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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

subHysteria - Poster and trailer for subway horror

Sixteen people get stuck in a subway car in NYC for 36 hours, without communication, food, way to escape, and a fatal sensation that they are going to die. A raw display of human behavior when one confronts the possibility of death.
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Westworld, 1973 - Movie Review

Director: Michael Crichton
Starring: Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Yul Brynner, Majel Barrett, Alan Oppenheimer, Dick Van Patten
Running Time: 88 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

I got Westworld on DVD from my Wife for Christmas. I watched it last night so thought I would post this excellent review by Brandt Sponseller. It still gets me that they didn't build the lab doors so they could be opened manually, but Yul Brynner is great as the original Terminator. Plus the film is as old as me.

Set during an unspecified future era on Earth, Westworld features Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin - Henry Poole Is Here) and John Blane (James Brolin) on their way to a new kind of amusement park, Delos, located way out in the middle of a desert. Delos is divided into three "virtual reality" areas, Roman World, Medieval World, and West World (or Westworld). These are not mere computer simulations, however. Guests are immersed in a complete recreation of the relevant eras--they wear the clothing, sleep in the accommodations, eat the food, and so on, relevant to the era. They also interact with robots that are nearly indistinguishable from humans, and can talk to, have sex with, and even kill some robots. It's an escapist's dream, at least until something goes wrong.

Westworld isn't the easiest film to rate. It has its share of faults, and the more one analyzes the plot, the more problems one can find. However, the premise is so fantastic, the atmosphere is so good (even though it's very spartan for a sci-fi film) and the performances from the principle actors are so entertaining that it is very easy to excuse any flaws and just "go with the film". The bottom line is how enjoyable or aesthetically rewarding a film is, not how logically taut the plot is. On those grounds, Westworld certainly deserves a 9 out of 10.

A lot of the attraction is the voyeuristic escapism experienced by the viewer. Who wouldn't want to be able to go to an amusement park like Delos? It's a fabulous idea, and a not-too-thinly-veiled satire/extrapolation of Disney World, which had just opened two years before this film was released (remember that Disney World is the Florida location; Disneyland is the California location). Walt Disney had already been talking about his original conception of EPCOT (which was quite different than the Epcot that was eventually opened in 1982) by 1967. Writer/director Michael Crichton's Delos is a rough combination of Disney World's theme parks with an EPCOT-like residency, if only a temporary one.

At the same time, computer and robot technology was finally starting to be strongly integrated into industry on an "everyday" level (it was just a bit more than 5 years until the beginning of the home computer revolution). Disney World's operational infrastructure is an extensive behind-the-scenes computer network, which Crichton parallels with his white lab coat-wearing scientists working amidst monitors and banks of flashing lights (and this is even better satirized in the sequel to Westworld, 1976's Futureworld).

The premise provides an easy launching pad for a number of ethical, philosophical and scientific dilemmas: What are the implications for killing someone when they seem almost identical to humans? What if they're artificially intelligent? Is it infidelity for married persons to have sex with robots almost identical to humans or artificially intelligent? If machines become sufficiently complex, won't they be prone to the same flaws as humans, such as viruses (or something analogous), and if artificially intelligent, disobedience? All of these questions and more are explored in Westworld, albeit most are not explicitly broached--probably in an attempt to avoid sounding preachy or over-intellectual.

Because at the heart of Westworld, at least on a surface level, is a fantastic thriller/suspense story. Once things begin to go wrong, the "play" turns deadly, and the end of the film is a very long, deliberately paced chase sequence. Yul Brynner is a menacing "Robot Gunslinger", in a character that Brynner thought of as an ominous satire on his Chris Adams from The Magnificent Seven (1960), and which eventually seems somewhat prescient of The Terminator (1984). The suspense/horror is based on a classic gambit of machines forcefully taking control of their creators. It may be more modern, but basically the threat is that of the wronged Frankenstein Monster, with all the attendant subtexts, including humans "playing God" as they create other beings in their own image, and dehumanization of the Other.

It's best while watching to not dwell on the quagmire of plot problems that aren't dealt with. If the guns in Westworld can't harm humans because of "heat sensors", what's to stop you from being shot if someone aimed at something inanimate that you happened to be standing behind? How do the swords in Medieval World not harm that land's guests? If guests can't be hurt, why are they thrown into tables, the bar, etc. during a brawl? (We could argue that the robots were already going haywire at that point, but the technicians aren't shown being alarmed by this behavior.) How do they fix all of the architectural damage done every day? Where are all the other guests? Wouldn't it cost a lot more than $1000 per day per guest to make all of those repairs and perform routine maintenance on the robots?

That's just a small sampling of the questions you could worry about while watching the film, but that would be missing the point. Westworld isn't intended as a blueprint for actually constructing a Delos-like amusement park. The idea is to get the viewer to fantasize about the scenario, enjoy the more visceral, literal suspense story, and at the same time ponder some of the more philosophical questions and subtexts. On those accounts, Westworld greatly succeeds.
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Is this Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin...?

...of course it isn't as once again Christopher Nolan is still to sign on, there is no story yet and nothin to say what characters will be used. No doubt the image is a fake but it's a good one showing what Philip Seymour Hoffman could look like as the Penguin in the next Batman film.

Cinemablend had the image and it does look good. How would you feel about Hoffman as The Penguin or would you rather it was the other Hoffman (as in Dustin)?

Tom Cruise Star Wars Mash-Up

Here are a couple of cool mash-up things showing Tom Cruise using his Star Wars lightsaber skill. The first one is from The Colour of Money and the second is The Last Samurai.

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Chocolate - Taste the Fury

Here is the poster and trailer for Chocolate, which stars newcomer Nicharee "Jeeja" Vismistananda. The film is co-written and directed by Prachya Pinkaew (Tony Jaa's Ong Bak and The Protector).

Jeeja plays an autistic girl who learns how to fight both by absorbing her martial arts skills from what she sees on TV and from the Muay thai boxing school next to her home. When she finds a list of debtors in her sick mother's diary, she decides to go collecting. Her quest leads her to confrontations with criminal gangs and also her father, a member of the Japanese mafia.

