Tag Archives: Uma Thurman

Review: Movie 43

Movie_43_PosterStar power is no match for tasteless, offensive and unfunny comedy.

The “Movie 43” wraparound features Dennis Quaid as a lunatic with an abysmal script who forces Greg Kinnear’s movie producer to buy the piece at gunpoint. Coincidence? Probably not, as almost each and every sketch of this comedy anthology is so silly, nauseating and degrading it seems like the only plausible way the producers could manage to recruit so much top-notch talent.

Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet make it through better than most. Jackman will likely never live down having a pair of testicles dangle from his neck for the sake of this movie, but between the giggle-worthy visual and the duo’s charm, “The Catch” is easily “Movie 43’s” finest few minutes. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber’s “Homeschooled” is another portion that at least respects its leads, but breaks down entirely when the scenario drivels on and right into a strange and unsatisfying conclusion.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Bogus: Big Screen Villainesses

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Julia Roberts back on the big screen – well, in an enjoyable and lucrative type of way. It’s tough to say whether or not Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror will get this iconic A-lister back on track, but based on all the promotional material that’s hit thus far, it sure looks like Roberts had a blast playing the Evil Queen.

Before we find out whether or not Roberts does do this big time baddie justice, let’s check out what she’s up against by taking a look at the good, bad and bogus of big screen villainesses.

Good: The Wicked Witch of the West

Do anything remotely mean to a dog and you’re evil to the max in my book. But not only does The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West threaten poor Toto, she unleashes her wrath upon just about everyone in the film, a band of the most innocent and loveable characters cinema has to offer. Sure, Dorothy had a little something to do with the death of the Wicked Witch’s sister, but a simple “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” might have been the more appropriate route. The Wicked Witch of the West is evil in the purest form and, in turn, has become one of the most iconic villainesses in film history.

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Interview: Chris Columbus And The Cast Of Percy Jackson

After having seen Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, I was somewhat disappointed upon reaching the top of the Empire State building and not finding a doorway to Olympus. I may not have met Zeus, Poseidon and Athena, but I was lucky enough to be in the presence director Chris Columbus and stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario and Pierce Brosnan.

Based on the popular fantasy book by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief tells the story of Percy Jackson, an average teenager who finds out he’s the son of Poseidon. After receiving guidance from the wise Centaur Chiron, Percy teams up with his protector Grover and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, to rescue his mother and identify the individual who stole Zeus’ coveted lightning bolt. The trio goes on a cross-country adventure battling any ungodly creature in their way.

Columbus has the stellar source material and the impressive cast, but the question remains; did he kick off a franchise with the potential to follow in Harry Potter’s footsteps. My hopes are high, but only time will tell. What I can say for sure is that if The Lighting Thief does spawn a film series, Columbus will have a team of humble and hardworking actors in his company.

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Interview: Percy Jackson’s Alexandra Daddario

Since she signed on to play Annabeth, Chase Alexandra Daddario’s world has become as much of a fantasy as the world of Percy Jackson & The Olympians. She was lucky enough to get a role in All My Children back in 2002, but other jobs didn’t come easily. Now, not only does Daddario have a potential franchise at her feet, but she’s being offered other films as well.

In The Lightning Thief, Daddario plays Annabeth, the daughter of Athena and a skilled warrior. She accompanies Percy on his mission to travel to the Underworld and rescue his mother. Check out what Daddario told me about her audition process, how she learned to kick ass Annabeth-style, her hopes for the future and more.

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Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The weight of the world is on Logan Lerman’s shoulders. Not only is he expected to become the next Daniel Radcliff, he literally has to save the planet by keeping the gods from going to war in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Will Lerman save mankind and lead the Percy Jackson team to franchise glory as hoped? You’ll have to see the film to find the answer to the former, but the odds are in his favor in terms of the latter.

Percy Jackson (Lerman) is an average kid. He isn’t the greatest student but finds solace in being in the swimming pool and hanging out with his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson). While his classmates are busy learning about Greek mythology, Percy is thrown directly into it when he finds out that he’s the son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd). Making matters even more complex, Percy is being blamed for committing the unthinkable, stealing Zeus’ (Sean Bean) coveted lightning bolt. Not only does Percy have to meet Zeus’ deadline for returning the bolt, but he’s also got to evade the forces of Hades (Steve Coogan), who wants the power of the bolt for himself.

Percy ventures off to Camp Half Blood, a training facility for young demigods. There he hones his powers prior to heading out to take care of business. He’s joined by Grover, who happens to be a Satyr assigned to protect Percy, and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of Athena and a skilled warrior. The trio travels across the country battling Medusa (Uma Thurman), a nasty Hydra and any other evil force that comes their way in order to identify the true lightning thief and return the powerful weapon to its rightful owner.

