Release Date April 28th 2009

"Jean Claude Van Damme can't act" That's a quote that comes out of virtually everyone's mouth and I can't say I disagree with them. We're not exactly talking "avant garde" cinema when we think of movies like Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Impact, and so on. However, when I first heard about this film, I was intrigued. There was a buzz going around saying that this is Van Damme's ticket back to fame and he's proven to be a truly great actor. I have this theory about foreign artists breaking into the American market. Whenever they seem to come here to really "make it", they become a self parody and are chewed up and spit out. The American movie circuit has this habit of making wonderful foreign artists, jump through hoops to be noticed here and it sometimes ends up being their downfall. Think about it, John Woo was making some of the most incredible action films to have ever been seen in Hong Kong during the 1980's. Can you honestly name a film that he's made here in the U.S. that was worth seeing? or rather made any money? Aside from Face-Off; which wasn't all that great to begin with, you just can't think of any. Instead of allowing the person to flourish here and maybe surprise audiences, these people are stuck doing sequels and remakes. But I disgress, Jean Claude Van Damme may not have proven from the get go that he was a great actor...because he's never been given the chance.

Now that Hollywood has spit him out like the rest of the 90's stars, he's "forced" to do foreign films and films that get released in other countries and maybe straight to video here in the U.S. Which brings me to JCVD, a pet project that Van Damme has wanted to do for a long time. Director Mabrouk El Mechri shows us a side of the "Muscles from Brussels" like we've never seen. First with an incredible one take scene of Van Damme on a movie set, doing an action sequence that looks long, tiresome, and well...cheesy. We then see Van Damme arguing with the director saying it's too much and he can't do it. The director then says to his friend next to him "what does he think we're making? Citizen Kane?" In essence, that's Van Damme's career. Stuck doing films you wouldn't watch and are just laughable at this point. We then see he's going through a grueling custody battle with his wife and children, he's practically broke, and he's being passed on roles for an overweight Steven Seagal. Things aren't looking up for him at this point and the film amplifies that strongly. He then returns home; to Belgium, to oversee some financial duties and to just go home. A chance stop-in at a local post office to wire money to his lawyer in the states, gets him involved in a robbery/hostage situation. Ultimately, he's confused as the robber and a man desperate for cash due to his dire straits. In the post office though, something much bigger is happening besides the media circus outside. Van Damme is dealing with the initial robbery situation as well as his realization that he's not much of anything these days. It's shown in many different and subtle ways throughout the film. I'm not sure if it's because the film is in his native language or maybe he's more comfortable in his stomping grounds, but he really proves to be a commanding presence on screen. You can think that maybe since he's playing himself it's easier to act. That's not always the case, being that 50 Cent is even awful at playing 50 Cent in his biopic. What Van Damme does in this film though, is show that he's really trying to be taken seriously and is willing to start from the beginning. The man loves being an actor and he wants to show audiences the things he feels he never got to share with his fans. He expresses that tearfully and eloquently in a monologue that could've been scripted? could not have been, who knows? Touching and engaging, he expresses remorse for never giving the audience the joy he initially intended on giving with his films. He asks for one more chance and offers this film as a way to prove he's really trying.

I won't lie to you, after watching this, I'd definitely give this man another shot and wouldn't be surprised if he continues on a path to greater success. Ultimately, the film is a testament of a broken and fallen idol that wants to give back what he's taken. JCVD has a great mixture of humor, action at some point, and dramatic elements that you don't get to see everyday in a film such as this. It's not indulgent and it's not glorifying in any way. One thing you will get from watching this, a new found sense of respect for an actor that's been long forgotten. El Mechri's skilled direction is complimented by the hypnotic and almost dream-like cinematography by Pierre-Yves Bastard. The screen was literally a work of art that captured your attention at even the most tame moments of the film. It was a pleasure seeing this in theater and I can't wait till it's release on DVD.

(News) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Criterion.