The character sounds a bit like the deaf character Echo created by David Mack and Joe Quesada.

Wikipedia describes her as Maya Lopez is an Olympic-level athlete possessing "photographic reflexes" or the uncanny ability to perfectly copy other people's movements, similar to that of the Taskmaster. Just by watching other people, she has become a concert-level pianist, a strong martial artist, a highly skilled acrobat, and a gifted ballerina (and on one occasion even piloted a Quinjet for a few minutes). In addition, she has also gained Bullseye's uncanny aim and Daredevil's acrobatic abilities after watching tapes of their fights.

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G-Force - Trailer for film featuring guinea pigs and not 7-Zark-7


When I heard about this I though "G-Force? Hmm, the Gatchaman film must have changed it's name to the Western version from Battle of the Planets. Cool it must be getting closer to the big screen. The concept art was lovely and the test reel was nice so a full trailer should be excellent"

It's nothing to do with that. Instead it seems to be like a kiddified version of Grant Morrison's We3 with trained guinea pigs. Oh well, here is the trailer. Nicholas Cage does one of the voices, but I am not sure as to the length of his hair when he recorded it so I can't use that to gauge the quality of the film. It also stars the voice talents of Penelope Cruz, Sam Rockwell and Steve Buscemi. Anyone else think this won't be very good? Producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings his first 3-D film to the big screen with G-Force, a comedy adventure about the latest evolution of a covert government program to train animals to work in espionage. Armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, these highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws. Tapped for the G-Force are guinea pigs Darwin (voice of Sam Rockwell), the squad leader determined to succeed at all costs; Blaster (voice of Tracy Morgan), an outrageous weapons expert with tons of attitude and a love for all things extreme; and Juarez (voice of Penelope Cruz), a sexy martial arts pro; plus the literal fly-on-the-wall reconnaissance expert, Mooch, and a star-nosed mole, Speckles (voice of Nicolas Cage), the computer and information specialist.

Directed by two-time Oscar®-winning visual effects master Hoyt Yeatman—G-Force takes audiences on a high-octane thrill ride, proving once and for all that size really doesn't matter.

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Crank 2: High Voltage - Red Band Trailer

Jason Statham is back as Chev Chelios, in the direct sequel to the insane, unstoppable, 2006 action film Crank. In the sequel, Chelios faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.

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Watchmen featurette - Zack Snyder tells us more about the film in 4 minute featurette

This is really cool - more footage, Zack Snyder telling us stuff and it all looks amazing. Sad to think that it will probably be delayed more and more as the Fox / Warner Bros legal battle rumbles on.
Director Zack Snyder introduces the story, characters and stars of Watchmen, starring Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman, Carla Gugino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode and more.

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Eagle Eye alternative ending - it is badong.

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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Doubt, 2008 - Movie Review

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Starring: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Joseph Foster II
Running Time: 104 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

This review by Howard Schumann

According to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, over four thousand clerics were accused of sexual abuse during the past fifty years. Although approximately thirty percent of these accusations were not investigated because they were unsubstantiated, given the proclivity of the bishops to cover up these incidents, the figures are widely suspected to be underestimated. What may be lost in the discussion of statistics about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, however, is an understanding of the humanity of the people involved or the complexities of the circumstances.

This factor is brought to light in Doubt, John Patrick Shanley's filmed version of his Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning stage play. Based on Shanley's personal experiences at Catholic School, the film explores not only the issue of possible sexual abuse but conservative versus progressive religious values and how far one can rely on suspicion in the absence of proof. Set in 1964, one year after the Kennedy assassination, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) is the dragon lady of St. Nicholas school in the Bronx. A strict taskmaster, she relishes her role as the upholder of tradition, rejecting such modern devices as ballpoint pens and the singing of secular songs at Christmas like Frosty the Snowman which she equates with pagan magic.

Under Aloysius is the sweet and innocent Sister James (Amy Adams) whose easy going manner and charming personality is a welcome antidote to her authoritarian superior. The priest at St. Nicholas is Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who is the closest thing to a progressive at the school. He is open to new ideas and the changes initiated by Pope John XXIII, being much more open and relaxed with the children and engaging them in sports and conversation. In his sermons he brings the language of religion into the twentieth century, talking about the positive aspects of doubt and the injurious effects of gossip. "Doubt", he says, "can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone." Resentful of the role of women in the Catholic Church and suspicious of Father Flynn, Sister Aloysius assigns Sister James to keep an eye peeled for anything unusual in his conduct. Her fears appear justified when Sister James reports that Father Flynn asked Donald Miller (Joseph Foster II), the school's only African-American student, to a private conference in the rectory and was seen hanging up the boys undershirt in his locker. Sister James also informs her that there was alcohol on the boy's breath and that the boy seemed upset when returning to his desk.

Although no inappropriate behavior was witnessed, Sister Aloysius suspects wrongdoing and summons the priest to her office on the pretext of discussing the Christmas pageant. She accuses the priest of misconduct with the altar boy who denies that he gave altar wine to the boy or that anything unusual happened. The drama takes more twists and turns, especially when Donald's mother (Viola Davis) raises Aloysius' eyebrows by suggesting that, in spite of the allegations, the boy, who is due to enter high school in a few months, may be better off in the hands of the priest than having to face his intolerant and abusive father.

Doubt avoids easy answers and challenges us to view inflammatory issues from a broader perspective, embracing the essential mystery of human behavior. The acting in the film is uniformly brilliant. Streep is mesmerizing, even if at times more theatrical than may be necessary for the character. Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance is more restrained and draws our sympathy with his broader view of church doctrine and display of love and compassion, although his demeanor at the end tantalizingly suggests remorse.

