Tag Archives: The Darkest Hour

Review: The Darkest Hour

Tell us an alien invasion movie is on the way and, regardless of who’s in it or what it’s about, it sparks intrigue. Not only am I particularly guilty of this in general, but upon hearing the concept backing The Darkest Hour, I fell head over heels for what should have been a wildly original dose of ET destruction. However, perhaps test screenings didn’t go as planned, because as the film’s Christmas day release approached, its marketing campaign fizzled out, warning us of what’s to come. Is it all that bad? No, but it’s certainly not worth a promotional push especially with the high quality fare it’s going up against.

Longtime buddies Sean and Ben (Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella) head to Moscow for a business venture, the opportunity to develop their smartphone social networking application, The Globe Trot. It’s too bad their Swedish partner, Skyler (Joel Kinnaman), decides to steal their idea and present it as his own. Now abroad and with nothing to do, the boys turn to booze and drown their sorrows in a night out. That’s when they meet another traveling duo, Natalie and Anne (Olivia Thirlby and Rachael Taylor).

It’s all fun and games until the power goes out. When the partygoers head outside to investigate, they come face-to-face with the culprit, an invading alien race. The foursome and Skyler manage to barricade themselves in the club basement for the initial onslaught, but, even after emerging days later, the streets are still overrun with invaders, invisible balls of electricity with the power to turn their victims to dust.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ‘The Darkest Hour’ and T’he Devil Inside’ Shock Via Electricity and Exorcism

Are we in a post-holiday weekend slump? Maybe a bit. While there were three solid top contenders, the field in general was rather sparse with most of the new promotional material veering towards the lackluster side.

Yawn

The reviews are starting to come in and Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo is off to a pretty good start, but based on the film’s promotional campaign, the production looks as though it leans a bit too much on the cheesy sentimental side. Two new clips from the film have just arrived, one featuring a conversation between Matt Damon and Thomas Haden Church and the other between Damon and Scarlett Johansson, and both are packed with dialogue that basically has the scene going in circles.

On The Fence

It worked for District 9, but do The Darkest Hour warning posters have the same effect? I want to say yes simply because I’m very excited for the film, but, reassessing them from the promotional perspective of a moviegoer who might know nothing about the film, they’re basically useless as they don’t even have the film’s title on it. Also teetering on the edge of good and bad is the latest clip from Young Adult. The problem? I’ve seen the film. The video clip is particularly well cut and most certainly packs a punch and highlights one of Mavis’ most wonderful moments, but why spoil one of the film’s best scenes?

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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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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: From ‘The Darkest Hour’ to ‘Dark Horse’

It’s tough to make a movie for everyone. Even those four quadrant films don’t really appeal to every demographic. The same goes for promotional material, but, in the case of Best/Worst Movies Promos of the Week, selling power must always beat out my own personal preferences.

Speaking of which, despite my disdain for the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, clearly the Fox formula works, so there’s no use in changing a good thing, even if the actual content is pure garbage. Clearly the studio has the same thought in mind, as Chipwrecked’s new trailer is packed with goofy faces courtesy of Jason Lee, cheesy dialogue and pop tune singing Chipmunks. Similarly, as someone with no taste for karate combat, even though the trailer hints at some heart, Shaolin looks as though it won’t do it for me.

As for material more my speed, Shark Night 3D gets credit for delivering a short and sweet clip with a killer conclusion. Tower Heist also makes an impact with its very first trailer. Sure, some of the jokes fall flat, but in general the piece looks like a fun version of Oceans 11, but with some less experienced and tactless thieves. The Justin Timberlake starrer In Time also dropped a new trailer, which successfully lays out the details of the film’s intriguing premise and features tons of ticking clocks and pretty 25-year-olds.

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SDCC 2011: All Good Things Must Come To An End … With A Giveaway!

I can’t believe it, but this is officially it; my coverage of San Diego Comic Con 2011 has come to a close. For five incredibly long days, the experience went by in a flash. The action was non-stop from the moment I touched down in San Diego and while it was extremely exhausting and probably one of the most trying working experiences I’ve ever gone through, it was beyond worth it.

So, what’d you think? Did you like my coverage choices? Were the formats I chose to report in effective? Do let me know because I’m thrilled to say, it looks as though I’ll be returning to Comic Con next year!

I do know I learned quite a few things for myself while out west. First off, I need to pack more food than a box of granola bars, or at least make time to pick up some items at a local supermarket. Between running around collecting coverage and then writing it up, there’s little to no time to grab a bite. Second, if I want to cover a panel, I’ve either got to get on line at about 5am or hunt down a press pass. I arrived for The Walking Dead panel over three hours early and the line to get into Ballroom 20 was already about 10,000 people long!

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SDCC 2011: Saturday Wrap Up And Photos

I can’t believe it, but I’ve reached the finish line. Saturday at San Diego Comic Con 2011 has come to a close. While I’m certainly looking forward to a long day’s rest and not having to lug my hefty laptop around everywhere I go, my coverage schedule wrapping up is a bit sad. At least it all ended on a high note.

Today was another non-stop adventure beginning with Summit Entertainment’s The Darkest Hour presentation. Unlike the big panels in Hall H, this was far more intimate, Summit inviting a group of reporters to a suite in the Hard Rock Hotel to check out some concept art, stills and the film’s trailer. Cast members Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Joel Kinnaman were in the house as producers Timur Bekmambetov and Tom Jacobson walked us through the event.

With a little time to kill before The Vampire Diaries press room, I hit the convention center floor to check out the action and snap a few photos one last time. However, some of my favorite images come from the point during which I made my way from the floor to the press room, the photos of the Game of Thrones house banners hanging in the second floor halls.

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SDCC 2011: The Darkest Hour Presentation And Trailer

How many alien invasion films can we handle? This year alone we’ve already had Battle: Los AngelesSuper 8Transformers: Dark of the Moon and both Attack the Block and Cowboys and Aliens are on the way. Sure, I can’t drape a sense of negativity over all of them, but, let’s face it, ET’s taking over the Earth is a bit, well, overdone. However, after checking out Summit Entertainment’s The Darkest Hour presentation this morning, I can assure you that at least one of the upcoming alien takeover films is worth keeping an eye on.

A group of reporters hit a specially outfitted room in the Hard Rock Hotel, decked out in concept art and stills from director Chris Gorak The Darkest Hour. After a little schmoozing and some coffee consumption, Gorak and producer Tom Jacobson kicked things off by summing up the plot of the film. The film stars Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby as two members of a group of Americans vacationing in Moscow, Russia. “And that’s when the invasion happens. It happens early in our story,” Gorak explains. “Through a frantic escape, they manage to hide and avoid the initial wave of attack.” After taking cover for a few days, the group resurfaces to find that Moscow is completely destroyed.

A prime element of the story to Gorak is “moving through this apocalyptic world through the character’s perspective and taking this journey with them and discovering the powers of the alien and eventually how to fight back.” As for those invaders, they’re a pivotal part of what makes The Darkest Hour so unique and particularly visually stimulating, too. Gorak explained, “We learn through their powers that they are made up of a lethal wave of energy and basically eliminated any modern technology that you can image.” My personal worst nightmare.

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