John Delia

Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com

COWBOYS & ALIENS, A RIP SNORTER

Strap your six-gun to your waist, tie the string around your leg and ride over to see the movie Cowboys & Aliens a rip snorting account of a universe invasion.  Seriously now, there will be no guns allowed in the movie theatre, not even toy type.  If you want some action with great special effects that make a film come alive with awesome space creatures then check this one out.

 

The story centers on Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), a badass cowboy who awakens with memory loss.  With a weird bracelet attached to his wrist he rides into a small 1870’s town where he gets caught in the middle of an incident where Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) the son of a domineering rancher gets arrested.  Shortly thereafter Percy’s dad, Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) comes to town to get him released. But, just when the Colonel and Percy think they can ride out of town the place gets invaded by space ships snatching people off the streets, including Percy.  When Jake finds he can use the bracelet to shoot down a couple of fighters, the Colonel enlists him to go after his son.

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) awakens in the desert

The acting here is very good with Daniel Craig doing his best western accent, Harrison Ford working his serious face and Olivia Wilde showing her, well you’ll have to see that for yourself.  Although the story’s a little campy and sometimes ridiculous, the actors are so much fun to watch in this ‘Gun Fight at the OK Corral’ facing the ugliest aliens in recent film history.  If you really want to enjoy this movie, leave your serious face at home.

Jake (Craig) and the Colonel (Harrison Ford) take on the aliens

The direction here by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) fits well with his style of science fiction fantasy, especially working with a huge popular cast.  He gets into the action quickly and keeps it coming so there isn’t any time for your mind to wander.  I like the way he introduces Jake Lonergan lying face down in the dust, slowly getting up and with a lost look on his face.  It’s classic western and he shows his audience that they are in for an unusual ride.

 

If there is a downside to the film, it’s the resiliency of the characters and fast recovery from mayhem, but it is a movie however and much like other Favreau work we are dealing with fantasy.  Also if I were a town’s person in the 1870’s and saw a metal airship come flying out of the sky shooting at the ground, I would be terror stricken, and a lot of them acted a little dumbfounded, yet ready for action. With flaws like this however, it’s really something easily overlooked if you are a true science fiction fan.

 

Cowboy’s & Aliens has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference, but nothing your X-Box users haven’t already seen.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A fun Sci-Fi action film with a lot of whimsical exaggeration. (B)

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER,

Not what I expected, but Captain America: The First Avenger pours on the adventure in style.  I’m not a huge comic book fan and know little about this super hero yet for me, that’s a good thing.  If you like your action with a good back-story, then this one should fuel your engine.

 

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has been trying to join the military to help his country fight the Nazis in Europe, but he keeps getting rejected because of his size. Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a scientist, has developed a super soldier serum and quite by accident finds Steve Rogers a perfect subject.  Steve volunteers to participate in the experimental program and it turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. But Rogers finds himself being a recruiter for the Army instead of a fighter.  When the evil HYDRA organization led by the Red Skull (Hugo Wearing) takes over the Nazi crusade with special weapons, Captain America steps up to meet the challenge.

 

Chris Evans as Captain America

 

The computer graphics play a huge part in the production of the film and in most cases come across with a WOW factor.  There is plenty of action created by the huge blaster tanks, high-powered ray guns, Red Skull’s blazing car, special ‘gyrocopter’ and may other things to dazzle the action hound’s brain.  The winged airplane was a total treat with a battle that overshadows most Iron Man sequences.

Joe Johnson on the set of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

Director Joe Johnson (Jumanji) does a terrific job of creating the period piece not only with an amazing set, but make-up and costumes for his cast. Hayley Atwell’s portrayal of the tough WAC Peggy Carter stands out in her WWII apparel, hot red lips and long black lashes dating her into the strong hearted women soldiers of the time.  I liked the way he deals with the whole Army sequence and relates to the war films of old.

Steve Rogers before and after serum

The film is not perfect as I found myself trying to fit Chris into my mind as a skinny little runt.  I am amazed on how they computerized his character, but something just didn’t feel right much like what bothered me with Benjamin Button (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and his body change.  But it’s easy to get past this and I found myself right in the middle of the action as the film progressed ‘knowing’ that Chris became the hulk that he is meant to be.

 

This chapter in the Avengers finally puts all the back-stories in line for the grand finale when Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, The Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury get together in an estimated $150 million production for one explosive time.

 

Captain America: The First Avenger is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, nothing that most mature pre-teens cannot handle. The film is available in 3D (however unnecessary).

 

FINAL ANAYLSIS: A ‘BLAST’ of the past. (B)

 

 

 

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, LOVE WITH A TWIST

What saves this remix from taking a nosedive into oblivion is the cast.  Friends With Benefits’ Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are the winners here who outdo Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in their attempt to jazz up friendship with sex in No Strings Attached.  So if you haven’t seen the latter, then don’t miss Friends With Benefits, it’s a stitch.

 

Dylan’s (Timberlake) a young star as an Art Director in LA who seems to be getting along just fine with his fellow workers. On a lark he takes up an offer by New York headhunter Jamie (Kunis) to interview for an opening at GQ magazine to head up their Art Department.  Dylan gets offered the job and after a lot of coaxing by Jamie decides to take it, but on one condition, she be his friend while he transitions.  When their other relationships don’t pan out sexually, Dylan and Jamie turn to a mutual bedroom solution to that problem.

 

Jamie (Mila Kunis) and Dylan (Justin Timberlake)

Timberlake and Kunis save the film with their chemistry for each other.  The relationship has a nice romantic touch that really differs from the raunchy one between Portman and Kutcher in No Strings Attached.   The lead-in between the two in Friends With Benefits has a more realistic connection with Kunis’s character Jamie being more of a crutch for Dylan in the city of high energy and fast lane business.  And as far as the sex goes, it may not be as SPICY as Kutcher and Portman, but there’s more tenderness and passion here.

Will Gluck Director on the set of FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

Director Will Gluck uses a lighter touch with his actors not overdoing the sexuality to make it the only interest in the film.  His ability to use Kunis’s comedic torch to catch Timbelake’s Dylan soft naiveté off guard makes many scenes funny that would ordinarily be filler in most films.  And when he brings in a scene that would turn most audience into a remorseful mood, he uses it to tighten Jamie and Dylan’s relationship even more.

 

Should you go see the film at the theater?  For those who have seen No Strings Attached it’s a maybe; for those who haven’t make it a date night.  Friends With Benefits is certainly worth the watch.

 

Friends With Benefits is rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material and it is no film to take immature youngsters.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  Friends puts comedy in the bedroom. (B-)

 

 

 

HARRY POTTER DH Part 2, A THUNDERING FINALE

It’s all about the action in part two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I can see why the filmmakers split the book for this final sequel as it would have been a long and drawn out affair if they hadn’t.  The special effects and CGI sparkle in this edition making the action explosive and adventurous.

 

Continuing where part 1 left off, Voldemort is found testing his new all-powerful wand.  Harry, Hermione and Ron have smashed another Horcrux (Voldemort’s death escape objects) and are searching for the final three in order to make him vulnerable.  When they find them an all out war begins between a horde of Voldemort followers, conjured creatures and the Death Eaters versus the Hogwarts class lead by Neville Longbottom, joining Hermione, Ron and Harry. But the final challenge between Voldemort and Harry strikes the final blow.

 

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Herminoe (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint)

 

Direction by David Yates who took over in 2007 with the series is courageous and impressive. He puts Harry into the action and in many cases with extras running in all directions yet the focus still stays on his main man. I like the way he brings back Longbottom, the Weasleys and others for one last great performance.  His ability to mix CGI with live action puts Yates up with the best of the directors of today.

Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort

 

Excellent Cinematography makes the film outstanding with amazing clarity even during the most hectic scenes with the cast running in all directions, CGI creatures entering the melee and Harry still the center of attraction.  Close-ups of Voldemort are amazingly hard to get due to special make-up, prosthetic pieces and computer graphic blend for his face, but that seemed to be little problem for the camera crew. I give a tip of the hat to the CGI crew for producing an incredible dragon.

 

It was fun to see the return to Hogwarts with all the people in the paintings running for cover, the moving staircases taking a lot of the action, Hogwarts castle resisting the onslaught of Voldemort’s wrath and more.  And many answers to the puzzling characters that came up during previous episodes are answered, friendships rekindled, and secrets are revealed.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 has been rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images. See it in 3D and you can reach for a piece of Voldemort.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  A truly good ending to a great series. (A)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTO ETERNITY, A NUCLEAR CEMETERY

What you are about to see in the documentary Into Eternity is the Netherlands’s answer to an age-old problem.  The film attempts to answer the question; What do we do with the waste from the result of using nuclear energy that gives us electricity, submarine power and even yes the development of weaponry.  The Fins and Swedes feel they have found an answer and are releasing their film worldwide.