What may be the most noteworthy performance, however, is that of Viola Davis whose dialogue with Aloysius is one of the dramatic high points of the film. The issue of whether Father Flynn acted as a friend and mentor to the boy or a sexual partner is ultimately left to the viewer to resolve, though what is beyond doubt is that absolute certainty without considering other points of view is a dead end for all involved.
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Slumdog Millionaire, 2008 - Movie Review

Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Freida Pinto
Running Time: 120 minutes
Score: 8 /10

This review by Chris Docker

In his most mainstream movie to date, director Danny Boyle successfully transfers Trainspotting's renowned raw realism of economic deprivation to bustling, modern day India. Colourful and ingenious, Slumdog Millionaire adds that pure warmth of the child's smile to the kick of a curry made from a moneylender's intestines, well-laced with raw spirit distilled from fermented slum-dwellers. Rich and poor come together in an orgy of excess, bolstered with a love-song whose words you barely decipher but whose tune stays in your heart. Boyle has been reborn in Mumbai.

India is a country of inimitable charm. Yet asked to describe what is good, I am usually stuck for words. It's dirty. Corrupt. Unreliable. Disingenuous. It leeches off you like a starving African stealing food at a Band-Aid concert. Oh, and it stinks. Quite literally.

Yet, if you lean your weight against the old buildings near the Taj Mahal, something magical can happen. Somehow it is easy to feel your spirit leave the body. It will flow back through thousands of years of rich and vibrant history. Gandharvas and mythical kings. Back in reality, look up at the monkeys as they scamper across parapets, the sun dazzling you, and Hanuman and Lord Krishna echo from past aeons. Or walk through the mess that is modern Mumbai. Suddenly there's the architectural wonder of the railway station. An incongruently colonial splendour bizarrely appearing in the teeming twenty-first century.

Slumdog Millionaire uses the Taj Mahal and Mumbai Station as iconic reference points, rising from the dirt and chaos. Like the boy dressed as Rama, who pops up early in the film. Timeless and almost mythological. But conflict simmers broodingly beneath such visual wonder. Muslim versus Hindu. Strong versus weak. And Slumdog versus Millionaire. Something says the twain ne'er shall meet, so when a kid from the slums succeeds on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, everyone is suspicious.

On the other hand, unpredictability is the norm in India. The sense of this is so strong it could almost be described as 'spiritual.' Disconcertingly, it is easy to believe that India is a land where miracles could still occur. Even a child of the slums becoming fabulously rich.

The freshness with which Boyle paints the country, the punchy editing and charismatic performances, all conspire against our recognising this is a standard against-all-odds story, a standard rags-to-riches, and a standard do-anything-to-get-the-girl. It is standard pulp. But done so well we barely notice. He has put together a film of surprising maturity, and perhaps his first to win general audiences in a big way. It's a film that uses lessons from Boyle's earlier movies – the gross-out shock value of Trainspotting, the lovable rogues of Shallow Grave, the exoticism of The Beach and the bold visual experimentation of 28 Days Later and Sunshine. It repackages them in feelgood form for all but the most delicate of tastes.

True, the sight of a young boy diving through an ocean of sewage (with filmstar photo held aloft) recalls the stronger images from Trainspotting. But here it is done for humour and too brief to be offensive. Everything about the film is refreshingly clever and a delight to watch. If occasionally there are subtitles, they are inventively inserted at interesting places on the screen with their own background colours.

The plot starts just before the question that lays the golden egg and cuts engagingly back through the boy's life using flashbacks. Why is he being tortured? How did he get on the show? Why doesn't he care about the money? In the background is his love, Latika, whom he has known since childhood. Both orphaned, she saw him by chance (standing abandoned in the rain) and he lets her share a corrugated iron shelter. It's a touching scene without too much sugar. And chance is the theme of the film. How does a Slumdog like Jemal guess the answers to general knowledge questions that could baffle the educated? That's what everybody wants to know.

Few Western directors have managed to embrace India so convincingly. Colours become sanitised, dirt becomes exotic. Boyle leaves us in no doubt as to the degradation, but makes it palatable through daring cinematography. This is no work of realism such as that of Satyajit Ray. Apart from a joyful closing credits scene, neither is it Bollywood. And although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I can't help feeling that some critics have gone overboard in estimating it to be more than the sum of its parts. As if Mamma Mia! could become art-house if it only had had one more ancient artefact. The film has nothing very deep to say. It is entertainment, pure and simple. Boyle's hodgepodge talents have been brought together for once in a recipe that any professional chef should be very proud of. It might even be his best film since Trainspotting, but it is heralds no new frontiers. A rounded display of talent that holds its own against the best in the Hollywood tradition. I would hate to think that the future of British film-making is in India, but I'm pleased Danny Boyle has firmly found his wings again. And I was also very pleased to see one of the stars of the outstanding TV series, Skins, conquer the lead role.

Slumdog Millionaire is a bag of very colourful tricks. The end result is great entertainment. It would be more remarkable if, in a later film, we were to see these stirring skills used for real comment on the human condition (for instance) and take us off the popcorn ride. When will the real Danny Boyle stand up? Near the Taj Mahal, I once looked down and saw boys pretending to levitate a corpse. They wanted tourists to throw money down to them (with a cut, no doubt, for the boy beneath the stretcher). It was all good fun. But made me wonder when the real fakir would appear.

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The Spirit, 2008 - Movie Review


Director: Frank Miller
Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johannson, Sarah Paulson
Running Time: 103 minutes
Score: 1 /10

This review is by Skon and may contain spoilers.

The Spirit is a film with few virtues. There's a fingerful but that's it.

Gabriel Macht delivers a certain charisma in the titular role as Will Eisner's classic middle-class superhero. This is his first time carrying a movie and had the focus been shifted more on him, his antics and his conflicts it would have been a better film. We witness some lovely moments when The Spirit talks about the love he has for his city, echoing something at the very heart of the superhero mythos. One scene has him even using the city as a shield, a weapon and a guide in his role as its guardian. These are poignant moments that evoke that somewhere underneath all the terribleness there might have been a spark of a good film here.

That's where all the virtues end.

