Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Disney buys Lucasfilm


FACT: In one of the most stunning moves made this side of the Outer Rim Territories, Disney has announced that it has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and stock. Kathleen Kennedy will be promoted to President while answering to the current Disney chair, Alan Horn.
On top of that, the studio is targeting 2015 for a seventh (!) STAR WARS film.

Kathleen Kennedy, who has worked closely with George Lucas on the INDIANA JONES series, will serve as the brand manager for STAR WARS and executive producer on further STAR WARS films. Lucas will serve as a creative consultant.
OPINION: First of all, the year of 2015 is shaping up to be a monster of a year, with AVENGERS 2, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and now STAR WARS EPISODE VII on the docket. But besides that…

As shocking as it is, this move makes good sense for the future of Lucasfilm and the STAR WARS brand. The last Lucasfilm feature, RED TAILS (2011) was a critical and financial disaster, the planned STAR WARS live-action TV series has been stuck in development for over five years (citing budget problems), and George Lucas himself has expressed interest in pursuing endeavors outside of filmmaking.
Lucasfilm will change forever after this move, which is why it makes perfect sense for the buyer to be Disney; a studio which has also changed dramatically in less than a decade.  Originally founded in the kiddie-film business, the Mouse House has branched out with Oscar-winning Pixar films, and most recently, taken control of the Marvel Movie Universe; the latter move which produced this year’s THE AVENGERS, one of this year’s best-reviewed films and top box-office draw world-wide.

The future of STAR WARS will be the interesting journey. Since the sixth film (third episode in the timeline), the franchise has branched out sideways (timeline-wise) with animated films and various video games, but there has never been any inkling that there was more story to tell post RETURN OF THE JEDI. Although Lucas and Kennedy have a great friendship and working relationship, there has to be some kind of concern over what can possibly be next for that universe which seemingly reached the end of its journey. What kind of a threat will our heroes (new or old) face? Will it be a lesser threat than what was faced in Episodes 1-6, which will in effect make EPISODE VII seem like a smaller film? Or will it be a bigger threat than that dreaded Empire which will then diminish the heroics of our beloved Rebel Alliance? Content will be king here, and story will be everything.
Still, there is a lot to be excited about. The right people are in the right places doing the right things; Lucas gets to tell his stories from a distance, Kennedy gets to make the right things happen, and Disney gets to inject some of its Pixar/AVENGERS magic (Joss Whedon, who directed AVENGERS, has had a lifelong dream to direct a STAR WARS film) into a franchise which has been sputtering over the past decade. Besides that, a new generation of STAR WARS fans will get to discover that universe with new light and energy. The Twin Suns are looking bright.

What say you?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Reel Review: CLOUD ATLAS


CLOUD ATLAS is likely the most ambitious and non-traditional movie ever made. It is large in scale, deep in its own mythology, and different than anything ever seen on the silver screen before. It is six complete movies rolled into one; all connected with a philosophical thread which sometimes subtle and other times in your face. Students and fans of film will dissect it for years, but how does it play for the rest of the world?
Co-written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, and based on the novel by David Mitchell, CLOUD ATLAS involves six different stories, all set in different points in history, including two in the future; one in the far future, and another in the far FAR future (300 years from now, after the “fall” of mankind). Within these stories are characters all played by actors, most of whom appear as different characters in each of the six stories. The idea isn’t that it’s the same character in each story, but that everyone’s soul carries on after death. For example, Ben Whishaw’s character writes a piece of music in the 1800’s called Cloud Atlas (a “sextant”, see what they did there?), and then in the 1970’s, the character he plays cannot stop listening to the piece of the music once he discovers it.

CLOUD ATLAS wants to push that theory, along with the idea that one pebble dropped in the ocean sends ripple effects which affects everyone. It’s a dense idea, but does it work on film? In a word, yes. Having the same actors appear in each story (although many of them are unrecognizable, more on that later) help you to keep track of the common themes and ideas, and the directors are clever enough to insert clues throughout the stories to provide that connectivity (everything from birthmarks to music cues). Sometimes the clues are right up front, sometimes you have to dig a little; but really not that much.
The acting is marvelous all around, with (again), each actor having to play six different parts, everyone really has to commit and vanish inside their parts. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and newcomer Xun Zhou all put on incredible performances. Most of them completely vanish inside the makeup as they play different races (and opposite sexes), and it’s not until the closing credits where they reveal the players where you can recognize them, and more importantly, put together a few more connecting threads.