 

In documentary form officials, scientists and their spokespersons introduce a problem the government of Finland and Sweden are now facing, ‘Should they tell the people of the world where they are burying the waste from their Nuclear Power plants?’  You see, there is no scientific formula for reusing the nuclear waste that is the by-product of making the electricity the country uses (the same problem facing countries that have nuclear power plants throughout the world) therefore it must be burried.

 

In Finland they have buried their nuclear waste in a pit miles below their country in a rock bed that they believe will keep it from exploding, giving off radio active energy or any future contamination, forever. Their only dilemma is should they keep the place a secret so no one will find it for 100,000 years or tell each generation where it is and not to go near it for eternity?

 

Why would I want to know where this stuff is buried?  Well according to the documentary, some people may accidentally find it, an earthquake may disturb its resting place or even an unknown volcano may cause the stuff to be exposed.  Um, if they haven’t found a way to reuse the trash, and there is no other place to put it, then it’s best left unknown.  If in 50,000 years from now someone trips over it, then so be it.  Hopefully they already will have an answer to the reversal of nuclear waste.

 

There isn’t a lot you can say about the film.  Even though it drags a bit, seems like a self-serving pat on the back and gets repetitive, the message rings clear that if we are going to use Nuclear Energy for any purpose, the waste must be put in a place where it cannot be touched for 100,000 years.

 

I am neither a physicist nor an expert on what happens when humans get exposed to radiation.  But it seems to me it is something very bad.  If we are to live on the only earth we have, then all countries should follow in the footsteps of the Netherlands.

 

Is the message good?  ABSOLUTLY, and for that reason I recommend it for required viewing by every government agency, office and even the president/queen/officiate of every country in the world, especially if they are going to or are in the process of using plutonium for any reason.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  A HOT topic that needs to be addressed. (B)

The film is in English but has helpful subtitles as well due to the Finish accents.

 

NUCLEAR FACTS

Onkalo – the world’s FIRST permanent nuclear waste repository

 

Onkalo is a Finnish word for hiding place. It is situated at Olkiluoto in Finland – approximately 300 km northwest of Helsinki and it’s the world’s first attempt at a permanent repository. It is a huge system of underground tunnels hewn out of solid bedrock. Work on the concept behind the facility commenced in 1970s and the repository is expected to be backfilled and decommissioned in the 2100s – more than a century from now. No person working on the facility today will live to see it completed. The Finnish and Swedish Nuclear Authorities are collaborating on the project, and Sweden is planning a similar facility, but has not begun the actual construction of it.

Facts about nuclear waste

High-level nuclear waste is the inevitable end result of nuclear energy production. The waste will remain radioactive and/or radiotoxic for at least 100,000 years. It is estimated that the total amount of high-level nuclear waste in the world today is between 250,000 and 300,000 tons. The amount of waste increases daily.

Security standards

Radioactive waste is hazardous to all living organisms and exposure to radiation may result in death, incurable disease, as well as mutation of the genetic code. The security standards are based on theoretical assumptions, as humanity has no previous experience to build on with regards to radioactive waste. In Europe there is a security standard of 100,000 years for the minimum period that the waste must remain isolated from all living organisms; in the US it is 1,000,000 years.

 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

February 16, 2010

 

Obama Administration Announces Loan Guarantees to Construct New Nuclear Power Reactors in Georgia

Conditional deal is major step towards restarting the domestic nuclear industry

 

Washington D.C. — Underscoring his Administration’s commitment to jumpstarting the nation’s nuclear power industry, President Obama today announced that the Department of Energy has offered conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at a plant in Burke, Georgia. The project is scheduled to be the first U.S. nuclear power plant to break ground in nearly three decades.

“To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we need to increase our supply of nuclear power and today’s announcement helps to move us down that path.  But energy leaders and experts recognize that as long as producing carbon pollution carries no cost, traditional plants that use fossil fuels will be more cost-effective than plants that use nuclear fuel.  That is why we need comprehensive energy and climate legislation to create a system of incentives to make clean energy profitable,” said President Obama.  “What I hope this announcement underscores is both our commitment to meeting the energy challenge – and our willingness to look at this challenge not as a partisan issue, but as a matter far more important than politics.”

The two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant will supplement the two existing reactor units at the facility. According to industry projections, the project will create approximately 3,500 onsite construction jobs. Once the nuclear reactors become operational, the project will create 800 permanent jobs.

“This is a significant step by the Obama Administration to restart our domestic nuclear industry, helping to create valuable long-term jobs and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

Project sponsors include Georgia Power Company (GPC), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and the City of Dalton, Georgia (Dalton).

