Monthly Archives: October 2011

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Family Fun Is The Theme Courtesy of ‘Pirates!’ and ‘Hugo’

Halloween is just days away, but it was basically impossible to make this edition of Best/Worst Movie Promos holiday appropriate because it was the most family-friendly material that trumped the competition. But, before we get to the best of the best, here’s a rundown of the pieces that just missed the cut.

Action Heavy Featurettes

It’s always fun to get a peek at what it took to make a movie, but behind-the-scenes featurettes are particularly enjoyable when they’re for action-heavy thrillers and, even more so when they focus on A-list actors doing their own stunts. According to this behind-the-scenes look at Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise really does handle the action and adventure himself as this piece shows Cruise dangling from, climbing up and running on the outside of a high rise building.

We’ve also got three new featurettes from Tarsem Singh’s Immortals. Sure, Kellan Lutz is nice to look at, but I’d advise skipping that one and heading straight for the pieces that highlight the Montreal stunt team and Eiko Ishioka’s costume designs. It’s rather interesting to see the earlier stages of the film’s battle sequences and what the fights look like sans costumes. However, the wardrobe for this one does deserve a great deal of attention, as it comes from the mind of a designer with quite the number of accolades including an Academy Award.

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Review: The Rum Diary

Critically, Johnny Depp has been all over the map for the past few years, however, one thing remains consistent, the guy is dedicated. Give him an icon like J.M. Barrie, someone more eccentric like Jack Sparrow or even an animated character like Rango and Depp seizes the opportunity and gives the role everything he’s got. Then again, you can’t forget that acting is only one aspect of the moviemaking puzzle and while Depp stands tall yet again in The Rum Diary, he can’t keep the rest of the piece from crumbling around him.

Depp is Paul Kemp, a failing novelist in need of a quick buck. He relocates from the mainland to Puerto Rico where he snags a gig at the failing local newspaper, The San Juan Star. No matter what he’s doing – attempting to write horoscopes, report on the latest local bowling championship or just rolling around in his co-worker Sala’s (Michael Rispoli) defunct car – Kemp is drinking rum – lots and lots of rum.

Kemp’s booze bubble is invaded by a local real estate mogul. Hal Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) is out to turn a section of lavish land into a hotel property. Nice for tourists, but not for the natives. Sanderson proposes that Kemp puts his writing skills to use to dupe the public into thinking that building the hotel is the best case scenario, citing the example that if a government official proposes a tax hike far higher than necessary and then barters with the public, they’ll think they’re getting a deal, but that official will get what he or she needs. The problem is, the plan is illegal and despite his tendency to drink his life away, Kemp has a conscience.

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Review: In Time

Once in a while you need a movie that lets you just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Sure, these films can be rather mindless, but spoon-fed entertainment can make for a fun night out. On the other hand, that’s no excuse to take a notable novel premise and never bring it to its intellectual and emotional potential. With highly entertaining and thoughtful movies like Gattaca and The Truman Show on his resume, you’d expect something rather exceptional from writer-director Andrew Niccol. However, with In Time he’s got that brilliant idea, but never digs deep, leaving us with nothing more than a high concept.

Sometime in the future, people are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25-years-old. At birth, each person’s given one free year and then the moment he or she turns 25, the timer on his or her forearm starts counting down. Time is literally money so the only way the population can avoid timing out and maintain a living is by working for more time or by stealing it.

Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) resides in Dayton, one of the poorest zones in the country, a place where everyone lives day-to-day and hopes to get paid before their hours run out. When a wealthy man stumbles into Will’s part of town, rather than continue to enjoy his near-immortal existence, he opts to take his own life, but not before giving Will his 100+ years. With his newfound time, Will heads to New Greenwich, a place where people have so much time, they hire round-the-clock bodyguards to protect them. However, Will isn’t just there to play and enjoy his fortune, rather spread the wealth and defy the system.

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Interview: The Ghost Experiment 3D Writer-Director Kevin J. Foxe

We create ghosts for the sake of campfire stories and films all the time, but ever wonder if you could conjure up a real ghost? Oddly enough, paranormal experts purport that most ghostly happenings – strange noises, moving objects, etc. – are merely manifestations of the human mind and, in the early 1970s, the Toronto Society for Psychical Research put that concept to the test, assigning a group of people to contact a fictional ghostly entity via séances.

Fast forward to the present, a time when we’re absolutely overrun with paranormal movies. Just as any and all novelty has seemingly dissipated, Kevin J. Foxe steps in to shake up the horror genre – yet again. Back in 1999, Foxe showed off the power of the found footage style by executive producing The Blair Witch Project and now he’s out to prove that ghosts have much more to offer.

Foxe is switching things up a bit, not only producing his next feature, The Ghost Experiment 3D, but writing and directing it, too. The film finds its roots in the 1970s experience and explores what happens when a group of students attempt to emulate it in modern day New Orleans. As Foxe is just about to wrap production on his first 3D venture, he’s ready to spill a bit of the details of the story, the shooting process and what we have to look forward to in the coming months. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Review: Paranormal Activity 3

With the Saw franchise over and done with, Paranormal Activity finally has the holiday all to itself. If you’re like me, you were rather used to Saw’s Halloween splash, spending the holiday watching helpless victims get ripped limb from limb, blood splattering everywhere and a puppet ride around on a tricycle. No, it wasn’t quality filmmaking, but it was tradition and holiday appropriate. Well, no more settling necessary. The Paranormal Activity franchise has not only continued to deliver quality material, but now, with three films under its belt, shows it has the potential at being a viable and worthy long standing tradition.

Round three picks up just before the events of the first two films, in 2005. Sisters Katie and Kristi (Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden) are in incoming baby Hunter’s freshly painted room. While there, Katie also takes the opportunity to unload some unwanted keepsakes, an old box of VHS tapes. Next year, Kristi’s house is burglarized and the only item missing is that very box of tapes.

Jump back to 1988. Young Katie and Kristi (Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown) are doing the usual for girls their age – having tea parties, celebrating birthdays and getting dressed up for picture day at school. However, little Kristi also has another hobby, talking to her invisible friend Toby. While her mother, Julie (Lauren Bittner) writes the behavior off as mere child’s play, Julie’s live-in boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), becomes obsessed with Toby and the strange and inexplicable bumps in the night. In true Paranormal Activity form, he arms up with video cameras and sets them up around the house, determined to find out what’s going on while they sleep.

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Review: The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

From the moment The Human Centipede (First Sequence) met the public eye, it’s been clear that writer-director Tom Six is a man who really relishes attention. Sure, he deserves to be proud of the shot-in-the-dark turned horror fad, but Six takes that newfound clout way too far delivering a sequel that shows zero restraint, is oozing with egoism and is utterly unwatchable.

Martin’s (Laurence R. Harvey) a small, plump and seemingly mute man who works in a London parking garbage. He wears glasses, has asthma and a slew of incredibly awkward mannerisms. But Martin isn’t just any old outcast; Martin has an affinity for The Human Centipede. Yes, Tom Six made a movie about a man who’s obsessed with his own movie.

When Martin isn’t busy watching The Human Centipede in his office, he’s scouring the parking garage for victims, people he can attack, knock out and then bring back to his warehouse where he plans to build his very own creation. However, Martin’s a bit more ambitious than Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser); Martin wants to top his three-person creation with a centipede twelve people long.

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How To Dress Up as a Twilight Character

It ain’t easy dressing up as a movie character for Halloween. They’re either too tough to sell without being painfully obvious or not obvious enough. However with the franchise’s incredible following and Breaking Dawn – Part 1 right around the corner, not only are the Twilight characters rather simple to pull off, but then you can spice them up with the details to appease the hardcore fans. Like the series itself, going Twilight this Halloween could be an instant crowd-pleaser.

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