At a tad under three hours, CLOUD ATLAS gives you a lot to soak in. There a few scenes which could have been trimmed or cut (a few action sequences don’t seem to have much payoff or consequences), but the film never fails to entertain and its long running time is well worth the price (the finale has a great emotional payoff). From a movie-making perspective, a film like CLOUD ATLAS shows that your execution must be equal to your ambition, and on a higher level, will have you thinking on a higher level as well. The world needs more films like CLOUD ATLAS.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Return of CONAN

FACT: Various news outlets are reporting that Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to return as Conan in THE LEGEND OF CONAN in 2014.
Schwarzenegger first appeared as the sword-wielding, fur-wearing, camel-punching brute in John Milius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN in 1982, and then the less-than-stellar sequel CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984). An even lesser-than-stellar remake/reboot sans Arnold took a dump on movie screens in 2011. This new entry looks to ignore that remake/reboot and link directory back to the original 1982 film, with an aging Conan nearing the end of his days of high adventures.

OPINION: Although the news of Ah-nold returning to the role which first made him a star is exciting news, the real story here is the return to that brutal yet magnificent world John Milius crafted for us thirty years ago. CONAN THE BARBARIAN has aged extremely well, gaining even more respect now than it did when it was first reviewed. Its large and epic scale with heavy-handed themes of love, life, and religion (backed by Basil Poledouris’ tremendous score), gives it a David Lean/LAWRENCE OF ARABIA vibe which is timeless and beautiful.
Schwarzenegger’s return to the role immediately demands some quality filmmaking. This cannot be handled as a watered-down, PG-rated, 90-minute Generation YouTube flick which gets released in the dumping ground of February. Sadly, the script is currently being written by Chris Morgan, who has written the last four dumbass FAST AND THE FURIOUS films. But any script can be turned around with the right director. As of this writing no director has been announced, and assuming John Milius won’t be back on board (he is 68 and hasn’t done much lately), this Blogger humbly submits his top three choices, plus one dark horse.

1. Edward Zwick. Let’s look at Edward Zwick’s resume: DEFIANCE, BLOOD DIAMOND, THE LAST SAMURAI, THE SIEGE, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, and GLORY. The man really hasn’t made a bad film in his career and won’t stand for piss-poor writing. His touch is never heavy-handed, his battle-scenes are excellent and his composition of character and story is always perfect. The studios would be fools to overlook him.

2. James Cameron. He has proven he can handle things on an epic scale (AVATAR), has worked with Schwarzenegger before (TERMINATOR 1&2, TRUE LIES), and doesn’t lose his characters amongst his large backdrops (TITANIC). His broad-stroke style of storytelling would be well-suited to the simplicity of a CONAN film.

3. Darren Aronofsky. His films have always been very intimate (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER, THE FOUNTAIN, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM); courtesy of his attention to detail and strong writing. He could make an excellent character study out of a CONAN film. He has a lack of experience in vast, epic filmmaking, but that may change in a hurry once he gets done with his upcoming Biblical film NOAH.

And this Blogger’s dark-horse pick is…Mel Gibson. Yes, you read that correctly. Say what you will about the man’s personal problems, but there is no doubting his filmmaking skills. He has done the large scale battles without losing character and story (BRAVEHEART), and can be gentle and intimate while retaining brutality (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST). He has a lot in common with Arnold; roughly the same age, products of 80’s action flicks, and both have had their acting careers take unpredictable turns. If anyone can relate to and get a great performance out of King Conan, it would be Mel.