For more information, please visit www.lgprogram.energy.gov.

https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=45

Some information supplied in this review came from Michael Madsen’s movie press notes

 

THE TRIP, BLATHERINGLY BORING

 

Corny and blathering The Trip documents a dining trip taken by Comic Steve Coogan and impressionist Rob Brydon as they travel across the north face of England.  Sometimes funny but mostly droll, the movie will probably not be appreciated by Americans unless they are decedents of Great Britain and understand why it is funny.

 

Here is the description of the film by the filmmaker; When Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer (A newspaper in London) to tour the country’s finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But, when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. As the brilliant comic duo, free styling with flair, drive each other mad with constant competition and showdowns of competing impressions (including dueling Michael Caines, Sean Connerys and Al Pacinos), the ultimate odd couple realize in the end a rich amount about not only good food, but the nature of fame, relationships and their own lives.

 

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in THE TRIP

Now, I don’t know how many of you know Steve Coogan (Ershon in The Other Guys, Hades in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Octavis in Night At The Museum, and Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days) but the aforementioned movie titles should give you a clue.  He has starred in many British TV shows and is well known on British Late Night and on US’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  So if you like the films or happen to like British humor, then that’s a good reason to see this film.

 

Rob Brydon has a huge following as a Television star in Britain appearing on over 50 shows.  In this film his comedy surrounds his ability to imitate famous actors and notables with a lot of tongue in cheek remarks. Not having witnessed his comedy prior to this film was probably why I couldn’t connect with why he kept interjecting famous voices whenever Coogan got the best of him.

A-scene-from-TheTrip

I couldn’t tell whether the cinematography was purposefully deplorable or Northern England has to be the dankest part of the earth.  Shots of even the more meaningful dining spots are so dimly lit that Coogan and Brydon loose all their expressiveness during the comical chat.

 

I was not impressed with the film as I found it boring, unimaginative, and not very funny.  The impressions of Michael Caine are good by both, but after ‘replaying’ the voice so many times in the film it becomes inane.  Maybe I am not a big lover of British Comedy; after all I don’t get Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I love Monty Python and Peter Sellers.

 

The Trip is not rated and should be left that way.  Although it is billed as a comedy be forewarned that Coogan and Brydon are professional Brits and do not pretend to be otherwise.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: See it only if you know what’s in bangers and mash. (D)


 

FAREWELL HARRY POTTER

 

Daniel Radcliff as Harry Potter

Farewell, Cheerio and Ciao Harry Potter I hate to see you go.  Over the past ten years we became accustomed to seeing movies about this engrossing young boy turning into a teen and finally a young man. Harry is no ordinary person, he’s the kind of kid you root for, support and befriend.  Slyly written the character found his way into many hearts and now he has vanished.  Except for his past exploits in books and on DVD, there’s nothing much more to look forward with the culmination of the last film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.  Kind of a bummer, don’t you think?

 

When Harry first came into our lives he’s this pre-teenage orphan who we find living with his Uncle, a muggle (ordinary human).  But Harry we find out is the son of powerful wizards James and Lilly who challenged the dangerous wizard Lord Voldemort and died doing it.  But we don’t remember Harry for all that messy past; it’s the future that counts.

 

And what a life he has had going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, making friends with Hermione and Ron, playing quidditch, learning to cast spells with his wand, playing detective sneaking around the school with his invisibility cloak while evading the strange professor Severus Snape, doing the bidding of his school master Albus Dumbledore, traipsing off to his half-giant friend Hagrid and fending off Voldemort with the Philosopher’s Stone.

Moving through his second, third, fourth years at Hogwarts Harry delves into the Chamber of Secrets fighting off a ferocious monster, trying to save his uncle Sirius Black, enters the dangerous Triwizard Tournament nearly dieing in the process, all including skirmishes with his arch nemesis Voldemort.

Duri ng his fifth and sixth year at Hogwarts Harry gets involved in the secret order of the Phoenix and starts to form loyalties with several members all of which despise Voldemort and gets involved in teaching a special underground class of Defense Against the Dark Arts.  Harry takes the NEWT test and later finds a letter in a book written by the Half-Blood Prince and he arms himself with new potion formulas and spells. Here he learns about Voldemort’s magical Horcruxes that will be his puzzle to solve in order to have a final showdown with him.

The last events of his life culminate following Harry’s resignation from school and the last stand with Voldemort at the Deathly Hallows.