People will probably gravitate to the cinematography of Bill Pope which does its best to marry Frank Miller's Sin City with the pulp comics of The Spirit's origins. But as pretty as the cinematography does look here and there, most of it is too busy, too dark and too careless. As a film that tries to show the protagonist's relationship with his city the cinematography should have created a sense of being in a vast metropolis. Instead the visuals feel completely green-screened and the effect is that the film ends up looking like it was shot on a stage instead of in a wide open city. There is also something that feels unfinished about the green-screening process as though some more work needed to be done and as such the film has the look of the cut scenes out of late 90's full motion video games with the characters standing out from rendered CGI effects like sore thumbs.

This is Frank Miller's first time out as a solo director. He is credited with co-directing Sin City and after seeing this film one realizes that Miller had very little to do with the physical directing on that film. It's sad to see one of the greatest comic book creators of all time helpless in trying to do justice to Will Eisner's creations. Miller even casts himself as a police officer whose head gets ripped off and used as a blunt weapon in the film's opening. One wonders if that was CGI or if the lack of any thinking going into this film can be blamed on Miller's headlessness. Either way it's an apt metaphor for a project that steams forward without any direction.

The film is a mess of tones and genres. Scenes tend to go on forever without anywhere to go in the first place. There's an overuse of flashbacks. And most of the dialogue is delivered in soliloquy (including a scene where The Spirit talks to a cat for 5 minutes). There are no subtleties in delivery, pacing or acting. Everything is blunt, harsh and cold. The audience knows everything in the first 15 minutes and it takes the rest of the characters an hour to catch up. It's frustrating, busy and excruciating to watch. Even attempts at humor fall flat. A running joke with 24's Louis Lombardi is amateur in its rendition.

The acting is where Miller's lack of film-making chops shows most prominently. Sam Jackson plays the Octopus, a villain whose face was never shown in Eisner's comics and rightfully so. Jackson is fresh off of a plane full of snakes and still acting like it. He plays the same tough character he always plays - shooting off big guns while shooting off his even bigger mouth. It's beginning to get boring and he needs to seek out more parts that explore his range. In order to make up for having no character depth or any credibility as a villain, Jackson and his henchwoman, played by the vastly overrated Scarlett Johansson, go through more costume changes than a Vegas strip show. Jackson goes from dressing like a pimp to a mutton-chopped samurai and even (I can't make this up) a monocled goose-stepping heil-hitlering Nazi in an offensive scene that seems like a bad pun on the classic Patton.

Further to the acting, there is a bevy of female characters that clutter this film in an attempt to create some element of pulp sex drama. Johansson's Silken Floss is just money thrown down the drain as she brings nothing to the movie. I've never understood her appeal and this film is perhaps best proof of her need to hire an acting coach. The Morgenstern character is a time-waster and eats up screen time lecturing the audience on the Electra principle (Miller you created a character named Elektra, you have a fascination with it, we get it, but it has no place in this film). To believe her character we'd have to believe that a rookie cop would be the only one to notice a gigantic clue two days after a crime scene has been cleared. Sarah Paulson and Eva Mendes, both in terribly written roles, try the hardest and as an audience member I appreciated that.

The free screening I attended last night had a number of rows oddly empty from the get go. And within 10 minutes about twenty people had already gotten up and left. The rest of us stayed because it was cold outside and perhaps hoping that things would only get better. They didn't. After the film we had a unique experience where audience members cultivated together, like strangers at a traffic accident, to criticize the film. People were upset over a film that failed in every possible way a film can fail and yet the advertising campaign paints it as a brilliant, exciting holiday adventure. I assure you it's not.

Lionsgate this is a train wreck. If this is your idea of giving your audience a holiday present honestly shame on you.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008 - Movie Review

Director: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond
Running Time: 159 minutes
Score: 7 / 10

This review is by thorneer and may contain spoilers


"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" would seem to have everything going for it - major stars, an enormous budget, and a conceit that can't be beat. However, in the end it's that very conceit that hamstrings an otherwise wondrous piece of movie-making.

Fincher's characters tend to be psychos, paranoiacs, obsessives, some of whom struggle vainly against the darkness in their own souls, but many others who have embraced it. Benjamin Button is none of the above, and that's perhaps his problem. Button, born "under unusual circumstances" in 1918 New Orleans, spends his early life literally surrounded by death, raised, as he is, by an orderly in a home for the elderly. As a prematurely old man himself (an effect achieved by fantastic MOCAP work from Pitt), perhaps it's not surprising that as he grows into a body with which he may truly engage the world, he is more content to observe appreciably.

Now, this may be true to the spirit of the character, but unfortunately for Fincher and his screenwriter, Eric Roth, it doesn't make for very interesting cinema. At a recent screening, Roth referred to Button's character as the "anti-Gump", a classification that seemed both apt and problematic. This film will certainly earn comparisons to Robert Zemeckis' modern classic(also written by Roth), but where that film had a truly fascinating central character, who experienced as many mistakes and tragedies as victories and happiness, Fincher and Roth's protagonist is a cipher. There's a telling sequence around the middle of the film, where Button, by now a merchant seaman holed up in a dingy hotel in Murmansk, strikes up a relationship with a bored wife of a minor British official (Tilda Swinton). Unable to sleep, they meet each night for tea and good conversation (and later, sex). But instead of letting us hear what those conversations are about, he simply creates a montage, set to music, of various meetings fading into one another. By the time Swinton's character departs the film, we know next to nothing new about Benjamin other than that he has trouble sleeping and likes hot tea. The fact is that even Swinton's character, on screen for perhaps fifteen minutes, is more engaging. It's a frustrating glimpse of what might have been, had the filmmakers chosen to put the character before the gimmick, instead of the other way around.

