Monday, August 29, 2011

Kate Beckinsale Sliding Back Into Leather For "Underworld: Awakening"

Release Date: January 19th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Mans Marlin and Bjorn Stein
Starring: Kate Beckinsale ♥, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Charles Dance

I was never really a fan of anything that feature vampires, may it be Buffy the Vampire Slayer [1997-2003], Charmed [1998-2006] or whatever. But I am somewhat a fan of Twilight, although for all the wrong reasons. There is another vampire-related franchise that I don't mind watching, and that is the Underworld series. Granted, it was mostly because I find Kate Beckinsale to be such an eye candy.

A really cute face and amazing curves. What more can you ask for?
So anyway, Underworld is prepped to make vampires and werewolves intimidating again, after being reduced to a bunch of pussywhipped douchebags by the Twilight movies. But before I go any further, have a look at the trailer for the movie;

Sunday, August 28, 2011

5 Coolest Martial Arts In Non-Martial Arts Movies

Alright, so you're probably wondering how can you call it a non-martial arts movie if there's martial arts in it? And my answer would be, can you call a jelly doughnut a jelly doughnut if there's no jelly in it? Oh wait, maybe I'm not making sense right there either. Perhaps an excerpt of a previous entry could help clarify it?
"Martial arts movies are really about an alternate universe where authority figures doesn't seem to exist, and regardless of the nature of dispute, everything can be solved by the good ol' street justice. Whoever can kick ass in ways cooler than the opponent (usually the protagonist) wins, and they can rest assured that there will be no repercussions whatsoever."
- From Favourites #5 (March 22nd, 2011)
So in essence what I was saying up there, martial arts movies will do everything in their power to ensure that there will be frequent opportunities for our martial artists to flaunt their skills, even going as far as writing the story around fight sequences.

A formula raped many times over by Thai action films...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Childhood Heroes #2: Ace Ventura

As the numbering on the previous entry would have implied, indeed I have more than one childhood hero. This is only the second for many more to come. Now, as I write more about this, you're going to notice that I almost have no real life heroes. Almost. The only real people that comes to mind right now are the guys from the classic Guns N' Roses lineup, Enid Blyton as well as Muhammad Ali.

Of course, as I age I began to idolise people like Ahmad Deedat, Malcolm X and Voltaire as well, but they don't exactly qualify as my childhood heroes.

Because you don't hear about people like that doing this...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Conan the Barbarian [2011]

Director: Marcus Nispel
Cast: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan ♥, Ron Perlman, Leo Howard
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Rating: Teen
Comment: "More action sequences than you can shake a sword at, so much that it couldn't fit any three-dimensional characters in there..."


Born in the midst of a battle, Conan (Jason Momoa and Leo Howard) of the Cimmeria tribe has all the makings of an epic warrior. He proves himself to be a very formidable fighter even at young age, however before he could properly be trained into a full-fledged Cimmerian warrior, tragedy strikes and his entire village is razed down by warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang), leaving Conan as the lone survivor of his tribe. Conan then spend many years of his life pillaging and plundering before crossing paths with the man who will lead him back to the warlord who took everything away from him.

What to Expect
1. A fuckload of action
2. Jason Momoa looking awesome in every frame
3. Censorship (Malaysia)
4. Claustrophobic camerawork at times 
What NOT to Expect
1. Three-dimensional characters
2. To fully live up to its potential
3. An amazing script

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kristen Stewart's Ain't No Bitch!

It would appear that out of all the Twilight alumni, Robert Pattinson is the only one I'm having trouble taking seriously. Sure, he might "redeem" himself someday, but while he's getting there, his fellow Twilight co-stars are already making strides towards reinventing themselves. Taylor Lautner is about to show us that those abs aren't just for show, and now Kristen Stewart is making her way towards playing the exact opposite of the whiny, emo bitch character that was Bella Swan.

Sure, you could argue that she had already did something to distance herself from that infernal character, have you seen The Runaways [2010]? I did and although the movie was pretty good, Miss Stewart here was same old same old. Of course, it didn't help that she played her as an emo character. Perhaps the script called for it? I don't know. I don't wanna judge her based on her deadpan performance on the Twilight movies alone.