 

Wow, what a ‘magical’ life Harry has had and one that won’t be easily forgotten.  His trek was something all filmmakers won’t forget either as during the nearly 10 years the films developed into a great adventure with battles that are amazing through the progression of Computer Generated Images (CGI).  As new computers got faster, held more memory, improved the technology, and bigger programs allowed quicker animation making the monsters increasing believable, fighting between Harry and Voldemort became more realistic and magical trickery astonishing.

 

Thank you Harry and the many filmmakers should thank you for becoming the most Magical series ever made.  I know I will miss seeing you up on the big screen, but still have your past on my DVD shelf.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, lensing this summer

 

ELIZABETH BANKS TO STAR IN LIONSGATE’S WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING

Film To Be Released Mother’s Day Weekend 2012

July 11, 2011 – Lionsgate and the producers of the film adaptation of the worldwide bestselling book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Banks (THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, W., THE NEXT THREE DAYS, “30 Rock” and Lionsgate’s upcoming THE HUNGER GAMES) has been cast to star with Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Brooklyn Decker and Anna Kendrick in the film, which is expected to begin shooting mid-Summer 2011, and will be in theaters everywhere on May 11, 2012.

 

Banks’ character is baby-crazy- the author of a children’s book about breast feeding and owner of The Breast Choice boutique, she is militant in her beliefs about what makes a good mother until she gets pregnant for the first time.

 

Kirk Jones (WAKING NED DEVINE, NANNY MCPHEE) is directing the film, which was acquired from a script by Heather Hach and re-written by Shauna Cross (WHIP IT).  The film is based on the book by Heidi Murkoff that has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 500 weeks. Lionsgate has worldwide rights to the film.

 

Banks is represented by Alissa Vradenburg of Untitled Entertainment for management, United Talent Agency, and law firm Ziffren Brittenham LLP, who negotiated the deal on her behalf.

 

Robert Melnik, EVP Business & Legal Affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.  Alli Shearmur, President of Motion Picture Production and Development, and Jim Miller, SVP Motion Picture Production and Development are overseeing the production for Lionsgate.

 

Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and David Thwaites are producing, with Doug McKay co-producing, through their Phoenix Pictures.  Heidi and Erik Murkoff will executive produce along with their literary manager Alan Nevins of Renaissance Literary & Talent.

 

About the film

Based on the 16 million copy best-selling book, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING is an ensemble romantic-comedy is in the vein of LOVE ACTUALLY and VALENTINE’S DAY.  The film is a modern look at love through the eyes of four interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn’t always deliver what’s expected.

HORRIBLE BOSSES, CRUDE RUDE AND UNGLUED

 

Most everyone would like to be the boss, but in most instances there’s only one.  I hope my readers don’t have a boss as despicable as the ones in Horrible Bosses a nicely funny comedy directed by Seth Gordon.  Filled with a lot of hilarious situations, this film is perfect for mature adults. If you are not offended by sexuality and a lot of crude language then run to see Horrible Bosses.

 

The film centers on three friends Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) who have run into a stone barrier at their jobs.  Nick works for a twisted supervisor (Kevin Spacey) who has dangled a Senior Vice President carrot in front of him only to absorb the job for himself. Master accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), loved by Mr. Pellit owner of the company he works for, has been groomed to take over when he retires, but his drug-addicted son (Colin Farrell) has other plans.  Finally, Dale a dental assistant to Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) works in an environment of sexually harassment by his x-rated boss who makes her workday a play day.

 

The bosses are really sinister when it comes to management and the three friends plot to do something about it. When a very bad idea goes horribly wrong the boys find themselves in dire straits.

Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), Dale (Charlie Day) and Nick (Jason Bateman)

The three buddy characters’ actors deliver some very hysterical comedy and in most cases are well suited to their roles.  Bateman does a great job of making Nick the most intelligent of the group who keeps things in perspective when the three band together to take out revenge.  Day puts on his best comedy face for the very goofy role of Dale an engaged man who goes to work everyday trying to fend off Dr. Julia’s onslaught for sex.  And yes lets not forget Sudeikis who has to deal with a freaky Bobby Pellit and does so in a screwy kind of way providing some dark comedy of his own.

Dale fends off Dr. Harris (Jennifer Aniston) in HORRIBLE BOSSES

Director Seth Gordon (Freakononics) does a pretty good job of keeping the laughs rolling and the situations ridiculous.  His ability to tie the talent together boss to employee and a realistic trio of friends is truly admirable.  I like the pace, situations and resolve in Horrible Bosses making the film an above average comedy in my book.