Which brings us to Cate Blanchett. As Daisy, whom Benjamin meets as a young girl and who grows into a luminously beautiful and troubled ballet dancer, Blanchett shines as brightly as she ever has on screen. Unlike Benjamin, Daisy is not content to simply accept whatever life throws her way - she has dreams and attempts to act on them, and does her best to lead a normal, interesting life. Benjamin, passive as always, must quietly observe as she grows out of the playmate of his "youth" and into a somewhat headstrong woman who nonetheless possessed of enormous potential. His loyalty pays off, though, when circumstances bring them together again at a time when they both happen to be the same age - a fleeting moment, and one they will cherish. But again, the relationship between couple and audience is one-sided, because while we can see why Daisy would wish to return to the rock-steady loyalty of Benjamin, it's unclear what he feels about her other than a regard (she's certainly lovely enough). We are told in rather soggy voice-over narration (spread throughout the film) that Daisy is "the most beautiful person I'd ever seen", but that's all we'll get.

And so it goes, for nearly three hours. We cut frequently, and irritatingly, back to a modern-day hospital in New Orleans, where a dying Daisy asks her daughter (Julia Ormond) to read to her from Benjamin's diary as Hurricane Katrina pounds on the windows. There's something being said in these scenes about regret and the passage of time, but the appealing Ormond's character is one-note, and Blanchett seems nearly suffocated under pounds of old age makeup. It's from this diary whence springs Benjamin's narration, but, as Mr. Roth pointed out, Gump this ain't. Suffice it to say that the budget is up there on screen as we go on this strange trip through the twentieth century with Brad Pitt as our guide. A possibly unintentional (I doubt it) laugh arises mid-film when Benjamin finally reaches something around Pitt's own age. He strides into a garage in the mid-50's, decked out in leather jacket and shades, and whips a tarp off a motorcycle, on which he speeds out to the harbor to do some bare-chested sailing on a boat he builds himself (the shades remain on his head). It's a knowing wink to the wish-fulfillment of the casting - who wouldn't want their old crotchety husband to get younger and younger until they looked like Brad Pitt? - and a clever way to underscore the underlying tragedy of the situation. Sure, he looks like Brad Pitt in "Fight Club", "Se7en", "Thelma & Louise", but eventually he's going to look like Brad Pitt in "Cutting Class", and then Brad Pitt in seventh grade, and finally Brad Pitt as a toddler, and that's not so sexy.

Pitt does a fine job. It's a pity that Fincher, who has used him to such great effect twice before, didn't let him cut loose. Instead this is his most low-key performance since Meet Joe Black, in which he played Death, who was really just a nice young man curious about the world. Come to think of it, that's pretty much all that Benjamin Button is, and, if nothing else, he knows more about death than just about anybody around. Too bad that a film that means to affirm life turns out to be rather lifeless.

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The Expendables - Script review for Stallone's action movie

Vern over at AICN has had a chance to look at Sylvester Stallone's script for The Expendables and it sounds like it could be a good old fashioned action movie. As Vern says, "This is a movie where a team of 5 can take on an army of 100, where armed men still sometimes engage in martial arts and fisticuffs, where many, many things blow up, where occasionally a character might have something sarcastic to say during combat. In other words, a good old fashioned action movie. An endangered species."

There is nothing definite as to who is playing what character in the film but is possible, and highly likely that Stallone may play the leader of the group called Barney.

"Barney is a very different character from Rambo. For one thing, his name is Barney. For another he talks in more than one sentence sometimes. He's almost a father figure to the team and finds himself always listening to other people's problems and trying to be supportive. The other character who gets the most screen time is the lovelorn Lee Christmas. He's supposed to be American but calls a guy "mate" at one point, which means he's played by Jason Statham. There's also Kong Kao, who will be played by Jet Li. He does a lot of kicking, but is much more of a supporting character than Li usually plays. I do think it's a pretty good character for Li, though, because he gets some funny lines. He's an unhappy smartass, not the usual Li type of character."

As well as those three we all know now that Dolph Lundgren is going to be in the action epic. Unfortunately he may only be in the film for a couple of scenes which is a shame. It's a small but crucial role as an Expendable named Gunnar who comes into conflict with Kong.

Vern also goes onto explain the roles that Forest Whitaker and Sandra Bullock may be playing and he has this to say about some roles that have yet to be cast.

"There's Richard, who is the gay Expendable. It's a plot point that he's gay, but they don't make any dumb jokes about it, he's just a member of the team. I'm proud of Stallone for that one. On the other hand, the black Expendable isn't much more than a benign Black Dude stereotype. He doesn't get enough characterization, but on the positive side he owns a restaurant, is zealous about tacos and has a name even more cartoonish than Lee Christmas: his name is Hale Caesar. I approve of that."
It's not clear if this is going to be the final script as many of the fight scenes and characters are a bit sketchy at the moment especially the last big battle that Stallone describes as

"THE BATTLE IS ON!! WHAT ENSUES IS A REMARKABLY SAVAGE EBB AND FLOW BATTLE. TO DESCRIBE THE ACTION DESIGNED FOR THIS SCENE WOULD TAKE MANY PAGES, SO TRUST ME, IT'LL BE LIKE NOTHING SEEN BEFORE."

I have got a good feeling about this film though. Make sure you have a read of the rest of the script review. Will this be a great action movie or should it be a direct to DVD one?
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Batman's Bad Day

The Justice League give Batman a hard time when he complains about an act of heroism taking too long and hurting too much.
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The Sunshine Boy (Sólskins Drengur) - Poster for documentary about Autism

The Sunshine Boy is a documentary directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. The film is about a woman’s search for answers about her son’s autism.
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Total Re - yearrragaaghah - call (Total Recall [abridged])

Total Recall the way it was meant to be seen.. and heard. All Guttural sounds.. All the time!
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"Mystique is Pregnant" featuring Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn

Funny comedy sketch starring husband and wife team of Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn (who played Mystique in the X-Men films).
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Dave Gibbons interview by Mr. Media - The Watchmen lawsuit, Watching the Watchmen and more

Bob Andelman (Mr. Media) has done many cool interviews and written a few books including one called Will Eisner: A Spirited Life (follow that link for his interview with Eva Mendes and news on The Spirit film).

He recently got in touch with me to let me know about his interview with Watchmen artist, Dave Gibbons. It's an hour long interview and he discusses the Warner Bros./Fox dispute, being on the set during production, and what he thinks of the trailer and the rough cut he saw of Watchmen. He also talks about the possibility of working with Frank Miller and the message he took to Alan Moore from Will Eisner.

Have a listen to the interview and check out some of the other interviews by Mr Media.

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Gerard Way talks about The Umbrella Academy film adaption

The creator and writer of Dark Horse’s “The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite” and the frontman of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way talks to CBR TV about his and artist Gabriel Bá’s newest collaboration, “The Umbrella Academy: Dallas,” issues #1 and #2 of which are on sale now.

In this second installment of an exclusive five-part on-camera interview, Way discusses with CBR TV the proposed Universal Pictures film adaptation of “The Umbrella Academy,” including what role he and Bá will play in each stage of its creation, from script to direction to scoring.

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The Spirit spoof

Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira (Attack of the Show) do their own version of The Spirit.

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Cute Tusken Raider

This has been done by an artist called Squapper.

He had this to say about the process

For the body, I simply sewed clothes by hand, soaked them in water, painted with watercolor to add dirt, messed up the edges and then put them on the Munny and let the dry in place to fit to the shape.

For the bandages, I cut cloth into strips, soaked them and painted them, messed up the edges while wet and then let dry. Fitting them to the head was then simply a matter of using spray glue to make it adhere like tape and wrapping them on…

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Monday, 29 December 2008

Heavy Metal - Video interview with Neal Asher on Sci-Fi London

Neal Asher has emailed me the news that he has recently had a video interview with Sci-Fi-London.

It can be found here if you care to take a look.

SCI-FI-LONDON was lucky enough to meet Neal Asher at his Essex home to talk about his latest book, The Gabble & Other Stories, about writing and about 15 years of the Polity universe, David Fincher, Heavy Metal and the internet as a distraction from real work.

It's a great interview about parasites, politics and the Polity. The Heavy Metal stuff starts round about the 26:30 mark and questions about adapting his own works into film and TV at the 30:41 mark.

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Watchmen film could be delayed further

From /film - An attorney for 20th Century Fox told AP that the studio is planning to continue to seek an injunction to prevent the release of Watchmen. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess ruled last week that Warner Bros had infringed on 20th Century Fox’s rights to develop and distribute a movie adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novel.

A Warner Bros.’ attorney told the AP that hhe believes “a trial is necessary and a settlement unlikely.” As of right now, a trial is still scheduled for January 20th to decide the remaining issues. If Warners and Fox can’t reach a settlement before that date, it is likely that the Judge will grant the injunction which will at very least push back the release date of the comic book movie adaptation until a settlement is agreed upon.
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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li - Trailer

Here is the Japanese trailer for the new Street Fighter film starring Kristen Kreuk (Smallville). Looks a lot better than the Dragonball: Evolution trailer.
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My latest painting


Here is the painting I've just finished for my Brother in Law and he was chuffed to bits with it (one photo is with the flash and one without). More of my artwork is over at deviantART and I do take commissions if anyone is interested - Chisholm, I'll be starting yours in the next few days.

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Good to be back - What did you get for Christmas?

Hi all. Did you all have a good Christmas? What did you get up to and what movie related cool stuff did you get as presents from Father Christmas?

We had a lovely Christmas. The kids loved everything they got and Christmas dinner went off without a hitch which was great. Plus I got to see my son sing in the Metropolitan Liverpool Cathedral which was fantastic (he has recently become a Chorister there).

I also got some great gifts from my Wife and family and I am made up with all of them. Here are just a few.

Classic Sci-Fi Collection : Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers / Thing From Another World / Incredible Shrinking Man / This Island Earth / Creature From The Black Lagoon / It Came From Outer Space

Mongol - The Rise To Power Of Genghis Khan - Director Sergei Bodrov's sweeping MONGOL focuses on battles physical and emotional as it follows the early ascent of the 'Great King' Genghis Khan in the 12th and 13th centuries. Born Temudgin to a kingly father, the film introduces the nine-year-old (Odnyam Odsuren) making his first fateful decision: going against his father's wishes and choosing the lesser-born Borte as his future wife. When his father is poisoned, Temudgin flees from his father's rivals. Temudgin is saved by a young prince, Jamukha, and the two become blood brothers. That bond of friendship is tested, though, when the grown Temudgin (Tadanobu Asano) wages war--against the Mongol code--to win back the captive Borte. As Temudgin asserts his own power, he must also face Jamukha in all-out battle if he is to secure the safety of his family and his own kingly destiny. Gorgeously shot on location in Kazakhstan and Inner Mongolia, MONGOL represents the first in a proposed trilogy of films that will chronicle the full impact of Genghis Khan's reign. As ambitious in scope as its subject was in life, MONGOL--a 2008 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film--offers a unique look at the influence of love and loyalty to the life and times of one of history's most enigmatic rulers.

The Mist
(2 Disc Edition) - Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) serves as director, writer, and producer of THE MIST, an adaptation of Stephen King's classic novella. After a vicious storm wreaks havoc in their small town in Maine, artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) heads out to the town supermarket for some much-needed supplies with his young son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbour, Norton (Andre Braugher), in tow. Their trip soon turns to terror when a menacing white mist settles in, leaving this group of locals and out-of-towners fighting for survival against an unknown, bloodthirsty enemy. When the local religious zealot (Marcia Gay Harden) begins to convince the group that the mist is punishment from God, Drayton and his cohorts realize that they may be trapped inside with an enemy just as dangerous as whatever is lurking outside.

Tension runs high in this tale as the trapped group faces difficult moral decisions. Should they stay and wait out the terror, or make a break for it and risk suffering a terrible fate? Is the eerie mist the will of God, an experiment from the local military base gone awry, or, maybe, a freak natural disaster? Without modern conveniences and the normal conventions and rules to guide them, the group is easily swayed by the loudest opinion. Will they save themselves at the expense of each other, or work as a team to save everyone? There is a decent amount of blood and gore for horror fans, some deadpan humour and just a hint of politics thrown in for good measure. Thomas Jane is a stoic leading man, but Frances Sternhagen and Toby Jones are more fun as unlikely heroes. Laurie Holden, Alexa Davalos, Bill Sadler and Jeffrey Demunn also star in this creepy tale.

