Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AFI Top 100 Countdown #90 SWING TIME


Directed by George Stevens
Written by Allan Scott and Howard Lindsay
Starring: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HUGO Movie Review- He said/She said

Directed by: Martin Scorcese
Written by: John Logan, and Brian Selznick
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, 
Synopsis: A young boy sets out to finish his father's project stumbles upon a greater adventure.

Javi: So this week, I got the rare chance to go to the theaters twice in this holiday weekend, and of course, I saw the two movies which were definitely targeted towards kids. Of course, the first one was the THE MUPPETS, and now we have the latest non-gangster movie by Martin Scorcese, HUGO. Even though this was an adaptation from the children's book, I had zero context or even clue at what this movie was about. The trailer was confusing to me because it just seemed to be images of sprockets and clocks and kids. Now, to preface the review, I did not see it in 3-D, but I honestly felt nothing was lost.

Once again, not knowing much about the movie you're seeing can be a true blessing. Last time this happened to me, it was a good surprise. This time with HUGO, it was an even better surprise. I felt tension, and I kept guessing in a lot of ways of what was going to happen to the characters. HUGO was one of the best cinematic experiences I've had in a while because I left the theater smiling wider than I had even more than THE MUPPETS.

This movie much like the key in the poster; it has a lot of heart. Martin Scorcese seemed to have poured a lot of love into this project because of what the movie ultimately becomes, the beginning of movie making, special effects, and the preservation and appreciation of film. The first bit of the plot felt like it was part of a different movie, but after that section was completed, the emotional and visual impact just kept on building up to the climax.

The child actor, Asa Butterfield, played a convincing Hugo without overdoing it. He was able to balance his simple and child-like motivations with being endearing and sad. Chloe Grace Moretz was a bit of a weaker aspect of the movie because given everything that transpired, it almost felt like she was more a plot device than an actual person. Yes, she likes books and is related to Georges Méliès, but in the end she adds very little. Now, Ben Kingsley is a man that deserves some more love for this movie. I am rarely moved by actors as I was for his portrayal of Méliès, as thoroughly broken man drifting along.

Overall, this is one of the best movies I've seen this year. The love put into this movie, the visuals, the technicality, and everything about it made it as much of a celebration to film as the story. 

Jonesy: Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the family movie genre; the stories are all too similar, the characters are usually boring, and they always seem one B-list star away from appearing on Lifetime or as an ABC Family special. So, I went in to HUGO, as it has been marketed as a family movie, with not a lot of expectations even with Scorcese as the director. All I knew was two kids figuring out a mystery in a train station and something about films and clocks.  And oh was I ever put in my place. I was completely enchanted by the whole experience, and I was brought back to the time when I fell in love with movies.

Maybe saying this film is a family movie is unfair because that's too easy of a classification. It's a history lesson, discovery of the past, and of oneself. HUGO is such a smart film. It hits all the right notes of a children's adventure movie, yet it sounds odd, but I felt as if I was listening to a story from my great-grandfather. The film has so much heart behind it; the passion and love it took to make it just radiates off the screen.

I happen to also see this movie in 3D. Now, I tend to grumble when live action movies are in 3D; however, not since AVATAR has a movie used 3D so well. There were very few instances where the 3D felt intentional like a face coming at you, but rather the 3D enhanced the depths and visuals of the world. I can take or leave the 3D in general, but this is a perfect example of how it should be used to add another layer to live action movies.

Sometimes in the midst of big budget hoopla that movie goers are subjected to or the low-budget-drag-you-through-the-mud-of-emotions indie films that come out during this time of year, it is absolutely refreshing to experience a heart-filled, smart, defying cliched film. I don't have any children, but when I do (in the far future), you best bet this is the kind of family film I will be taking them to see...none of this Alvin and Chipmunks garbage.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Netflix Instant: Cool TV and Movie Picks

Now that you're stuffed full of turkey and dressing, it's time to go out and brave the crowds for Black Friday deals. Or if the thought of trampling people to get 20% off doesn't wet your whistle, here are some awesome Netflix Instant titles to tide you over for the remainder of the holiday weekend. 

One of Sondheim's classic musicals. It tells the tales of many fairytale characters, but with a dark twist and edge. This has been one of my favorite musicals to see on stage, and lucky for us, Sondheim is one of the few composers who allow his musicals to be filmed while they're still on stage. None of this conversion to movie business.

A documentary fit for the whole family. It tells the story of the emperor penguins as they endure one of the harshest places on the planet, Antarctica. The film is voiced by God himself, Morgan Freeman, and is a great introduction to the documentary format for young film connoisseurs. 