The film isn’t perfect however and there are some situations that ‘shovel the corn’.  I found the ‘three stooges’ slapping childish, Aniston’s hypersexual lust way over the top, Ferrell’s Bobby Pellit frightfully chilling and Spacey extremely overbearing, but I guess in Seth Gordon’s mind that’s what makes this film fun.  Now I’m just saying, but if I had a nymphomaniac boss like Jennifer Aniston…well you fill in the blanks.

Horrible Bosses is rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.  The language is very raw and the sexual oriented gestures and innuendos extremely vulgar for anyone under the age of 17.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: Bosses tries for a Hangover, but gets kicked to the side of the road. (C+)

 


 

 

‘APE’ APP for IPHONE/IPAD

NEW ‘RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES’ iPhone / iPad APP ASKS:

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN AN…APE?

LOS ANGELES, (July 6, 2011) – 20TH Century Fox have released a new app for the iPhone and iPad that poses an intriguing question:  are you smarter than an ape?  The app is based on an actual intelligence test done at Kyoto University  (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071203-AP-chimp-memory.html), and parallels the central storyline of the new studio’s upcoming film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in which a scientist’s tampering with the laws of nature leads to the development of superior intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

The test is as simple as it is revealing: the numbers 1-9 appear on the screen in random positions, and then are quickly covered. You must remember their positions, and then touch the squares in numeric order, in order to pass to the next round. A number is added for each round, so after several rounds recreating their proper positions becomes quite a challenge – for humans, that is.  Studies show that young chimps outperform adult humans in this memory test. “We were very surprised to find this,” Tetsuro Matsuzawa of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University said. “But it’s a very concrete, simple fact. Young chimps are superior to human adults in a memory task.”


To play the app, you must first select one of three skill levels – “Easy,” “Hard,” and “Ape” – which determine how long the numbers are displayed.  The most difficult level, “Ape” mimics the speed a typical primate can accomplish the task.

In addition to the game, the app offers access to the latest content about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” including the theatrical trailer, movie tickets (when available), and the “Apes Will Rise” YouTube channel.   You can also learn more about the history of the tests that measured apes’ surprising intelligence.

The app will be available for free download on iTunes beginning Thursday July 7th, 2011.  For more information about the app visit http://www.apeswillrise.com/app/

Twentieth Century Fox releases “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” in theaters everywhere on August 5.

About Fox Filmed Entertainment

One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world.  These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE:  Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox International Productions.

BRIDE FLIGHT, A LOFTY ROMANCE

A period piece with a lot of style, good acting and directing Bride Flight inspired by a true event provides a visual delight for romantics.  I liked the film for its characters, the interesting story and New Zealand photography.  If you take your romance served slowly yet gracefully then Bride Flight’s a delicious treat.

 

The story involves three intended brides, Ada (Karina Smulders) a young woman desperate for companionship, Esther (Anna Drijver) a holocaust survivor with dreams of being a designer and Marjorie (Elise Schaap) on her way to start a family, that travel to New Zealand following World War II.  The three become friends fast on their long trip from Holland.  During the flight Ada meets Frank (Waldemar Torenstra) who is on his way to start a new life in the far county and the two become enamored with each other.  When the four finally land at their destination they realize that a bond has been made, but to what end?

Ada Von Holland (Karina Smulders)

I like the way director Ben Sombogaart (his film Twin Sisters was nominated for an Oscar in 2002) weaves his tail making sure each of his characters are developed before throwing them into their new lives.  Although he takes a long time with the story his characters are amazingly addictive with charming qualities that induce you to want more.  Not overbearing with a single subject, he takes the three women and intertwines their relationships playing out each act as one story.

 

A fine cast lead by Smulders as the lovely yet romantically confused Ada graces the screen with a stunning performance that keeps the viewer wanting more. Smulders’ chemistry with Torenstra as Frank makes the romanticism realistic and compelling.  The two smolder up the screen with their love for each other.

Frank (Waldemar Torenstra) and Esther (Anna Drijver)

The cinematography of post WWII New Zealand showing the beauty and promise of the land helps the story along.  I liked the way Sombogaart fits his costumed actors into the rugged sets providing a step back into the past. Aided by some great natural formations, hot springs, 1940’s settlements and majestic mountains, the film becomes somewhat of a travelogue as well.