Westworld
- Welcome to Westworld, where nothing can go wrong...go wrong...go wrong....Writer/director Michael Crichton has concocted a futuristic "Disneyland for adults", a remote resort island where, for a hefty fee, one can indulge in one's wildest fantasies. Businessmen James Brolin and Richard Benjamin are just crazy about the old west, thus they head to the section of Westworld populated by robot desperadoes, robot lawmen, robot dance-hall gals, and the like. Benjamin's first inkling that something is amiss occurs when, during a mock showdown with robot gunslinger Yul Brynner, Brolin is shot and killed for real. It seems that the "nerve center" of Westworld has developed several serious technical glitches: the human staff is dead, and the robots are running amok. Suddenly promoted to the film's hero, Benjamin (who seems as surprised and shocked as the audience) must first avoid, then face down the relentless Brynner. Much of Westworld was lensed on the expansive grounds of the old Harold Lloyd estate in Beverly Hills, so it's no surprise that there's something Lloydlike about Dick Benjamin's instinct for self-preservation.

The Art of Ray Harryhausen
- A great looking book which takes you into the ideas and processes that Harryhausen has used throughout the years. Plus it is signed by the great man himself.

Watching the Watchmen
- Acclaimed as one of "Time Magazine's" 100 Best Novels, "Watchmen" is widely considered to be the greatest graphic novel of all time. "In Watching The Watchmen", artist Dave Gibbons gives his own account of the genesis of "Watchmen", opening his archives to reveal excised pages, early versions of the script original character designs, page thumbnails, sketches and much more, including posters covers and rare portfolio art.Featuring the breathtaking design of Chip Kidd and Mike Essl, "Watching The Watchmen" is both a major art book in its own right, and the definitive companion to the graphic novel that changed an industry.

The Gabble and Other Stories
- Neal Asher. Can't wait to read this.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
- Steve Martin - Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger - 'big laugh' or 'quiet' - and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had 'reached the top of the rollercoaster'.B ORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.

Just some of the bits I got (having some problems with uploading images, but I'll get it sorted so you can see what they all look like). Let me know what you got. Take it easy and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

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Good - Interview with Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs

Directed by Vicente Amorim, Good is set in late 1930's Germany, Viggo Mortensen stars as John Halder, an academic who find his early work used by the Nazis to promote national socialism. Halder's star rises as his best friend, a Jewish doctor (Jason Isaacs), faces increasing persecution. Subtle and deeply troubling, Good stays with you long after the movie's over.

Here are interviews with the two stars and the trailer for the movie.


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The Random - Watchmen court case, The Devil's Commandos, Shoot out at Benjamin Button screening, Green Hornet, Eartha Kitt has passed away, Hairspray

Will Fox be distributing Warner's "Watchmen"? A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that Rothman's crowd owns the distribution rights to the superhero picture, representing a setback for WB's plans to release the pic in March. Variety has more on this surprising story..

Disney has bailed out of co-financing the third movie in Walden Media's "Chronicles of Narnia" series, according to published reports.

Twentieth Century Fox's Jennifer Aniston-Owen Wilson starrer "Marley and Me" led the crowded pack of Christmas Day openers, grossing an estimated $14.8 million from 3,480 playdates to become the best opening ever for Dec. 25.

Kam Heskin will reprise her role as Paige Morgan - a part she's played since Julia Stiles hung up the glass slippers after the first film - in a fourth "Prince and Me" film. The new film, set to lens Feb 9, will be directed by Catherine Cyran.

Tony Todd ("Candyman"), Christopher Showerman ("Big Game") and Ethan Phillips (TVs "Star Trek : Voyager") and will star in director Tim 'Voyager' Russ's "A Night at the Bijou". The film tells of a rock band and group of friends who work at a movie theater who race to find a replacement for their injured drummer in time for their “Big Break” show.

The creators of the "Gilligan's Island" TV series want to see Michael Cera ("Superbad", "Juno") play the title character in a film version.

Thomas Jane ("The Mist") is set to star in a World War II action horror film called ''The Devil's Commandos''. Its rumoured that Jane will also direct the film.

A man enraged because a family was talking during a Christmas showing of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" dealt with the situation by shooting the father and pelting the son with popcorn.

Shawn Levy tells MTV he nixed a couple of characters from the upcoming "Night at the Museum 2" at the last minute. “We actually had a whole Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong thing, where we were going to have them get into a wrestling match at the door of the capsule, like who goes first,” Levy said of a planned cameo from the lunar trotting pair. “But we thought it would be historically blasphemous!”

"The Punisher : War Zone" will be skipping theaters altogether in Australia. Rumour has it it's going direct-to-DVD in April.

Adam Shankman tells Collider that the "Hairspray" sequel won't be happening anytime soon. ''That certainly will not happen this year. There’s only an outline and we’re out to writers.'' Shankman also said the "Topper" remake, something he planned to do with Steve Martin, is "kind of in lame duck land" right now.

Teresa Palmer is planning to reunite with "2:37" director Murali K.Thalluri on a film. "When I did 2:37, I had never acted before. It was such a lucky break. He picked me off the street and said come and be in a movie. He'd never done a movie before either. Now we've both had a bit more on-set experience, and matured, I think there could be a great collaboration between us."

The legendary Eartha Kitt died of colon cancer at the age of 81. The African-American actress and singer with one of the most 'purrr-fect' voices to ever grace the screen or stage starred in such films as "The Mark of the Hawk," "Erik the Viking," "Boomerang," "The Emperor's New Groove" and "Holes". Her most memorable work though lies in her renditions of songs like "Santa Baby", and her role as Catwoman in three episodes of the classic 1960's "Batman" TV series.