Now, her latest project is something to look out for, where it looks like she's going to be playing another Joan character, so to speak. Where am I going with this?

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to Snow White and the Huntsman [2012].

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Love and War", Offbeat Yet Touching

Director: Fredrik Emilson
Cast: Marie Alexis, Fredrik Sjostedt
Genre: Romance/Short film/Animation
Rating: General
Comment: "It's easy to forget that this is a stop-motion short film starring animal puppets..."

Bunny is sitting in her bedroom browsing through a photo album. She starts daydreaming and the images come to life. The time she shared with the love of her life is enacted. During her training to become a nurse, Bunny meets, by mere chance, the fighter pilot Bear. Romance ensues and they form a couple. When Bear is about to propose, they are suddenly interrupted by an international conflict. Duty calls and Bear is sent into battle. (Source: IMDb) 

Alright, I never intended to write a review about this short film. This is just something that I saw several years ago when YouTube launched its Screening Room channel, a platform for budding film-makers. I thought it was pretty damn good, and I'm not even a fan of opera. Not by a long shot.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Most Terrifying Scene From a Non-Horror Movie

If you remember sometime ago I talked about a particular horror movie that traumatised me. Well today I'm going to do something similar, but of course, as you can already see from the title of this entry, it won't be coming from a horror movie. Instead, it's from a Science fiction/Action movie that happens to be one of my all-time favourites, featuring one of my childhood obsessions.

I didn't get this joke the first time I saw it. Granted, I was only six or seven years old at the time...
Yeap, it's Robocop [1987]. I know it wouldn't come as a surprise to most movie fans as it was noted for being very violent. But none of it was enough to actually traumatise me. Sure, I cringed when ED-209 killed that OCP executive, as well as that iconic scene when they blew off Murphy's hand with a shotgun blast. But neither one of those made me squeal and hide behind a couch.

It was this one, and it wasn't even violent. Well, not really;

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Coriolanus" Will Show You the Other Side of Shakespeare

Ahh... William Shakespeare. Although I'm not by a long shot a scholar of Shakespeare, I have always been fascinated with the guy and my ears prick up whenever I hear his name. However, mention Shakespeare to people around these parts and chances are more than half will only able to associate him with Romeo & Juliet.

My Malaysian brothers and sisters, Ralph Fiennes is going to show you the darker side of the Shakespearean lore by directing and starring in Coriolanus, slated for release sometime in December (USA).

Two things I promise not to do in this entry; References to Voldemort and some jokes about assholes (Coriolanus, get it?) because, c'mon people... It's trite and a little on the nose, don't you think? But before I go any further, have a look at its chilling trailer;

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morning Glory [2010]

Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Rachel McAdams ♥, Patrick Wilson, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Rating: General
Comment: "Very very charming, although didn't quite live up to its potential..."

Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) had just faced the biggest disappointment in her career as a news producer, she was laid off her job when she was expecting to be promoted. Undeterred, she sent out resumes to various other TV stations before finally landing a job at a struggling network, Daybreak. However, she was tasked with a seemingly impossible task; to bring up the ratings of the show while being the only one who takes it seriously.

What to Expect
1. Rachel McAdams being cutesy
2. A movie for a lazy afternoon
3. A little derivative

What NOT to Expect
1. An in-depth look at the behind the scenes of a network television
2. A Katherine Heigl movie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hesher [2011]

Director: Spencer Susser
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Bronchu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie, Natalie Portman ♥
Genre: Drama
Rating: Adult
Comment: "A film that's about as erratic and unpredictable as its title character..."

T.J (Devin Bronchu) is a middle-school boy who has recently lost his mother, further exacerbating the feeling of loneliness he had always felt. Now living with his grief-stricken and pill-abusing father (Rainn Wilson) and also his absent-minded grandmother (Piper Laurie), T.J spends his days terrified of reality, instead seeks to live in the comfort of past memories. Everything changes when he crosses paths with Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a vagrant young man prone to violence.