 

 

Bride Flight is rated R for a strong sex scene and some graphic nudity.  The film also contains a traumatic birthing scene and some violence.  Subtitles are provided for the Dutch language.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nicely played out romantic adventure. (B)

 

AWARDS

Scottsdale Film Festival – Audience Award for Best Film
Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival – Audience Favorite Award
Rehoboth Beach Film Festival – Best Feature Audience Award
Newport Beach Film Festival – Best Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Screenplay

 


COMIC CON THROWS FRIGHT NIGHT

DREAMWORKS PICTURES’ THROWS “FRIGHT NIGHT”

FAN FRENZY AT COMIC-CON 2011 WITH CAST APPEARANCES, PARTY AND ADVANCE SCREENING

Feeding Frenzy contest kicks off Friday, June 24th for chance to win prizes and trip to Comic-Con with admission to all “Fright Night” events

BURBANK, Calif. DreamWorks Studios is pleased to present a special insider look at its upcoming, 3D reimagining of the horror classic “Fright Night”  at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con  International Convention.  On Friday, July 22, a panel presentation will be held in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. On the dais will be talent from the film, including Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Imogen Poots, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon. Activities also include a fan appreciation party as well as a screening in advance of the film’s opening in theaters on August 19th.

On Friday, June 24th, the film’s social media campaign; “The Fright Night Feeding Frenzy” kicks off with a chance to win a VIP trip for two to San Diego Comic-Con in partnership with Yahoo! Movies. The trip includes travel, accommodations and admittance to all “Fright Night” scheduled events. “The Fright Night Feeding Frenzy” encourages fans to use their social feeds on Facebook, Twitter and blogs to share movie content and check in to real world events to collect points. At the end of each week, the fan who has spread the frenzy the farthest wins a killer prize. Prizes are awarded weekly beginning July 1st through the film’s release on Friday, August 19th.  More information about the “Fright Night” Feeding Frenzy and how to join can be found at: www.welcometofrightnight.com

 

ABOUT THE MOVIE:

Colin Farrell in DreamWorks' Fright Night

Senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally has it all—he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right— yet no one, including Charley’s mom (Toni Collette), seems to notice!  After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charley has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this Craig Gillespie-helmed revamp of the comedy-horror classic.

 

DreamWorks Pictures’ “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig, with screenplay written by Marti Noxon from a story by Tom Holland, based on the film “Fright Night,” written by Tom Holland. “Fright Night” opens in theaters on August 19, 2011.

About Comic-Con 2011:

Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. This year’s annual San Diego convention runs July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center.

WEINSTEIN GETS ‘UNTOUCHABLE’

 

 

THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY IS UNTOUCHABLE

TWC Acquires All Rights For North America, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Africa And China, Plus Pan-Asian Satellite TV Distribution, And Remake Rights

New York, NY, July 8, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired from Gaumont all rights to UNTOUCHABLE, the French language film produced by Quad Films. The deal covers all rights in North America, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Africa, China and distribution rights for pan-Asian satellite TV.  TWC also has remake rights, to co-finance and co-produce an English language remake with Gaumont and the film’s original producers Quad Films.  The announcement was made by TWC’s Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Lawson.

 

UNTOUCHABLE is directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, produced by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun, and written by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache.  It stars acclaimed actor François Cluzet (IN THE BEGINNING, TELL NO ONE) and Omar Sy (THOSE HAPPY DAYS).  A 2012 US theatrical release is expected.

 

Based on a true story, UNTOUCHABLE follows the unlikely friendship between wealthy paraplegic Philippe (Cluzet) and Driss (Sy), a guy from the street.  When Philippe appoints Driss as his right-hand aide, he counts on Driss’ pitiless, strong-arm approach to keep their relationship functional and straightforward.  What neither expects is the friendship that develops between the two men.  Inspiring, heartbreaking and outright hilarious at points, UNTOUCHABLE follows their journey of self discovery, as both men uncover aspects of themselves that they never would have believed existed.

 

Said Toledano and Nakache “We are extremely proud to entrust our film with Harvey Weinstein and his dream team and look forward to presenting our untouchable and unexpected buddy duet to the world.”

 

Said Cecile Gaget, Gaumont Head of International Sales, “We are very thrilled to have UNTOUCHABLE released by The Weinstein Company, who will be able to do a great campaign and bring this amazing emotional movie to a wide audience.”

Said Lawson, “UNTOUCHABLE is a breathtakingly moving piece of filmmaking with performances that speak straight to the heart.  Acquiring this film was an opportunity we did not want to miss — and we spent the holiday weekend making sure that we didn’t!”

 

Said Harvey Weinstein, TWC Co-Chairman, “Occasionally, you find a story that translates universally, and UNTOUCHABLE is a perfect example.  We look forward to bringing this beautiful and entertaining film to a worldwide audience.”

 


 

The deal was negotiated for TWC by COO David Glasser and Lawson; and for Gaumont by Gaget.