Last week it was announced that Stephen Chow had abandoned his position as director on upcoming film adaptation of "The Green Hornet" - but was still set to co-star in the film as the Hornet's sidekick, Kato. Well, Apparently Chow's considering not playing Kato now. He's blaming it on scheduling (saying he wants to film some Jack Black-Superhero film)

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The Expendales - Sandra Bullock may be in it and some character descriptions.

JoBlo has heard that Sylvester Stallone is after Sandra Bullock to star in his movie, The Expendables.

It hasn't been signed off yet but Stallone is trying his best to work with his old Demolition Man partner again. Bullock would play a government agent (paired up with Whitaker) on the hunt for Stallone's crew of hired guns.

Moviehole had these character descriptions.

Agent Diane Lickson – C.I.A agent, based out of Langley. She’s determined to find out the identities of the hired-contractors (Stallone, Statham, Lundgren etc) but the only video footage they have of the guys is grainy and unwatchable so the facial recognition software is useless. Her colleague, agent Will ‘Willy’ Sands (Forest Whitaker), whose been out of the field for about seven years, is called in to assist her. He’s convinced the team of mercenaries is lead by someone he’s had a previous run-in with.

Church – The man that hires the ‘Expendables’ (run by ‘Barney’ and ‘Christmas’, assumingly the characters played by Stallone and Statham, respectively) to go after General Garza (who essentially runs his own island – described as a human rights graveyard). He’s an older bloke, and has a connection to the young man who Garza has apparently assassinated. This is personal, in other words. He wants Garza killed and his island burnt down. Five million dollars does the trick. (The rumour is, the role was written with Arnold Schwarzenegger in mind).

B.W Monroe – The Female chief intelligence officer, also determined to find out the identities of the ‘Expendables’ – largely Barney and Christmas. Her main interest is keeping The Expendables away from classified company operations that are already underway in the [Garza’s] area. She’s not that fond of ‘Willy’ Sands – considering he once [Johnny Utah-esque] let one of the Mercenaries escape.

Karen – a beautiful Raven-haired waitress; one of Christmas’s many past conquests. He doesn’t remember her – but she remembers him (he even gave her a ring).

Emanuel – a seedy contact of The Expendables. He, 45, doesn’t like to say things twice. They meet him at a club to do business. Seems a little bit shady.

Dan Paine – the head of General Garza’s security detail. His orders are to take the Expendables out. He eventually snags one of the mercenaries and tries to siphon details out of him. (This could be the part Randy Couture recently snagged; unconfirmed).

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Lesbian Vampire Killers - Teaser Trailer

Two no-hopers. One cursed village.

A bus full of foreign female students and an army of salacious lesbian vampires. It's gonna be one hell of a night!

Eternal slacker Jimmy Maclaren and his friend, Fletch, are enjoying a walking holiday on The Moors. Thanks to an unfortunate series of events, they find themselves stuck in a remote cottage with a camper-van full of sexy foreign student girls, besieged by a hungry army of lascivious lesbian vampires.

Can they make it till dawn or will the Sapphic soul suckers bleed them dry?

The two friends have been sent to this desolate outpost as human sacrifices by the local townspeople - a group of terrified men, whose women have all been enslaved by a legendary vampire curse placed on their village by Carmilla the Lesbian Vampire Queen. Soon after the curse was cast, Carmilla was executed by 17th Century vampire hunter Baron Wolfgang Maclaren ... who, by coincidence, was Jimmy's great, great grandfather.

Back in the cottage, the army of the undead prove they have a bloodlust when the moon is full, matched only by their lust for the flesh of other women! As the pretty travellers are picked off one-by-one, joining the ranks of the undead, Jimmy and student Lotte are captured by the lesbian vampires who plan to use their blood to resurrect the spirit of Carmilla, their Vampire Queen! It's up to Jimmy's good-for-nothing best friend Fletch, and his newfound ally - a disgruntled local vicar - to save them all before sunrise.

Armed with the sword of long-dead vampire slayer Wolfgang Maclaren, Fletch and the vicar track down their preternatural prey to Carmilla's mansion lair, and a life or death battle ensues. Jimmy and the last remaining girl, Lotte, are saved, the vampires slain and their curse lifted forever! Now all that is left for our heroes to do is rebuild their lives and embrace their newfound destiny.

As The Lesbian Vampire Killers!

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Sunday, 28 December 2008

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Empire has debuted the first three photos from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and a great cover featuring Optimus Prime. The above shot looks like it was filmed on location in Egypt so the film should be a lot more epic than we thought.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is again directed by Michael Bay

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Saturday, 27 December 2008

Is that the Delorean from Back to the Future in Burnout Paradise?


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How Rorschach Stole Christmas

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Drink Anaconda Malt Liquor or Black Dynamite will get you

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Menn Som Hater Kvinner) Trailer

Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there’s no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there’s always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
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Mutants - Teaser trailer

In a world devastated by a pandemic virus that turns human beings into primitive and bloodthirsty creatures, Marco and Sonia set off to find a secret base to escape from the mutants. When the latter attack them, Marco is contaminated too. Little by little, he undergoes the same changes. Sonia, who is expecting a baby, is then forced to fight her worst enemy, the man she loves.
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Perkins 14 - Trailer for film made by the hordes of the internet

I mentioned this a while ago (it has a cool poster) and is cool in that it was created from the ground up at massify.com where members submitted story pitches, poster art, audition tapes and opinion to mold the film.

Ronald Perkins builds an army of 14 people brainwashed through cult-like methods to protect him from his parents' killers. When Perkins is imprisoned, the police unwittingly unleash his followers on a small town and they've only got one thing on their mind: "Kill for Mr. Perkins."
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Stefano Bessoni’s Imago Mortis - trailer

The film tracks a young man, living in the aftermath of tragedy, who runs afoul of a bizarre cult operating within the faculty of his university, a cult practicing a sort of retinal photography to try and capture a photograph of the human soul. Of course, to photograph a soul leaving a body you first need to know when the soul will leave and the easiest way to accomplish that is to help it on its way ...

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