Sunday, November 28, 2010

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

It makes me sad to announce that the great comedian Leslie Nielsen has died today. According to, Mr. Nielsen passed away earlier today from complications relating to pneumonia in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Even at the age 84, this is a still sad passing. Nielsen's NAKED GUN movies were some of the first I started watching when I was young thanks to my Abuelito (Grandpa for you non-Spanish speaking folks). As a quick note for those that don't know, I was born in Mexico, and my Abuelito was instrumental in showing me movies from all genres. For the longest time, I watched the Spanish dubbed movies, and I remember Mr. Nielsen's faces making the biggest impression on me. The funny faces are what I always remembered. It wasn't until I could speak English so many years ago, that I rewatched a lot of his movies and found my love for them wasn't just nostalgia, but true quality. The man was hilarious in his delivery and his timing, and that's a quality many actors don't have today.

Recently, Jonesy and I watched BEN-HUR(1959) for the upcoming AFI Top 100 movie column, and when watching the movie's special features, we found out that Mr. Nielsen auditioned to play the role of the villian Messala. Turns out, he was a rather respected method actor before AIRPLANE! (1980) showed the world what a hilarious actor he was. He went on to do the famous NAKED GUN series as well as SPY HARD(1995) and DRACULA DEAD AND LOVING IT(1998). He ended up specializing in spoofs late in his career with films such as SCARY MOVIE 3 & 4 ( 2003, 2006) and 2001: SPACE TRAVESTY (2000). Excuse me while I go revisit NAKED GUN and remember the good times.  And don't call me Shirley.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Source Code Trailer is here!

2009 truly felt like the year that Science Fiction went back to its roots filled with social commentary with releases such as DISTRICT 9 and MOON.  Obviously most of you know of DISTRICT 9, but MOON was not seen by many people as it could have been.  It was an amazingly original film by first time director Duncan Jones with a microscopic budget that visually blew many films out of the water.  Now, we have the first trailer for Mr. Jones' sophomore outing, SOURCE CODE.  I will say that this seems like a more mainstream movie than MOON ever was, but then again, this is just the trailer.  The cast includes Jake Gyllenhall, Vera Farmiga, and Michelle Monaghan, which is great because I've been dying to see Gyllenhall is a decent movie for a while as well as seeing Vera Farmiga in something else since UP IN THE AIR.  Check out the trailer below!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Steve Kloves and R.K. Rowling
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman
Synopsis: With Voldemort rising to power, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine go searching for
the Horcruxes, artifcats infused with Voldemort's soul, in an attempt to finally stop him.

Javi-So what did you think of the movie?

Jonesy- This movie is the Potter’s fan dream! Since the filmmakers broke it up into two movies, they’re able to put so much detail, and spend the time to delve into scenes that they’ve never been able to do with any of the other movies. The books are so rich, full of story and characters, and situations that they have always had to cut out a lot of it. Even though I would love a five hour Harry Potter movie, most people aren’t willing to sit that long.

Javi- I agree there’s a lot of details that you couldn’t have done with any of the other movies, but because of the fact you haven’t been able to do that before, I feel there’s a lot of plotlines that were just mentioned almost too briefly. For example, there was Bill Weasley, who is one of Ron’s older brothers, who has never been introduced in the movies, and there is a lot of back-story to him in previous Harry Potter books. If they would have introduced him in a previous movie, that would have made his character more cohesive, but he was shoved in here very messily. I would almost forgive David Yates for that if it weren’t his 3rd Harry Potter movie. But I do agree it’s better paced, and that allows for more character exploration.