For your consideration…


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Curious Case of THE GOON

FACT: David Fincher, who has directed successful films such as SE7EN (1995), FIGHT CLUB (1999), THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008), THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011), and THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010), is turning to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter for funding to develop an animated feature based on Eric Powell’s comic THE GOON.
Kickstarter has funded a diverse group of projects ranging from film, music, stage shows, comics, video games and tech. People can “invest” in projects of their choosing. Fincher, who is serving as an executive producer for THE GOON adaptation, is seeking $400,000 to help fund a story (demo) reel for the project.

OPINION: It is a curious case when the name of David Fincher cannot secure funding to even get a project off the ground. Fincher’s last three (directed) films have pulled in oodles of Oscar nominations, and usually his name alone is enough to draw people to the gate. So what’s the problem?
Studios are afraid of risky projects. There is a mindset in the studios that animated films are just for kiddies. THE GOON is a quirky, paranormal-themed comic series which would likely be rated PG-13. As a general rule, studios tend to only make animated features which appeal to the whole family. It’s a fair concern, but the point the studios are missing is that thanks to the mature storytelling of Pixar over the last decade, adults are likely to seek out entertainment in an animated feature as much as a live-action flick.

THE GOON isn’t that well known. Raise your hand if you’ve even heard of THE GOON prior to this blog. Although it was first published in 1999, the comic does not have widespread notoriety amongst the general public in the vein of a HULK or SPIDER-MAN. The studios these days tend to veer away from unfamiliar territory (hence all the goddamn remakes and reboots), and they are also likely looking at the lukewarm returns and reception from last year’s Steven Spielberg-directed TINTIN film; an adaptation of a comic which has more popularity across the pond then in the States.
Fincher isn’t directing. Fincher is currently directing TV episodes of HOUSE OF CARDS, and is in the development stages of a DRAGON TATTOO followup, along with an adaptation of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Such a docket could keep Fincher tied to the director’s chair for at least five years. The plan right now is for THE GOON to be directed by Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler; two dudes who have virtually nothing to their directing credits thus far.

If THE GOON winds up seeing the big screen thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, then it would be a major triumph for the little guys who have been languishing over their independent films for decades with no way to fund them to fruition. You really have to root for something like this to work; to show the cowardly bastards at the studios that audiences can and will respond to the right project.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Concerning Remakes

FACT: The troubled remake of Paul Verhoeven’s ROBOCOP (1987), now in production, has had its release date moved from August 2013 all the way up to February 2014.
OPINION: First of all, somewhere out there Paul Verhoeven is pulling a Don Shula and popping the champagne in celebration of his perfect record; unblemished by remake efforts. This year’s remake/re-imagining of his TOTAL RECALL (1990) was a critical and commercial flop, and now it looks like the new version of his ROBOCOP film (while not really a pinnacle of modern filmmaking, it does have a large cult following in sci-fi circles) is in trouble, too. Word is the film (which once had Darren Aronofsky attached as director) has some major problems which cannot be easily overcome because they are built into the film. Chances are the long delay is to deal with those problems by way of re-shoots, re-edits, and perhaps even a major overhaul.

The idea of a remake isn’t always a bad idea, providing they can bring something new and fresh to the table. Remakes such as THE THING (1982), TRUE GRIT (2010), THE DEPARTED (2006), 3:10 TO YUMA (2007) and OCEAN’S ELEVEN (2001) embraced such an approach and were very successful. Rob Zombie brought several new elements into his 2007 remake of HALLOWEEN (1978), and while his film wasn’t embraced by moviegoers (or critics), it at least wasn’t a shot-for-shot re-hash of the original…which was the approach of the disastrous PSYCHO remake in 1998.
Sometimes going back to the source material for a more literal adaptation works well, too. The TRUE GRIT remake of the 1969 John Wayne vehicle was closer to the original novel than its predecessor, and the upcoming remake of CARRIE (1976) looks to follow the narrative of Stephen King’s novel more closely.

The specific problems of the new ROBOCOP are unknown. However the internet has been abuzz for months about studio interference getting in the way of the director’s vision, which is never a good sign.  History has proven that delayed films usually don’t fare very well, but it has also proven that the idea of a remake isn’t the problem; it’s the idea behind the idea.