What to Expect
1. A stereotypical movie involving a rebel
2. Some solid performances here
3. A rather ambiguous approach to storytelling

What NOT to Expect
1. The Breakfast Club
2. Or 10 Things I Hate About You

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Honey, I Still Have a Crush On You

Some time after I finished primary school, that honeymoon phase after UPSR, I was notorious for playing truant. Well, there was absolutely nothing to do at school at that time, so why bother showing up at all? So what was it that I did? Yeap, you guessed it. Either I played video games or indulge myself in movie marathons.

One day, my dad brought home a straight-to-video sequel to the famous Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [1989] movie. If you remember, that movie was almost like a landmark movie for children of the '90s. So anyway, I had some friends over to watch it on my computer, although I ended up watching Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves [1997] alone while they played with my Karate Fighters.

While they squealed and screamed, I on the other hand couldn't take my eyes off the screen when this girl came along.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Second Trailer for Taylor Lautner's "Abduction"

I can't say I've been keeping track of Matt Damon, I don't know what he's been up to. But Taylor Lautner's sure doing something to fill in his shoes, and possibly to distance himself from his Twilight shadow as well. Not that I think that's possible anytime soon, but hey the man is trying, looking good doing it and reportedly did most of his stunts. So let's give him a chance, shall we?

I know the ladies have no complaint...
So there's a new trailer for the latest action flick he's starring in and it's called Abduction. The trailer showed nothing we haven't seen from the first one, but that part with Lautner doing some kickboxing pad work with Jason Isaacs was a nice touch.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Star Wars" Concept Art

Aside from movie trailers, there's another thing involving movie productions that I simply love; the concept art. This probably stems from my love for all things artistic although most of the time I only observe concept art for video games such as God of War, and my favourites, games by Blizzard Entertainment.

Today, however, we are going to look at the concept art for the original trilogy of Star Wars and they are gooooood. All thirty-three of them can be found here on Buzzfeed, I'm just going to feature twenty of my favourites.

Ralph McQuarrie, the man responsible for much of what you saw in Star Wars...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Favourites #14: Actors

Every so often you hear me name an actor as "one of my favourites" yet you've never actually seen me make some sort of an entry about my favourite actors. One reason I never did is because it is so goddamn hard. But what's the big deal, right? It's just a list. Well, that's another thing about me; I rarely commit myself to anything, but when I do, I don't do it half-assed.

"To be or not to be"... Little Hamlet
I don't want to make one list today, and wake up the next day feeling differently altogether. So I decided to shorten my list from twenty people to just five. That should make it a hell of a lot easier, right?

Right. Although it still took me an entire afternoon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens [2011]

Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Noah Ringer
Genre: Science fiction/Western
Rating: General
Comment: "It would have been a lot more forgettable if it wasn't for its outlandish premise..."

A man wakes up in the desert with strange device strapped to his wrist and a wound on his midsection, with no idea how he got either one of them. But worse still, he has no recollection of who he is. He begins to wander around aimlessly and ends up in a small town where he quickly captures the attention of its inhabitants. But the town has yet another surprise waiting for them when the sun goes down.

What to Expect
1. Another fairly retarded alien invasion movie
2. Rather bland
3. Memorable enough characters
4. Underused talents

What NOT to Expect
1. The movie to tie up all loose ends
2. A sense of accomplishment

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Your Highness [2011]

Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: James Franco, Danny McBride, Rasmus Hardiker, Justin Theroux, Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman ♥
Genre: Fantasy/Comedy
Rating: Adult
Comment: "A parody of the Swords & Sorcery genre that entertains some while alienating most..."

Envious of his overachiever brother, Thadeous (Danny McBride) spends most of his days being the medieval equivalent of a slacker while his brother Fabious (James Franco) spends his going on quests. All changes when Fabious brings home with him a rescued fair maiden, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), who also happens to be a prisoner of great importance to evil wizard Lezar (Justin Theroux). Lezar proceeds with taking Belladonna back, prompting the two brothers to embark on another quest to rescue her.

What to Expect
1. Beautiful medieval setting
2. Decent action sequences
3. Occasional laughs

What NOT to Expect
1. A seamless mix of parody and high-brow comedy

Monday, August 8, 2011

"The Avengers"... I'm Extremely Skeptical

By now, most of the characters from the 2012 The Avengers have had their own movies, except for Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, who is probably one of the most redundant superheroes ever. Frankly, I'm not sold. I really liked Thor, Iron Man was pretty nice, and I thought Captain America was okay. But place them all in one movie, combined with the aforementioned Hawkeye, Hulk and those guys from S.H.I.E.L.D, this might just end up to be very very confusing.

Like the nature of Batman and Robin's relationship...
Why? Well, because they'll be fighting for the spotlight as well as the villains, leaving us blinking confusingly as to whom we should root for. You see, I tend to go for movies with character-driven roles as opposed to the kind that just throws a bunch of people in there and hope for the best. Hence why I like so very few of these superhero movies (and virtually none of those horror and slasher movies).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why You Need to See "Sucker Punch: The Extended Cut"

This goes way back in late March, when I was at the height of my Sucker Punch fever. The fever had subside since, but hell I still love the girls especially lil' miss Baby Doll Browning. So after months of laying low, footage of the extended cut has surfaced and my oh my... It's a little unwise to watch during Ramadhan. But don't take my word for it, here's a musical number from the movie that didn't make the cut for its theatrical release.

If you ask me, the highlight of the scene has got to be those shots of Vanessa Hudgens. I got nosebleed and a dry orgasm from 1:26 to 1:30. In fact, I think I might have had the same reaction as that dude at 1:31. Yeap, I'm an assman, ladies.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seriously, They Gotta Give Andy Serkis an Oscar

I'll level with you, this movie was nowhere near my list of "most-anticipated" movies this year. I might even go out of limb and assume that virtually no one looked forward to this movie either. If anything, I went to see it out of sheer curiosity and it turned out to be what is probably this year's biggest surprise ever.

I wonder what it is. Is it the awkward title? Is it because it's a movie about apes? Or did Tim Burton and Marky Mark ruined it to point we get all cynical when it comes to the Apes franchise? Well, whatever it was, it's easy to forget all that due to Andy Serkis' winning performance as yet another living, breathing CG character.

Now, even though the Oscars doesn't matter as much as they would have you believe, I would hate to see him get snubbed for an award. Sure, anyone can put on a monkey suit, but it takes one hell of an actor to pull off something like this.

Seven "The Dark Knight Rises" Paparazzi Photos

Soon after Warner Bros. released a teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the buzz surrounding the movie got even bigger. Understandably so because that means they have some footage ready in the editing room, and we're dying to just take another peek, wanting to see how the characters look like without being covered by shadows.

Well, I suppose that's what the paparazzi are for, although I'm a bit more thankful that they decided to go for actual movie news instead of snooping around trying to get a photo of Angelina Jolie in a thong. But before that, here's a first look at Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, a production still released only hours earlier, and already going around the internet like storm.

As always, click on the images for a better resolution.

And now, for the aforementioned paparazzi photos...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Amazing "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Trailer

By now it's pretty late to be news, but holy shit this is a spectacular trailer.

It was pretty unusual, and quite risky too since it didn't even hint us as to what the story is going to be about. But you can't say the trailer didn't catch your attention. It certainly caught mine, and gave me goosebumps. Well, guess what? The song you heard in the trailer was a remix of a Led Zeppelin song by Trent fuckin' Reznor!! No wonder it was so kickass!

I know now that the movie is an adaptation of a Stieg Larsson novel of the same name, but I'm still in the dark as to what the story is about, and I'm keeping it that way. I don't know, I think I'll try something different this time around and walk into the theatre without any idea of what I'm going to see.

Release Date: January 5th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer

Henry Cavill Pulling Off the Man of Steel Look

Earlier this year we talked about the new Superman movie, a reboot after how we gave a lukewarm welcome back to Bryan Singer's Superman Returns [2006]. You know, I didn't quite like it, but it wasn't because I thought it was a bad movie. As brilliant as I think Bryan Singer is, I'm just not digging his whiny, emo version of Superman.

Well, this new reboot slated for a 2013 release will be directed by Zack Snyder, and we all know how good he is when it comes to action-oriented movies. I must say, I never thought Henry Cavill would make for a good Superman, but he's surely pulling off the look.