Ever so enthusiastically, I wrote last month about how The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is being released by Criterion. I promised to post the artwork once I had it available, and here it is! I can't tell you how excited I am for Criterion to handle the pressing of this film. For those of you not familiar with this company, do yourself a favor and visit . Learn about this fantastic company, for which I have the utmost respect for. This film is honestly the most breath-taking representation of classic cinema. It captures the true spirit of a slew of wonderful characters, elaborate historical settings, a story full of emotion, and the spirit of an epic film of past generations like Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.

The DVD's special features are as follows:

Interviews with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett
- Audio commentary featuring Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher
- Never-before-seen footage revealing the innovative techniques behind the Academy Award–winning visual effects and makeup
- Step-by-step examination of the motion-capture process aging Brad Pitt
- In-depth exploration of David Fincher’s creative process on the set
- Interview with acclaimed composer Alexandre Desplat about the score
- Featurettes on the film’s storyboards, costumes, and Academy Award–winning art direction
- Stills galleries, including costume design and candid behind-the-scenes production photos
- Optional French- and Spanish-dubbed soundtracks
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, and optional French and Spanish subtitles
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Kent Jones

Release date is slated for May 5th 2009.

Don't believe the Slumdog Millionaire hype, this IS the best film of 2008. Slumdog was a good film, but this film captured the true art of movie magic in a sense that has been lost for years in the hollywood film scene.

(News) Freddy Krueger has officially been cast.

Jackie Earle Haley has been enjoying a great career resurgence after his engaging performance as an ex pedophile trying to fit in a normal suburban neighborhood in Litte Children; for which he received an Oscar nomination. Producers feel confident enough to cast him as the new wearer of the sharp glove, in the remake of Wes Craven's 1984 classic "Nightmare on Elm Street" says:
"LOS ANGELES, April 4 (UPI) -- Director Samuel Bayer says U.S. actor Jackie Earle Haley has hired to play killer Freddy Krueger in a remake of "Nightmare on Elm Street."
Bayer, who will direct the remake of the 1984 horror film that starred Robert Englund, said Haley showed his ability to evoke emotion in viewers by playing the superhero Rorschach in "Watchmen," The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

"Looking at his performance in 'Watchmen.' Here's a guy playing a character under a mask yet you feel tremendous empathy for him," Bayer said.

"Elm Street" follows the disfigured "undead" child molester as he seeks revenge on those who burned him to death by stalking their teenage children in their dreams.

The Reporter said production will begin May 5 using a screenplay written by Wesley Strick."

I've heard so many rumors about casting for this film, mostly with Billy Bob Thorton. I looked this up for quite a while before I decided to post it, just to make sure it's legitimate. Apparently, it really is! I'm not necessarily a fan of remakes. As of now, all of Wes Craven's films haven't translated well in the remake department, but it's also in the casting as well as the director and screenwriter. Samuel Bayer hasn't done much in the movie department that I know of. In fact, he's actually done NOTHING, only music videos, which is shaky. On a good note, Wesley Strick has written some choice screenplays that show he's capable of doing an original justice. Strick is responsible for the screenplay of the Scorcese 1991 classic remake "Cape Fear", which I adore. He's also done Wolf; with Jack Nicholson, and True Believer. I'm hoping this can be something actually worth seeing, not every remake is deplorable, but not every remake is great either. Time will tell with this one.

Update for the readers (if you care)

I'm attempting to make my site a little more professional. Therefore, I'm changing the name of the site to "The Film Frequencies" I will attempt to change the address of the site to please feel free to make the necessary changes. Thanks for reading.

(News) Weekend Numbers are Fast & Furious?

Apparently, this country is jammed packed with more people that serve as the lowest common denominator of entertainment seekers than we thought. Fast & Furious, the notorious return of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker; probably because their careers haven't amounted to anything since the first, has made a surprising 72.5 million this weekend. Believe me, I'm as stunned as you are.