The new ROBOCOP is being directed by Jose Padilha (who has nothing significant to his credits), and stars Joel Kinnaman, Sam Jackson, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, and Jackie Earle Haley.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Ensemble casts can be a tricky business. Not only do you have to juggle egos and evenly distribute screentime, but you also need to make sure that the many famous faces in your film don’t just appear for the sake of having a famous face. In Martin McDonagh’s SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, which stars Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Michael Pitt, Kevin Corrigan, Olga Kurylenko, and Harry Dean Stanton, finding the formula for success was easy; just let your actors do what they do best.
Marty (Farrell), is a struggling screenwriter who cannot find a way to finish his new screenplay, entitled (ahem), SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS. His best friend Billy (Rockwell), who is a dog-thief with his partner Hans (Walken), wants to help but is now being chased by the notorious gangster Charlie (Harrelson), whose dog he has just stolen. Marty gets all the material he needs to pen his screenplay as they run from Charlie and a mysterious serial killer who kills serial killers.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is a clever story within a story. It centers around Marty, Billy, and Hans as they flee from Charlie and in doing so, discover elements from each other’s past which become inspiration for the screenplay. Most of the movie involves side-stories of the “psychopaths” which exist, or have existed in real life and how they fit into Marty’s story. The non-linear approach may be frustrating to some who prefer a straightforward method of storytelling with a clear endgame, and many of the “sidebar” stories seem a little extraneous. However, by movie’s end it does pay off. But besides that, PSYCHOPATHS is so smartly written, with witty dialogue and plenty of twists and turns (and lotsa bloodshed), that you often don’t mind the breaks from the main story.
While the writing is great, the acting is even better. Director Martin McDonagh just lets every actor in his film play to their strengths. Rockwell gets to be a weirdo, Harrelson gets to ham it up and have fun, and Walken gets to be…Walken. And it is in Walken where the film really finds its heart. Walken puts on a marvelous performance, playing goofy, quirky, spooky and heartbroken all at the same time.

PSYCHOPATHS feels like it takes a long while to wrap up with its multiple storylines, but hang in there and the payoff will feel pretty good. The storytelling and sharpness of PSYCHOPATHS makes it feel very inspired by PULP FICTION, and it makes for a bloody good time at the theatre.


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Reel Review: ARGO

By far, ARGO is director Ben Affleck’s most complete film; it is engaging, entertaining, extremely well-crafted and tells an important story in the history of our nation, and the world. For those of us old enough to remember, the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 was a stunning and world-stopping event, and even though those who lived through it already know the outcome, much like APOLLO 13 before it, ARGO still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Tony Mendes (Ben Affleck) is a CIA agent whose specialty is extracting people out of hostile territory. Tony is tasked with coming up with a plan to extract six Americans out of a violent Tehran who have taken refuge in the Canadian ambassador’s home. Mendes best plan is to come up with a fake movie production company looking to shoot a fake science fiction movie in Iran. With the support of his boss (Bryan Cranston), Mendes recruits some Hollywood bigshots (John Goodman and Alan Arkin)  and puts together a scheme to get the hostages home disguised as filmmakers.

ARGO has a very simple plot; get the six people home. It is simple but effective thanks to the great atmosphere set on the stage by Affleck. Great lengths are taken to push the point across of just how dangerous the peril is, which makes the cover story of a fake film seem less likely to succeed. ARGO is nearly a double-feature; it spends a lot of time as an international espionage thriller under great peril, all while playing the game of making a movie in Hollywood. There are several shifts in tone, but they never jar you out of the picture and blend together nicely.
Affleck does a marvelous job in balancing the humor and lightheartedness with the danger of the situation. ARGO is saturated in film lore, the least of which are many throwbacks to the political spy thrillers which dominated the decade from which the film takes place. Besides that, Affleck does great work in building tension; making everything from a phone call to walking through an airport a blood-pressure raising experience.  There is also some excellent blending of archival footage, which makes the film seem very real and as if the events were unfolding live on network television.  It really is masterfully done.