The only person incapable of enjoying this premise is an individual lacking an imagination. Percy Jackson will appeal to kids and adults alike. Younger audiences will be spellbound by out-of-this-world creatures, mystical powers and charming characters while more mature crowds will take a liking to the famous faces and having the chance to feel like a kid again.

The three main characters are immensely likable. Lerman has a commanding presence with an innate likeability. He successfully makes Percy transition from a vulnerable teenager into a powerful hero. Jackson’s Grover makes for the perfect sidekick. The majorities of his jokes are targeted towards the youngsters in the crowd, but will undeniably evoke a few innocent giggles from older moviegoers. Annabeth is the ultimate female hero. She’s confident, tough and has an unspoken influence over Percy. Unfortunately, she is a rather flat character, but at no fault of Daddario’s. Hopefully if Percy Jackson spawns a sequel, more attention will be payed to unveiling additional layers of Annabeth.

Of the seasoned veterans Coogan makes the biggest impression. Unlike his fellow gods, he ditches the typical Greek garb for something humorously gothic spitting out a few jokes at the outfit’s expense. On the other hand, Uma Thurman’s Medusa is unintentionally comical. The CGI snake hair doesn’t quite work and is more of a caricature.

This is a problem that plagues a number of scenes in the film. Some of the special effects are impressive, particularly Grover and Chiron’s lower bodies, but others don’t seem to have been taken seriously enough. The film has a campy and cartoonish undertone, but some of the CGI takes it a step too far and ends up looking sloppy. The opening scene is particularly hard to digest.

Stylistically, Percy Jackson is very similar to Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. I immensely enjoyed Cirque du Freak, so that’s 110% a compliment. Percy Jackson’s leg up on the vampire film comes from its deeper meaning. Cirque is all fun and games while Percy Jackson has just enough weightiness to make it a good film rather than just a novelty. Percy Jackson is no Harry Potter, but if you let your inner child loose, offers an extraordinary adventure that moviegoers of any age can enjoy.

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Video Interview: Katherine Dieckmann

KatherineDieckmannWhen you’ve got a movie called Motherhood, it’s naturally assumed the film is mom material only. The Motherhood PR team even made an extra effort to have a number of mom bloggers participate in the roundtables. Yes, Motherhood is about, well, motherhood, but there’s also a much deeper meaning behind the portrayal of a day in the life of mother of two, Eliza (Uma Thurman).

Much of the roundtable questions probed the film’s writer and director, Katherine Dieckmann, about her child raising philosophies and experiences, so I used my one-on-one time to investigate Dieckmann’s implementation of those elements to create an entertaining and meaningful movie.

The interview is fairly long, 18 minutes, so I chopped it up into two pieces. The first half primarily addresses Dieckmann’s inspiration and how Motherhood, contrary to popular belief, can be a movie for anybody. One particularly intriguing portion of this half of the interview is when Dieckmann tells me about the movie poster. As I said in my review of Motherhood, I’m not a fan of the poster. I still think a poster’s effectiveness can be assessed by a person’s initial reaction to the image, but Dieckmann enlightens me on the deeper meaning beyond its face value.

In the latter half Dieckmann goes into detail on the casting process. She tells me a little something about everyone from the film’s leading lady to the talented young actress who plays Eliza’s six-year-old daughter Clara (Daisy Tahan).

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Interview: Anthony Edwards

AnthonyEdwardsIf you’ve read my interview with Katherine Dieckmann and Uma Thurman, you know Uma’s parting words were “Live long and prosper.” Apparently she’s not the only Star Trek fan in Motherhood. The first thing Anthony Edwards did when he sat down at the table was run his fingers over the metallic mesh table runner and say, “This is a little Star Trek-y.’ What makes this whole Star Trek thing even stranger is that during my one-on-one with Dieckmann she told me she has no interest in sci-fi when it comes to writing.

Don’t expect anymore out-of-this-world talk in this interview because Motherhood cannot be more different from Star Trek. Edwards plays Avery, the husband of the super-stressed mother of two Eliza (Thurman). He’s a loving father but a bit absentminded. Edwards may not be as forgetful as his character, but admits he has a little Avery in him, which is understandable considering how much he has on his plate.

On top of Motherhood, Edwards just wrapped the Rob Reiner comedy Flipped and plans to run the New York Marathon with the charity Shoe4Africa. The proceeds will go to building a children’s hospital in Kenya. ER may be long gone, but Edwards still has some Dr. Greene in him!

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