Box Office Mojo reports:

"Revving way past its predecessors' redlines, Fast and Furious packed an estimated $72.5 million under its hood, summarily dusting Anger Management's $42.2 million to notch the biggest April debut ever. Driven by the action sequel, the weekend as a whole was the busiest on record for April, grossing an estimated $185 million and surging 65 percent ahead of the same weekend last year.

Not only did Fast and Furious have the highest-grossing opening for a car-themed movie (beating Cars' $60.1 million), it was also tops for a straight-forward action picture (as opposed to the superhero or fantastical kind), surpassing The Bourne Ultimatum's $69.3 million. What's more, during the January-to-April timeframe, only The Passion of the Christ had a larger-grossing debut in the past."

Apparently, the obvious absurdity that the trailer already had as well as the awful reviews didn't mess up this film's draw. Monsters vs. Aliens is still going strong (kinda) and ranked in second with 33.5 million, making it's total gross 105.7 million in 10 days. Haunting in Connecticut is in 3rd, with Knowing and I love you, man finishing off the top 5. Let's see how next week's opener; Observe and Report, does against Fast & Furious.

Friday, April 3, 2009

(Trailer) Bruno

I hope you enjoy the new red band trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno. This looks hilarious!!!!

Memorable Bad Guys in Cinema History (Part 2)

Welcome back to my second installment of my favorite bad guys of cinema. I was honestly so torn between 6 people in particular, that's I'm debating on whether I should keep at 10, or just add one more and make it a list. Let's see?

6. Detective Stansfield - Leon: The Professional
Played by one of the greatest actors of the past few decades, Gary Oldman bring us Detective Stansfield. A crooked cop for the NYPD that is involved in the drug trade and homicide racket. I'm not really quite sure if Gary Oldman's performance was more from him, or if the screenplay made this character to be so psychotic in the first place. Either way, his performance stays with you well past the film's running time. Out of my 2 point criteria, I'd have to say that Detective Stansfield falls under #1. Even though he's a symbol for good wearing an officer's badge, the man's capabilities go beyond any reasonable breaking point the outcome is borderline psychotic. Why? We don't know, maybe he just likes to make more money and is absolutely selfish. We don't get to spend enough time delving into the psyche of Stansfield...but it doesn't really matter. Charismatic, intelligent, precise, and absolutely insane, and we love every second of him.

Memorable Quote: "I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it? It's like when you put your head to the grass and you can hear the growin' and you can hear the insects."

7. Hannibal Lector - The Silence of the Lambs
This is an easy yet hard choice to make. Silence of the Lambs had two of cinemas most prolific antagonists, but what makes the choice easier is the fact that this one resonates for years after the film's release. Even though Hopkins has been a commanding presence on screen since the mid 60's. It wasn't until his career defining performance in Silence of the Lambs that made him a household name and it's easy to see why. Originally brought to the screen by Brian Cox in Michael Mann's 1986 thriller "Manhunter", Hopkins takes over the role and brings the true face of absolute horror as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lector. His empty, wide eyed stares and soft spoken demeanor makes him all the more terrifying as he tears apart the mind of FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who's only reason for communication is help to catch our other antogonist, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). Hopkins' approach to this role was impressive because he gives a chilling ambiance whenever he's on screen. The feeling of impending doom never seems to lighten up whenever Starling is speaking to the Doctor, which gives the performances on both ends praise due to the wonderful chemistry between them. His stimulating intellect, articulate vocabulary, and great achievements as a doctor, make him a strange candidate for this type of character. The character is said to have been molded from the behavior analysis of Ted Bundy; a real life serial killer who claimed over 100 murders in the US. As accomplished as he was, he was a monster through and through, which makes him fall under criteria #1. We don't know why he does what he does and that makes him all the more terrifying.