Once he steps out from the behind the camera, Affleck takes command again with his acting. It is probably his best role; giving all the calm coolness that a CIA man would have, all while keeping that slight fear of failure just out of sight. Bryan Cranston also turns in a great role, but the film is nearly stolen by John Goodman and Alan Arkin, who are perfectly matched to their real-life Hollywood counterparts.
ARGO succeeds not only because it is in the hands of a very skilled director, but because so much thought and care was put into the setup. Once the stage was set all the many pieces and parts which ARGO is made of come together like a perfect puzzle. Ben Affleck has put together one of the best movies of 2012.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Reel 30

“They drew first blood, not me.”
This month marks the 30th anniversary of FIRST BLOOD; Sylvester Stallone’s debut of the John Rambo character.

Often mistaken for a blood-and-guts, mindless shoot-em-up film, FIRST BLOOD was a post-Vietnam psychological thriller; a trait which would separate it from its own sequels and eventual copy-cats.
Directed by Ted Kotcheff, it was adapted from David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name. After years of being stuck in development, the film gained momentum when Sylvester Stallone was cast as John Rambo, the troubled Vietnam Veteran who was now a jobless wanderer in the Pacific U.S. Stallone, who was fresh off a few bombs and flops outside of his own ROCKY franchise, beat out names such as Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Nick Nolte, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, James Garner, Kris Kristofferson and Michael Douglas for the role (Douglas would later be cast as Col. Trautman, Rambo’s mentor and Commanding Officer before dropping out). Stallone’s star-power enabled him to influence some alterations to the script; the original novel and screenplay had Rambo committing suicide at the end. Stallone, who once toyed with the idea of his own Rocky Balboa dying in the ring, kept the man alive at the end, and also took many steps to make the character more sympathetic to the audience (the original idea was for Rambo to be a madman). Stallone’s changes paid off, as audiences were able to click with the character, and Rambo’s survival would eventually lead to three sequels, an animated TV series, several spin-off novels, and action figures.

FIRST BLOOD wound up as one of the best reviewed films of 1982, and Empire magazine would rank it as one of its 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. It gave Stallone another monster of a franchise of his own, and more importantly, drew attention to the thousands of traumatized and forgotten Vietnam Veterans who had come home to nothing.

As a wee-lad with family connections to the Vietnam War and the famed Green Berets (of which Rambo was one), FIRST BLOOD was one of those cool films which always seemed more mature and a step above the other films of the 1980’s which focused more on booms and bangs than characters, stories, and motivations. Still, the film inspired this younger Blogger and his friends and cousins to “play Rambo” in the back woods with toy guys and stick-traps. Years later, as wisdom and a beer-gut sinks in, the significance of FIRST BLOOD is clear; it’s focus on a Vietnam Veteran’s adjustment back to the civilized world, along with well-written and well-executed psychological mind games to this day separates the film from the many, many action films which would follow. The filmmakers of the eventual DIE HARD Part 37 would do well to remember FIRST BLOOD.

“God didn’t make Rambo…”


Friday, October 5, 2012


The problem with Tim Burton over the past decade or so has been twofold; first, most of his films have been remakes based on someone else’s idea or material. Second, those remakes have been devoid of the heart and soul which made Burton’s earlier works so great; a general lack of coherency and focus on the characters have really been his downfall. With FRANKENWEENIE, which is a remake of his own short-film, Burton remembers to keep his eye on the prize, and in doing so, injects some much needed energy to the long-dead corpse of the classic Tim Burton.
Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan), is a young scientific genius who makes homemade 8mm movies with the help of his best friend, his dog Sparky. After an unfortunate accident, Sparky goes belly-up, leaving Victor heartbroken. After some inspiration from his science teacher (voiced by Martin Landau), Victor uses science (and lightning) to re-animate the corpse of Sparky, bringing him back to life.