Jonesy- I can understand what you mean with saying there’re random characters that seem thrown in.  And in reading the 7th book, there are a lot of people and ideas that get mentioned, and they seem to come out of nowhere. There are little hints here and there like the Invisibility Cloak, which we’ve seen throughout the series, but you never understand the weight of it until this the final movie. As an outsider, I can completely understand that the movie could be hard to follow, which could be one of the downfalls of the movies. 
Javi- Some might argue that Doby the elf’s appearance in the movie is random. He just pops up in this movie after being absent for so long. I don’t agree, but I just don’t think that everyone watching this movie is a Harry Potter novice. 
Jonesy- I will say that I give credit to the writer, Steve Kloves. He has worked with Rowling since the first movie to make sure that if someone just watches the movies, there will be a coherent story line and have the same catharsis at the end, but with the books, obviously, you would get more of the details.
Javi- With looking back at all of the movies, I start to get a bit frustrated with Harry Potter in general.  I feel, to an extent, you’re always playing “Pokemon” in this world. You always have to catch that one magical artifact. Then I remember reading from a film site (sorry that I can’t remember which one) that said the reason most people, who aren’t the super, hardcore fans to the Harry Potter world, are drawn to both Prisoner of Azkaban and Half Blood Prince movies because of the great character moments that occur, and there’s not such a huge focus on a magical year-long quest that has to be completed by the end of the school year. This movie has an even balance of searching for the Horcruxes and character moments. Now, it had the potential to mess it all up and just focus on the quest of finding the Horcruxes, but it doesn’t, and I like it.  The middle scenes where they’re running through the forest had the potential to suck. I’ll admit that I was bored through most of those camping scenes, which you have said is a common complaint, but I appreciated seeing the characters just interact with each other. It made it more endearing seeing their relationships/friendships grow. You get nostalgic thinking of them in the first movie and thinking of their development through the years. And I’m glad that they managed to get those scenes right even though they didn’t move the plot along as much.
Jonesy- I agree with the Pokemon statement because that’s the same problem I had with the first two books; they go to school, there’s a problem, they solve the problem, and defeat a form of Voldemort and then they go home. I agree that the middle parts of the movie can get a bit tedious, but I think that’s the point David Yates was going for; they’re fugitives on the run, and they have no time for awesome adventure each day. They might go weeks without knowing what to do or where they’re going. That sense of frustration is really well represented here. You get to see them in their highest points and their lowest points, and it made us care about them more than we did already.
Javi- I will say I don’t agree with your perception about them being fugitives because I never felt the weight of their situation. I remember the book gave me such a sense of paranoia, despair, and restlessness, and I didn’t feel that way during the movie.

Jonesy- The tone seemed more of being on the run than living in fear.

Javi- I didn’t feel they were in any danger. There was one scene with the Snatchers, but that was not enough to make me feel tense. I just didn’t get the feeling of their world being turned upside down and growing darker. I did enjoy the scenes where they had the radio that called out the name of the missing people during their cross-country trek, that was very artsy touch and I really appreciated it. 
Jonesy- There was a few characters that only had a few lines that I cannot wait to see in the next one, like Neville and the Carrow siblings, two of the Death Eaters that take over teaching jobs at Hogwarts. A lot of the characters that weren’t focused on in the first part will be amazing in the second.

Javi- I will say I wish they had shown something of Snape being the Headmaster just a little bit.

Jonesy- That would’ve been nice to flash to Hogwarts once or twice, but they wanted to keep him a bit mysterious

Javi- I will say I’m disappointed there was nothing that showed the conflict within Draco Malfoy in this one.  If we’re separating the book and movie and if we think of how Malfoy was dealt with as a very conflicted guy in movie six, then it’s a shame that they chose to just show him hanging out with mommy and daddy. He needed more face time.  

Jonesy- I’m so glad they showed Hermoine leaving her parents. It was talked about in the book in passing but not shown explicitly like that. It was brilliant.

Javi- It sets such a tragic tone from the beginning.
Jonesy- I cannot say enough about this movie. I absolutely loved it, and I know I’m being totally biased being a fan of the books for so long. This is my favorite movie in the series, until, I’m sure, July comes around. Both parts together will make a great ending to the series.
Javi- My initial reaction was to be really annoyed with this movie. It wasn’t until I thought about it more that I was able to get over my frustrations with the middle parts and find the subtleties, so I ended up liking it better after thinking about it. Not sure how I would rank it with the others because I can only think of it as a part of a whole; otherwise, part one would be horrible.

Jonesy- Last note: they split the movie at a perfect point, and they left enough time to flesh out how it needs to, and the audience is just drooling and cannot wait for the next one. Go see it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Directed by Brothers Strause

Written by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell

Starring: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, and Donald Faison

Synopsis: Friends try to survive an alien attack on Los Angeles.

Jonesy: There wasn’t a story. The aliens kind of attack, and that’s it.  The end. 