Click on image for a better resolution...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011]

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Cast: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton
Genre: Science fiction
Rating: General
Comment: "You might forget that you're watching a movie with CGI apes..."

After half a decade of working on a cure for the Alzheimer's Disease, Will Rodman (James Franco) is finally ready to test it on humans instead of apes. Unbeknownst to him, the cure actually does more than just repair the brain cells, but also "improves" them rendering the apes to possess human-like intelligence as well as some other humanly attributes. And we all know how human nature covet freedom and power more than anything else.

What to Expect
1. Old school Sci-fi given a modern day treatment
2. Cool action sequences... with apes
3. Solid performances
4. Morally ambiguous

What NOT to Expect
1. Continuity from the original Planet of the Apes [1968]

A "Footloose" Remake? Seriously?

I am not at all a fan of musicals. Or to put it less delicately, fuck musicals. I've seen quite a few and the only one I can stand was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007] and I love the whole classic rock n' roll flavour seen in Footloose [1984] starring Kevin Bacon. But I'll tell you what I'm not okay with; apparently I'm one of the few who despise the likes of Glee with a passion.

I don't understand it. I mean, movies and music are my first two loves. I always appreciate movie soundtracks too, but insert poorly-written dialogue in between musical numbers and I get extremely irritable for absolutely no reason. Yeah, I tend to approach things like these with contempt, so it's really hard to convince myself that they're not that bad. Glee isn't the only victim here. High School Musical [2006] or Camp Rock [2008] or whatever the fuck they have out there get the same treatment.

So now, they're cashing in on this very annoying trend by remaking Footloose. I first learned about this remake when I was in the theatre waiting for Hanna [2011] to start playing. Halfway through the trailer and I groaned audibly. I kept thinking, "Oh no, they're not remaking Footloose, are they?"

Hanna [2011]

Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander
Genre: Thriller/Action
Rating: Teen
Comment: "This is not your usual cookie-cutter thriller..."

Sixteen-year-old Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan) grew up never seeing the world outside the wilderness she was raised in. Although taught about all there is to know about survival and combat skills by her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana), she yearns to actually go out into the world and experience all that she read about in the books, but not before she could avenge the death of her mother at the hands of a corrupt CIA agent, Marissa Weigler (Cate Blanchett).

What to Expect
1. Pretty much an art film
2. Odd mesh of Thriller and a Coming-of-age movie
3. Pretty visuals
4. Unusual pacing for a Thriller movie
5. Uber-cool soundtrack

What NOT to Expect
1. Jason Bourne or Evelyn Salt

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Sherlock Holmes" Should Be Here to Stay

One of the most enduring fictional characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes is about to have another adventure this coming December. Rightfully so because I've been a fan of the character since my dad bought me the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, I can't remember how far back that was but I have yet to finish reading it. (Hey, it's humungous!)

The first Sherlock Holmes [2010] was pretty spectacular although I, like many other fans had reservations when it was announced. I'm not a purist or anything, but I did raise an eyebrow watching the usually stoic, calm and collected character given the martial artist + action hero + Robert Downey Jr.-ness flair to him. Sure, there was a lot of mention about Holmes' physical prowess in the stories as well, but the focus had always been about that deductive reasoning of his.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger [2011]

Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Sebastian Stan
Genre: Superhero/Action
Rating: General
Comment: "It's a lot harder to enjoy if you're not a fan to begin with..."

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) want nothing more than to enlist in the army and serve his country, a desire made impossible by his unimpressive and frail physique. However, a chance meeting with scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) turns things around when Erskine chooses him as the subject of a top secret project that turns Rogers into Captain America - a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan poster child enlisted to fight alongside America against Adolf Hitler.

What to Expect
1. Great visuals
2. Plenty of humour
3. Some rather intriguing moral values
4. The whole thing to feel a little dragged out

What NOT to Expect
1. American jingoism

This... is... Too Awesome for Words

You won't see it coming. Special thanks to Seanbaby.

I can only assume that they must have tricked the actors and extras into thinking that they're actually filming another movie. If that's not the case, then I suppose all of them come from a place where dignity is an unknown concept.
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