The plot is simple, yet FRANKENWEENIE carries enough heavy-handed adult themes to keep more mature minds entertained and engaged. Ultimately, the film is about a boy and his dog, and despite the many creepy and zany twists-and-turns the film takes, Burton never forgets to keep his two heroes in mind. The film spends a good amount of time building the relationship between Victor and Sparky, which makes Sparky’s departure all the more tragic (and heartbreaking), and his return all the more uplifting. The consequences of Sparky’s resurrection go beyond Victor and his family, and the domino-effect it has on the town eventually brings some real fun.
Outside of a fantastic design and remarkable stop-motion puppetry, FRANKENWEENIE’s story is ultimately supported by the innards of its director. It really does feel like Tim Burton threw up all over the screen, leaving everything he has ever done and seen for us all to see. Most of, if not all of his past works are represented in some clever and subtle references, along with his love for B-movies (cough-edwood-cough), and traditional filmmaking. Along with that, nearly every classic horror/monster film of the past 50 years shows up in one form or another. Everyone from Dracula, Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Bride, the Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, zombies…Even Godzilla and the Gremlins are referenced, making FRANKENWEENIE a perfect little Halloween film.

Thankfully, Burton never lets all the references sideline or take over the film from its characters, and those characters are brilliantly voiced. Charlie Tahan feels perfect for Victor, and the rest of the cast also feels great, but the show is nearly stolen by Martin Landau, who basically does his Bela Lugosi all over again for Burton.
FRANKENWEENIE ultimately proves that there really is nothing wrong with Burton doing a remake, providing that he can keep the film feeling original while never leaving the characters in the dust, and here he knocks both out of the park. This is the Tim Burton we’ve missed, and the one we need. Let’s hope this re-animated character stays.

By the way, the (goddamn) 3D is (goddamn) useless and you should save your (goddamn) money by seeing the (glorious) 2D version.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Reel Fall (and Winter) Preview: Episode III

As the Autumn Winds fade into the bitter bite of winter, the atmosphere of the movies also changes; gone are the various action films in place of more and more Oscar contenders and serious dramas. In this third and final Episode of Reel Speak’s Fall (and Winter) movie preview, enter the month of December…
HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON – Bill Murray plays President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this inspired-by-true-events tale which can be considered an un-official sequel to the Oscar-winning THE KING’S SPEECH. Laura Linney and Olivia Williams also star in this film which tells the story of the first visit to America by the Royal Family.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – Peter Jackson returning to Middle-Earth is all you need to know about this film.
LES MISERABLES – The world’s longest-running musical comes to the big screen with an ensemble cast; Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter star in this lavish and spectacular-looking film directed by Tom Hooper (THE KING’S SPEECH).

PROMISED LAND – Directed by Gus Van Sant (GOOD WILL HUNTING, MILK), this is a big-corporation drama loaded with ethical decisions; money, or doing the right thing? Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, and John Krasinski star.
1906 – Brad Bird of Pixar fame (THE INCREDIBLES) dives into live-action film with 1906, which tells the tale of the San Francisco Fire in (ahem) 1906.

QUARTET- Directed by Dustin Hoffman (!), QUARTET tells the story of a group of retired musicians. Stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, and Michael Gambon.
JACK REACHER – Christopher McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) brings the popular literary character to the big screen with Tom Cruise in the lead.

ZERO DARK THIRTY – Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER) takes the hunt for Osama Bin Laden to the big screen, right up to the dramatic raid which ended it all. Joel Edgerton (WARRIOR) stars.
DJANGO UNCHAINED – For better or for worse, most of if not all of Quentin Tarantino’s films have been directly inspired by the spaghetti-westerns of old. With DJANGO (the D is silent), all pretense is dropped as QT heads to the South two years before the Civil War. Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson star.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions

FACT: Seth MacFarlane, creator of the hit TV show FAMILY GUY, has been selected to host the 85th Oscars this coming February.
MacFarlane made his directorial debut on the big-screen this year with the smash-comedy TED, and he also provides several voices for FAMILY GUY, in which he often embraces song-and-dance routines.

OPINION: This Blogger is beginning to feel that that too much attention gets put on who is hosting the Oscars. Sure it’s important; they’ve got to bring in a wide audience, hold that audience captive, and most of all, don’t be boring. But every year there seems to be more attention put on the damned host than what the Oscars are all about; the movies. The Oscars are about a celebration of film, and the award ceremony is all about who wins, who loses, and how much leg Angelina Jolie shows off.
But besides that, MacFarlane’s snappy humor and sharp writing skills should bring the required energy levels needed for the Oscars; and most of the world will finally get to see what the man looks like…

What say you?