One of my absolute favorite cheesy action movies. Scientists have been performing experiments on sharks trying to find the cure for Alzheimer's. However, the sharks become more intelligent, and you guessed it, start fighting back. Not suitable for children, but it has my favorite death of all time. (You'll know it when you see it).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random yet Awesome: In Which A Non-Foodie Tries To Describe A Beer Dinner: The Mikkeller/Jester King Beer Dinner At The Common Table

The one of a kind snifter given to us at the dinner. Filled with Farmhouse Black Metal Stout.

Javi here. I know this is not at all a beer blog of any sorts, but this was such a cool event that I wanted to write up about it. Here's just a bit of background,  11/12/11-11/19/11 was the first inaugural Dallas Beer Week. There was a great variety of events including the first public showcasing of the Deep Ellum Brewery at The Common Table, a blind beer challenge over at The Holy Grail, and the event I'm talking about today, the Mikkeller/Jester King Beer Dinner with special guest Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, Thomas Schon and various Jester King employees. They were on hand to talk a little about their beers, their collaborations, and some of the history about their process of making some of their beers. Local bar, the aforementioned Common Table, hosted the event where they closed the restaurant down from 6:15 until about 9:15. Mad props to owner Corey Pond and his chefs for accommodating my request for a vegetarian alternative to the menu so I could also partake on fun. They went above and beyond and made everything vegan for me as well. 

Below is a description and (slightly hazy) thoughts about the pairings broken down by the courses. 

Please pardon my amateur language as I'm not much of a foodie.


Javi here. If you guys know anything about me is that I still love cartoons, from the ultra-serious Myasaki features to the old Warner Bros. cartoons and everything in between. There's just something that can't be replicated in live action. All of this goes to say that one of my favorite shows currently on the air is Cartoon Network's ADVENTURE TIME with Finn and Jake. It's the story of two best friends living in a tree in a magical kingdom where people are made out of candy among other things and their adventures. The big news here is that Mondo, the Alamo Drafthouse boutique collectible division, has acquired the license for ADVENTURE TIME and will be doing a series of posters including one tomorrow! Hit the jump for more details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

THE MUPPETS- He said/She said

Directed by: James Booth
Written by: Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and Chris Cooper
Synopsis: The Muppets must come together to save their beloved studio from an evil business man.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hell yes news for today: BEFORE SUNRISE could get a third film!

BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET are the brain child of Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and director, Richard Linklater. The movies follow a couple who, through a chance meeting on a train, spend a night talking about love and life during a memorable night in Vienna. The later movie picks up nine years later when they meet again in Paris still longing for each other, but now other obligations in the way.

Vulture broke the story today that Hawke, Delpy, and Linklater are talking about writing a third film:
"I don't know what we're going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months," Hawke said. "All three of us have been having similar feelings that we're ready to revisit those characters. There's nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again so we've really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We're going to try write it this year."

I for one adore these films and would be stoked if a third is in the works. In a world of cheesy romantic movies, both SUNRISE and SUNSET feel like a real depiction of a blossoming relationship with realistic dialogue and genuine performances. And with all the original actors and director could give this wonderful series a substantial ending.  

Both BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET are available on Netflix Instant.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Batman and Bane Fully Revealed In New Empire Magazine Cover

So apart from being super busy, and not wanting to be complete hit-whores, we haven't been posting too much about director Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT RISES until the really juicy stuff comes up. And this weekend's reveal is relatively juicy. For the past few months we have been getting lots sneaky set pictures of Batman, Bane, and Catwoman, but this weekend after a contest held by the magazine, Empire revealed the first looks at Bane and Batman. They will appear in next month's issue. Check out the slightly larger pictures after the jump.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Full trailer for Pixar's BRAVE

Now that we've cleansed ourselves of the abysmal CARS 2, we can now focus on Pixar's next summer animated feature, BRAVE. A gorgeous teaser trailer was released not too long ago, but now we have a full length trailer to show us more of this world

BRAVE feature our heroine, Merida, as she tries to breakaway from her family's traditions and create her own destiny. The trailer looks marvelous, and I adore Merida's fiery hair. Being part Scottish, I have a soft spot for any history of the highlands. I am stoked for this movie, and I am even more excited to be listening to their accents for 90 minutes!

Here's the full synopsis:

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradtion, destiny and the fiercest of beasts
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.
BRAVE will be released June 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cover for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO Soundtrack Revealed

Javi here. I'm not going to lie; a big part of the reason I was so excited about THE SOCIAL NETWORK was that Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor and his long-time collaborator Atticus Ross. When the movie came out, I couldn't believe that the guy that wrote THE FRAGILE had created something some eerily beautiful, but I guess that's what age and sobriety do to any goth kid. But this year, the two musicians have teamed up with SOCIAL NETWORK director David Fincher for his new movie THE GIRLWITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, which has me all sorts of excited again. And we just got our first look at the cover.

Monday, November 14, 2011

THE IRON LADY full U.K. trailer

It's not a huge secret that those of us here at WDYMS adore Meryl Streep. She's THE movie star of her generation, and apparently it's a widely regarded fact that she's super hot (or so my cohort tells me).

So, it's pretty much fact that most projects she touches turn to gold, and it appears that her latest film, THE IRON LADY, will be no different. The biopic will follow the rise of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Now, I have no doubt Meryl will be brilliant and probably nab her 17th Oscar nomination. However, it'll be interesting to see how the director, Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Streep in MAMMA MIA!, is able to pull off this story because it is tonally so different than what I'm expecting this biopic to be.

Time will tell if Lloyd can pull off a drama, but take a look at Streep, who's almost unrecognizable, in the trailer below.

THE IRON LADY starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent will be released in New York and Los Angeles on December 30, 2011 and wide on January 12, 2012 


HARRY POTTER director David Yates to adapt all-new, independent DOCTOR WHO movie for the big screen.

This is an interesting bit of news that seemingly came out of nowhere. But thanks to Variety, we have news that 4-time HARRY POTTER director David Yates will be doing a DOCTOR WHO movie for BBC.

According to the director, this movie will be independent of the highly popular BBC series and its continuity, stating that "(Former and current showrunners)Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch." So all of the fanboys and girls hoping to see 2 hours of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly David Tennant or Matt Smith action will be sorely disappointed.

To give non-Who fans a bit of a background, DOCTOR WHO is the long-running BBC TV show about a Time Lord, a being that can travel through time and space, called The Doctor who runs around the galaxy having adventures. One of his powers is regeneration, where in order not to die, he changes his appearance and his mannerisms, which means 11 actors have portrayed The Doctor since the show began. He usually has "companions" which range from young ladies to a married couple and even relatives. And just like any other hero, he has an iconic collection of villains such as the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Weeping Angels.

The show originally ran from 1963 to 1989 then a TV movie happened in 1996 before finally being rebooted successfully by Russell T. Davies in 2005 and continuing under Steven Moffat. The 2005 incarnation has become wildly successful and has brought a bunch of random nerds to become obsessed with the show like I have been.

In terms of the upcoming movie, I see this as both exciting and disappointing. Obviously, as a new Doctor Who fan, I'm excited for more media to come out, specially on a grander scale.  I understand that David Yates probably wants to create his own version of The Doctor, but part of me feels that this continuity, the reboot that it is, has built up a lot of great history and characters in the past 6 years. To have a different Doctor is more than understandable as is the nature of the show, but to completely disregard the continuity and history seems a bit of a bummer to me.

Fans of Matt Smith should not fret, as Yates has said that they'll take two to three years to finish writing this movie because they want to create a great story. What's interesting is that if this is a complete reboot, then the 11th and possibly 12th Doctor have very limited lives. I'm curious to see how this will affect the stories and the writing of the next season. This also brings me to wonder how the budget of the show will be affected before or after the release of this movie. BBC is known for cutting costs and has directly affected the budget of DOCTOR WHO in more than one occasion. It could be that depending on the success of the movie, the budget will be greatly increased in the years to come. But that's all speculation at this point.

So what do you guys think? Is a complete reboot the way to go? Or would you rather see a big-screen version of the current Doctor?

THE HUNGER GAMES trailer drops!

Well, the day has come where we actually see some footage from the upcoming HUNGER GAMES adaptation, and I have to say it doesn't look completely horrible. Full disclosure, I read the books and enjoyed the first one, but highly disliked the other two books. Needless to say, my skepticism of this book coupled with the annoying marketing strategy that Lionsgate has opted for have led me to be completely apathetic towards this new movie series. Like I said though, the trailer is actually pretty cool. Check it out after the break.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

James Bond Gets On Twitter, His New Movie Is Now Called SKYFALL, Might Be Getting OKCupid Profile Too.

Hey guys, Javi here. So today seems to be the day for awesome James Bond news. Reading anyone of the random movie sites, you hear news of the fact that there is now a James Bond Twitter account,( that was live-tweeting a lot of confirmations during a press conference of many rumors we had heard over the past year. Check the news all credited to said Twitter account after the jump