Javier: It wasn’t so much of a story as it was a really cliché sci-fi movie from Sy-fy, but it’s not meant to be.  It hits all of the tropes of survivor/alien invasion movies.  A cheap film school version of Independence Day, but SPOILER ALERT they mimic the scene from Independence Day where they nuke the alien ships, and the good guys get really excited that they hit them only to find out that the nukes did absolutely nothing.  Instead of force fields in ID4, the aliens regenerate themselves with brainpower.

Jonesy: I thought the brain power idea was cool.  It showed the advancement of the alien race.  However, here’s my problem with the alien race.  They come to Earth because they need our brains to function, but where did they get that idea to use our brains in the first place? When on Earth’s history did the aliens previously show up to collect all of these brains, or if they didn’t show up, then how did they get the idea to come to Earth knowing that our brains would work for them? I liked the fact you could get sucked in with their light. I think that was the best concept regarding the aliens.

Javi- Everything that I have ever seen in a sci-fi movie, I saw it in this movie but it wasn’t done properly.  And the ending was very grim. They get abducted, and Jared becomes an alien (like in District 9), and we know that the aliens keep going to all of the cities throughout the world, and we can’t stop them. 

Jonesy- I like the fact they went into the alien ship because it would have been annoying that they never actually explain what is going on in their operations.  You really understand why they are here. 

Javi-In a few years it will be a great Midnight Madness movie, but at the same time it won’t get to that level because it isn’t intentionally bad, and it’s not even awesomely bad.  It’s middle of the road shitty.

Jonesy- I don’t even remember the characters’ names. Whenever any of them died, I honestly didn’t care.  I thought, man you people are all very shitty anyway; I don’t care if you die.  All of the characters are static and one-dimensional. The main couple was just as crappy and had no chemistry. If this were a complete satire of Sci-fi movies, then it would’ve been ok to have such extreme, crappy characters. 

Javi-There was little shred of characters.  It was frustrating because they would say all of these cliché lines.  This is the type of stuff that is almost so bad that it’s borderline satire. 

Jonesy- In the end, don’t waste your money; the movie is worthless and pointless.  Maybe one day you could put it in the background when it comes on TV because you won’t miss much.  The visuals are fun and impressive.  I liked the money shot of the people getting taken away by the alien ships.

Javi- I wouldn’t even recommend putting it in the background.  This movie has no value.  Even someone that is mildly curious I would tell them to not bother.  Why don’t you go see Independence Day or District 9? That’s better sci-fi than this piece of shit.

Cowboys vs. Aliens trailer!

We all got a real treat today. After being teased on Jon Favreau's twitter yesterday, he posted the teaser trailer to Cowboys vs. Aliens earlier today.  Footage was shown at Comic Con this year to much excitement and anticipation.   The concept seems kind of elementary...I mean it's cowboys and aliens, and the title of the movie itself is a spoiler alert, but why not?!  Why can't aliens attack in the old west?  Now westerns have never really been my cup of tea, but adding aliens definitily intrigues me.  Then when I heard that Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford were starring?? Count me in! 

This trailer made me even more excited for the movie.  The action looks fun, and it makes me wonder how the cowboys will defeat the aliens.  Seriously!  Some times new genres come along that shouldn't work together but somehow they do, like Horror-Comedy.  Maybe Jon Favreau will create a new genre with the hopeful success of this movie...Syfy-Western.

Check it out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Our Darkest Night...the Green Lantern trailer comes to bum me out

So if anyone knows my nerdy super hero interests knows I only really like two guys: Batman and Green Lantern. So when it was announced that we were gonna get a GL movie after the success of The Dark Knight, I was pretty excited. Same goes when they announced Ryan Reynolds, who has been a rather underrated actor in my opinion, even if he did start in the atrocious The Proposal.

So imagine my dismay when I saw the trailer for the movie which was released today over at the Quicktime movie trailer site. Now I could stand the suit that no one liked, but this trailer just gives me too many bad vibes. I'm not sure if it's actually seeing the suit in action or the CG or even the weird way they're having Reynolds portray Hal Jordan, but I can't get behind it. I'm getting the feeling that this movie will be DC Comic's version of The Fantastic Four or Daredevil movie, or any of their B-level superheroes. I will say that the character and alien designs are right out of the pages of the comic which I can dig. But here's the trailer! Leave some comments, you guys!