 

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

 

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979.  TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE.  Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, including Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.  Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD;  HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE, THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; and SCRE4M.  Upcoming releases include SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D, APOLLO 18, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, THE DETAILS and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN.   Recently wrapping is COGAN’S TRADE.

LARRY CROWNE, RIDES AGAIN

 

Opening up in a crowded market Larry Crowne takes a big chance that the romance filmgoer needs a break from all the explosive action now on the big screen.  But does this film have what it takes to go up against Transformers 3, Green Lantern, Super 8 and Bad Teacher?  Even Monte Carlo with its teen market will have a tough time.

The film centers on Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) a mild mannered man who is liked by his fellow employees at U-Mart.  In fact he has won Employee of the Month a lot of times.  On the last Friday of the Month he hears his name called over the store speaker to report to the break room.  The company is downsizing and since Larry doesn’t have a college degree they let him go.  Torn by this Larry goes home to rethink and downsize his life goals.  When the bank finds Larry with no job and late payments Larry decides to go to college and earn a degree.

Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in LARRY CROWNE

From this point on the fun begins with Larry getting acclimated with the younger students and his new teachers.  But the movie wouldn’t be more than a average Indie if it weren’t for Tom Hanks (the film’s writer, producer, director and actor).  As an actor Hanks makes his character inquisitive, energetic, positive and involving the things that make a person interesting. As a writer he invests in the deplorable situation of job loss in order to capture his audience before showing them that there is always a way out.

 

His directing skills are not all that bad either, moving his characters in and out of the story after showing their lighter side of life.  Here he really stands out however, keeping his story tight, not giving his recognizable actor’s too much rope to take over the action and not spending a lot of time with Larry’s difficulties thus avoiding a sappy film.

 

Julia Roberts makes a good teacher and even provides a few Erin Brockovich moments that show her characters bold ilk.  Although the chemistry between her and Hanks is lacking in part, Roberts still sells herself well on the screen.

Hanks here with Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson

Hanks throws in some good character actors like Cedric the Entertainer (his garage sale diva next door), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (a hottie fellow student), Bryan Cranston (Robert’s character’s husband in a midlife crisis), Wilder Valderamma (a jealous scooter ‘gang’ member), and many more recognizable faces to help his film with a comical touch.

 

The film is good and enjoyable to watch and though it received a PG-13 rating for brief strong language and some sexual content (a sensual kiss) should not be too over the top for mature pre-teens.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: It’s a film the older crowd will probably appreciate most. (B)

 


TRANSFORMERS, WITLESS YET MIND-BLOWING

 

Prolonged sequences of Sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction and that’s what the MPAA thought of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  It’s all that and more in this exciting alien robot adventure by action director Michael Bay.  If you are a gamer, a science fiction movie lover or just get your thrills from astounding CGI then Transformers: Dark of the Moon is your ticket to ride.

 

LeBeof and Whiteley in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

In this third sequel of the Transformers we find Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) entering the work world following his graduation from college.  High on life he has dropped his old flame Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) and has upped his game living with high stylish Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).  Holding on to her however get tough for Sam with no job and he finds himself conflicted.  From here on out in the 154-minute film Sam’s conflict continues in the middle of a hellacious battle between Autobots and Decepticons vying for control of the Earth.

Chicago on fire

Michael Bay goes all out in Transformer’s 3 kicking it up several notches with a plethora of explosive scenes.  He also does a little tribute to his awesome Armageddon with a space shot that out does the Bruce Willis flight.  The buildings in Transformers 3 get toppled in ground zero Chicago much like New York in Cloverfield, but that’s a good thing here since the treacherous bots bring about some incredible devastation.

Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime do battle

The last 30 minutes of the film and scattered skirmishes between the soldiers and the robotic nemeses are absolutely amazing.  This time you get to see the relentless destruction of Chicago by a mega force not seen in the previous three Transformer films.  That’s the fun of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and worth the nearly 2-hour wait.

 

There are many silly relationships played out in the film including Sam and his meddling parents, Carly unwittingly involved with the enemy, Sam confronting Mearing (Francess McDormand) the head of security with his hero medal, a jealous interaction between Carly’s boss Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) and Sam, and so on throughout the film.  These are just distractions that only interrupt the film from the real reason you purchased a ticket, the battling transformers.

 

The 3D here is quite good especially in scenes where Sam slides down buildings and Autobots fight the Decepticons.  And the sound gets incredible with bullets whizzing behind you and explosions all around. I can only imagine what this film would be like in IMAX 3D.

 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A witless story but an amazing display of sci-fi excitement. (C+)