Memorable Quote: "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

8. Max Cady - Cape Fear
Very rarely, do I ever feel the need to praise a remake. However, once in a while, a truly gifted filmmaker comes along that manages to bring a new revision to an older work and turns it into something more special. Cronenberg did just that with The Fly as John Sturges did with The Magnificent Seven as well. Martin Scorcese accomplished the very same with his 1991 psychotic thriller Cape Fear. Scorcese's mile a minute pacing and frantic camera work is almost reminiscent of Hitchcock's with this particular film. Taking over the role made famous by Robert Mitchum is a man who needs no introduction, Robert De Niro. De Niro's performance as Max Cady is still in my book to the best and most haunting of villains in cinema to this day. You learn quickly what Cady is capable of and feel the tension each time he's on screen. Snappy dialogue and pressing mind games with Samuel Bowden (Nick Nolte) and his family only get worse as the film continues. Ultimately, Cady's intentions are revenge and any cost. This criteria lands him under #2 with a small hint of #1. De Niro's performance is haunting and intriguing all the same and to this day is still my favorite performance of his career.

9. The Joker - The Dark Knight
The most talked about performance of 2008. The role that defined Ledger's career as a masterful film player and not just a pretty face in the hollywood circuit. When I first heard the news about Ledger taking over this role; made famous in 1989 by Jack Nicholson, I had a hard time accepting it. Director Christopher Nolan already brought a darker side to the Batman franchise with Batman Begins. It was only natural that this vision of the Joker was going to be not just different, but special. Before the film's initial release, Ledger passed away from a pill cocktail he took to help him sleep and calm his nerves; clearly from work exhaustion. It created a buzz and The Dark Knight was a huge hit and even got Ledger a posthumous Oscar Win; The only other actor in history to achieve this since Peter Finch in the 1976 film Network. Ledger's joker has no motive and his character clearly states that in a fascinating monologue between him and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). He has no purpose but chaos and does just fine with that realization. Criteria #1 is an understatement for this character but we loved him anyways. You couldn't take your eyes off the screen the minute he was on, and you couldn't wait till his next appearance. Though Ledger is no longer with us, he's left us with a performance that will be talked about for decades. The world's favorite psychotic remembered. Heath Ledger RIP (1979-2008)

Memorable Quote: "You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren't you? Huh? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever. "

10. Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men
Did you really think this man wouldn't make the list? It seems that in the past few years, we've grown exceptionally close with bad guys. Two years in a row, our best supporting actor winners are 2 of the worst human beings brought to the big screen. Don't think I'm saying it like it's a bad thing either. Armed with a cattle air gun, a horrible 60's boy band haircut, and a quarter that decides your fate. Javier Bardem's rendering of Anton Chigurh is the performance that truly shows the talents of an actor like Bardem. Having read the book, I can only imagine how hard it must've been to bring this character to life. Cormac McCarthy's only way of describing him in the book is simply put "He has no sense of humor". A quote that is actually used in the movie as well. The performance of Anton Chigurh feels as if you're watching the grim reaper himself in the shell of a human being. Out of touch with humanity and actually fair; frighteningly enough, Chigurh goes through every which road Texas has to offer looking for his stolen money and literally killing every person he comes across...well, almost every person. Scary as he is, this character has also proven to be a man of principles, sociopathic principles but they are principles, I assure you! Chigurh's character is the personification of fate and it's shown in his strong belief that if your time is up, the coin will show it. This character falls under criteria #1. A precise killing machine with no respect for human life, not even birds. He's the whirlwind of the criminal underground and everything gets swept away along with him...and it's never been so fun to watch it. The Coen Brothers directed a masterful and exciting film, and quite possibly the masterpiece that their entire career has built up to.

Memorable Quote: "So this is what I'll offer - you bring me the money and I'll let her go. Otherwise she's accountable, same as you. That's the best deal you're gonna get. I won't tell you you can save yourself, because you can't. "

I have to admit guys, writing this section in particular has been a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I've also come to the conclusion that I can't only pick 10 people. I'm going to continue this little list for as long as I can. Got any suggestions you think fall under my criteria? Let me know, comments are appreciated. Thanks again.