Monthly Archives: August 2012

10 Items Movies Have Taught Us Not to Touch, Ever

In this weekend’s new release The Possession, poor little Em Brenek just has to buy an old box at a yard sale. Even though the thing clearly isn’t meant to be opened, Em insists and she’s left with creepy fingers popping up in the back of her throat. If only Em had watched a few more horror movies, she would have picked up on the telltale signs that something isn’t right about her precious little box. No, we don’t want to live our lives in plastic bubbles, but thanks to the genre we know that there are quite a few things out in the world that might be alluring, but are just not worth touching.

Infamous Videotapes

When legend has it that if you watch a certain videotape you’ll die within seven days of watching it, you might as well stay on the safe side and opt out of popping it into the VHS player. Nightmares, nose bleeds and incessant phone calls just aren’t worth it. If you’re so curious that you can’t bear to go on without catching what’s on this haunted videotape, better figure out if you’ve got the guts to make a copy and pass it on. But then what poor soul will you pass it on to? Good thing VHS players are just about obsolete!

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

The Best – and Worst – Movie Promos of the Week

With a handful of Toronto International Film Festival trailers making their way into the digital realm, the competition was tough, but a few particularly vivid selections were the standouts.


The Best Stuff

1. The Impossible Trailer: Eight years is a long time, but the Thailand tsunami of 2004 is still fresh enough that all emotions come rushing back at the mere sight of anything related to the devastation. Not only does Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible have those very emotions at its core, but then he pairs them with startlingly beautiful and disturbing imagery. The Impossible is due out on December 21.

2. Resident Evil: Retribution 3D Trailer: Typically it’s easy to see past tacky tricks and roll our eyes at marketing gimmicks, but the new 3D trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution (in theaters September 14) goes outside the box in the best way. Not only does it feature an explosive Alice intro, but material that’s actually much more powerful because the trailer has a direct effect on the background of the website.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Jobs That Are Way Cooler in the Movies

No, every little kid in the country isn’t going to tell their parents that they want to grow up to be a bike messenger because of Premium Rush, but we’d like to bet there will be a spike in applications. Joseph Gordon-Levitt may look pretty cool zipping around Manhattan on that bike, but, odds are, should bike messaging be in your future, it’ll involve an exhausting amount of pedaling, one too many cabs cutting you off and not a single package with the power to turn you into a hero on the run. Now that we’ve nixed bike messaging as a dream job, how about a few others that the big screen is known to make look cooler than they actually are?

Teacher

You bust into a classroom packed with disgruntled students with zero motivation, but tons of potential and manage to make such an impact that they insist you keep teaching them, and it’s all set to the tune of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Sorry, aspiring educators, but it only goes down like this inDangerous Minds. Schooling may be the key to our future and teaching an endlessly important job, but without singing nuns, fake subs turning their classes into a rock bands or student government advisors trying to fix elections, a day at school is just jumping from class to class, reading from textbooks and plowing through lesson plans.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Review: Robot & Frank

A sign of an effective and touching movie? The viewer wants to be part of that world. Not only will “Robot & Frank” leave you wishing you could have a friendly robot buddy just like Frank’s, but you’ll also leave feeling as though you’ve truly experienced a part of a person’s life, and a part that’s well worth experiencing at that.

In the near future, there’s no need for in-home nursing; caretaker robots assume the responsibility of ensuring elderly clients live healthy and happy day-to-day lives. When Hunter (James Marsden) comes to the conclusion that his father Frank’s (Frank Langella) memory loss has left him unable to care for himself, Hunter buys him a robot. Frank’s furious at first, but soon comes to learn the robot has a lot to offer – maintaining a clean home, cooking tasty and nutritious meals, friendship, and picking locks.

In his younger years, Frank was a jewel thief and longs to relive his glory days. When he figures out that he’s able to manipulate the robot into doing anything as long he can make a case that it’s beneficial to his health, he looks at the robot not only as a caretaker, but a friend and partner in crime.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

The Best–and Worst–Movie Promos of the Week

The Best Stuff

1. The Possession Clip: Jump-scares and bloody massacres make for good horror movie material, but there’s nothing better than that little something – a concept or visual – that’s so subtle, but sticks with you long after the credits role. The title of this clip from The Possession, “Mouth Fingers,” certainly ruins the surprise, but the moment boasts such a powerful build and heart-wrenching performance from Madison Davenport, that when the footage finally does make due on that title, it’ll leave you rattled.

2. 10 Years Trailer: Even though 10 Years is explicitly billed as a drama, there’s something about the high school reunion plot (and the fact that 10 Years stars Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Kate Mara, Chris Pratt, Justin Long and Anthony Mackie) that leads you to expect something more along the lines of American Pie — lots of raunchy humor with a twinge of emotion. Yes, this reaction is partially due to my misconception, but the degree of heart and authenticity conveyed in this trailer really is quite rousing. We only get two minutes and 30 seconds of material, but the piece manages to give us enough of each character to both humanize them and make them memorable.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

‘The Hunger Games’ Blu-ray Review: The Good, the Bad and Lots More of Katniss

Considering I’ve already reviewed The Hunger Games twice, I’ll direct you to my non-diehard fan review over at Shockya.com and my diehard fan review right here at Movies.com so as not to give you a mile-long Hunger Games DVD Countdown. But I will say that even after watching the film a number of times since the release (a few additional theatrical screenings and a few in-flight ones), the movie still holds up incredibly well. You know there’s something special about a film when you’ve seen it so many times yet still look forward to the scenes to come. The Hunger Games has this truly addictive quality to it that makes it absolutely perfect for home viewing, and the visuals are just pitch-perfect and so incredibly immersive on Blu-ray.

Dissecting the Special Features

The second disc comes with a nice selection of material, but the shining star is definitely The World Is Watching: Making The Hunger Games. It’s a lengthy and detailed piece, so it’s appropriately chopped up into eight different sections. You’ve got the option to watch the whole thing straight through or go section by section.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Interview: ParaNorman Director Sam Fell And Writer-Director Chris Butler

It ain’t easy making a stop-motion animated feature. “ParaNorman” clocks in at 96 minutes. The best weeks of production for the “ParaNorman” team resulted in two minutes of footage. You only need to do some really simple math to figure out how big of an undertaking it is to make a stop-motion animation film and you only need to see the final product to know that in the case of “ParaNorman,” the work was well worth it.

On top of having to deal with bullies and typical pre-teen troubles, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) also talks to the dead and the whole town knows it. Cool, right? Well, maybe if they actually believed he really was talking to the dead and not just out of his mind. When Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) passes away, Norman’s the only one left who can talk to the dead and, therefore, is the only one capable of keeping the witch’s curse at bay.

In honor of the film’s August 17th release, director Sam Fell and writer-director Chris Butler sat down to run through the whole process from the pieces of Butler’s own childhood that influenced the story to the attention to detail that goes into creating even the tiniest prop, the use of 3D printers and more. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below and be sure to catch “ParaNorman” in theaters this weekend.

Click here to watch the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews