Posts tagged tumblrize

Review: Lawless

Apparently in the early days of the century farm boys made a game out of shooting a pig in its peg. In prohibition-era Virginia three brothers, played by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke pretty much run the moonshine business. The law knows who they are and what they do, but since they like drinking too, they turn a blind eye and allow the brothers to continue working. Gary Oldman, as a mob boss takes a shine to the brothers as they are being pursued by one of his enemies, the eyebrow-less corrupt Chicago cop played creepily by Guy Pierce.

Jack (LaBeouf) is the runt of the family, always trying to prove his worth to his brothers usually means that he goes off half cocked and fucks things up even more. Forrest (Hardy) is in charge of everything, he’s soft spoken often times seeming like a young Clint Eastwood with his grunts. While Howard (Clarke) drinks a lot and leads the cleanup crew with Forrest.

Lawless has very few flaws. 1931 Virginia was dirty and had little respect for authority. Everybody is on their own, but family sticks together and fights when they are wronged. Each action Forrest and Jack take are true to how they are portrayed. No action is without motivation and most of the time its revenged based. In this time, the lawbreakers are the good guys, even if it means blowing up a small shed from time to time.

Based on Matt Bondurant’s book on the lives of his grandfather and granduncles and adapted by Nick Cave, yes THAT Nick Cave, Lawless is an intriguing look into the lives of Virginian bootleggers and how the law, ironically drunk on their own power, were unable to stop them. How even in the early years of the 20th century that men saw something unjust and tried to change it back. Even at the expense of their lives.

3.5 bottles of moonshine out of 5

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Sherlock’s End In Sight?!

As a huge fan of the BBC, I have spent many a times combing through the British section of the DVDs in all the bookstores I visit, and eagerly await the return of such shows as Downton Abbey and Doctor Who.  Perhaps the greatest amount of anticipation though comes with the anxious wait for the third series of Sherlock.  As both the UK and the US wait for the sleuthing-duo’s return to the telly, the latest hint at Series 3 leaves the future of the show in question.

Series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have recently revealed the words “Rat, Wedding, Bow”, hinting at the three Conan-Doyle stories used as the plotlines for the upcoming series, while also suggesting that the last episode of Series 3, presumably based off the last Sherlock Holmes story, “His Last Bow”, could spell the end of the show’s run.

As my inner Sherlock fan screams in frustration and demands for the show to continue, I also have to take a step back and think about what would be for the best.   Moffat and Gatiss work on both Sherlock and Doctor Who, two of the most beloved British shows in the United States. Creating a season of Sherlock takes up an immense amount of time, and while I hate to say it (and if I’m wrong, I’ll eat my hat), Doctor Who is the show from across the pond that has the strongest fan-base.

So where does that leave Sherlock?  After Season Two’s dramatic and nail-biting cliffhanger, Moffat and Gatiss would have an enormous task to accomplish in continuing to up the stakes.  Season Two was such a well-written and dramatic season that I feel that only one more season would be necessary to wrap up the show’s run.  Some television shows start off fantastic in their early seasons but crumble in the following years, and I would hate to see Sherlock become such a show.  A trilogy of seasons would provide a nice, well-rounded package of television that is fantastically written and filled with the drama and suspense that the American audience loves.

In the end, though I would love to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman portray their characters into their senior years (Sherlock would even be more disagreeable!), I am also looking forward to their upcoming and future projects, such as their roles in The Hobbit. Sherlock is ser to return in the fall of 2013, and while many fans (including myself) would hope for more episodes, Season 3 would whet our appetites and leave us with the happy thought that the mystery never truly ends and that Sherlock and Watson are still in 221B, waiting for the next adventure.

Shia LaBeouf’s Penis to Star in New Film

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Ever wanted to see Shia Laboeuf have sex? And we don’t just mean simulated rated R-rated most-likely-a-butt-double sex, we’re taking real, unsimulated and even, possibly titillating sex. Well now, thanks to Lars Von Trier’s latest upcoming cinematic exploits, you, dear viewer, will have that opportunity to see Shia in all his glory (provided you haven’t already seen the Sigur Rós video, in which he also appeared in the buff).

Laboeuf, clearly long removed from his days as a Disney Channel star, reported the news himself that the actors currently involved in eccentric director Von Trier’s next film, The Nymphomaniac, will be actually be sexually performing on screen. “There’s a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says, we’re doing it for real,” LaBeouf began telling to MTV News. ”And anything that is ‘illegal’ will be shot in blurred images. But other than that, everything is happening.”

Laboeuf also made mention that he and his costars, noted Lars Von Trier vets like Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are prepared to do “whatever is asked” of them, including “illegal things.” Von Trier intends to shoot the film in censored and uncensored versions. The Nymphomaniac will be released in two parts, unlike Von Trier’s previous two-parter Melancholia, and is slated for a 2013 release date.

Which actor are you most surprised to see bearing all for The Nymphomaniac? Are you shocked to see a director ask this of the beloved Louis Steven from the Even Stevens? Are you excited for yet another boundary-pushing film from the warped mind of Lars Von Trier? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Interview: Peter Lord, director of The Pirates!

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is out on DVD TODAY, so we decided to look back at our interview with the film’s director Peter Lord. Watch Pretentious Film Major Ashley try not to ask him about directing Chicken Run, and discuss the challenges in making stop motion films in the interview above.

Dumb and Dumber Too: The Long-Awaited Sequel

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Our two favorite dunces are back! What seemed like flaky speculation earlier this summer has now become a definite statement: The Farrelly Brothers are writing and directing a sequel to their smash hit Dumb and Dumber. Despite a 19-year gap since the original film reached theaters, the Farrellys are committed to bringing life back into the universe of the characters played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

This news created a stir amongst filmgoers. We’re used to seeing Hollywood pump out sequels as a method of grossing more money for major studios; however, this project is fascinating because no studios were involved in this decision at all! The Farrellys approached New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers with the subject and both studios were tentative about the project. Jim Carrey even reported that they, “Showed a lack of enthusiasm.”

With this is mind, it proves the point that this is absolutely an organic Farrelly Brothers film. While an unenthusiastic studio may not be in the best financial interests of the film, the nature of the story should be brilliant if the Farrelly Brothers can recreate the same sense of outrageous humor which made the first one a purge of laughter.

Ordinarily, sequels disappoint viewers for lack of originality and the contrived placement of characters in situations which needn’t ever exist other than studios demanding that they do so for some nice $$$. Sometimes a sequel can be good, not great, like Shrek 2. But usually a sequel is repressed out of our memory like Speed 2: Cruise Control which holds a “rotten” 2% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

No one’s expecting Terminator 2 quality here! Comedies have a great advantage over other forms of genres in terms of sequels because people don’t really come for the plot. Everyone wants to laugh, and the Farrellys are comic auteurs of this era.

The plot of the sequel Dumb and Dumber To sounds like it has plenty of room to embellish with deranged humor. “The story revolves around the fact that one of them may have sired a child. They want to go and find the child because he’s having a kidney problem and he wants to ask him for one of his (father’s) kidneys.”

This plot establishes that the story will once again be a buddy-adventure with our heroes traveling great distances for a cause that seems noble but is most definitely stupid. The sequel should be met with excitement, not admonishment! From reading other news reports it seems as though the Farrelleys are putting their heart into getting this made against much opposition in their way. It’s almost like a reimagining of Moneyball—or shall we say “movie-ball.”

Jim Carrey is notable for turning down reprising roles in sequels (i.e. dropped out of Son of the Mask and Evan Almighty), yet through the heavy convincing of the Farrellys and co-star Jeff Daniels, Carrey finally agreed to reunite with the team. Considering how selective Carrey is in choosing his roles should suggest that this movie has something worthwhile.

The Farrelly’s plan to get the ball rolling fast. Super fast, actually. They plan on shooting later in 2012 and distributing the film in the spring of 2013. That seems like a rushed schedule and could possibly impact the quality of the film. However, the brother’s tandem is renowned for making several films almost every year. For instance from 2000-2001 Me, Myself & Irene, Osmosis Jones, and Shallow Hal all hit theaters.

With the heart and soul the Farrellys give to their films, the sequel, Dumb and Dumber To could have much to offer to giddy fans and comedy enthusiasts alike. Just think of the crude beauty of the original film…and then think how much funnier it could be seeing middle-aged men doing the same shenanigans.

Interview: Steve Harvey & Michael Ealy on the Red Carpet

Pretentious Film Major Ben broadcasts from the Ritz East red carpet Philadelphia premiere of Think Like a Man. With the Think Like a Man DVD set to hit stores tomorrow, we take this chance to revisit Ben’s coverage and the chats he had with one of the film’s stars, Michael Ealy, as well as another actor from the film, as well as the man who wrote the book it’s based on, Steve Harvey. Which one of the movie’s stars admitted they don’t know what the word “pretentious” means? Watch our red carpet coverage to find out!!

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Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two

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September 25th officially marks the end of the first (and spectacular) run of Marvel comic-book films. The Avengers will be released on Blu-ray, as well as a larger 10-disc set entitled Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled, which includes all six movies, plus multitudes of extras. So, the question remains…what’s next? Let’s dive right in!

To begin, fans of The Avengers will be happy to know that director Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios have signed an exclusive three-year deal that will have Whedon working for Marvel until the release of The Avengers sequel in June of 2015. He will also be helming a television series based in the Marvel Universe that will potentially have tie-ins to several of the movies. As of yet, there are only rumors as to what or who the show will be about.

Next up are sequels. Marvel has already begun filming follow-ups to their original works with Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The third Iron Man film—which is set for release on May 3, 2013—sees Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle reprising their roles from previous installments. It also adds Ben Kingsley as villainous The Mandarin (Iron Man’s arch-nemesis in the comics). Shane King is directing this time, and if his previous work is any indication, he should do well, especially considering he’s worked with Downey before (on 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

In Thor: The Dark World, almost everyone from the first film will be returning to their roles. The most notable change is the addition of Christopher Eccleston as the film’s villain, Malekith. Additionally, Zachary Levi (of Chuck fame) will be playing Fandral, filling in for Joshua Dallas, who is unable to reprise the role due to a scheduling conflict with ABC’s Once Upon a Time. (Side note: Levi had secured the role in the original Thor film, but had to pull out due to conflicts with other projects.) Look for the Thor sequel in theaters on November 8, 2013.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (scheduled for release on April 4, 2014) has fewer confirmed details. However, Chris Evans will be back in the title role and Sebastian Stan is returning as James “Bucky” Barnes. I won’t say anything more on this as it could lead to potential spoilers for anyone who isn’t familiar with the comics. As of right now, Joe and Anthony Russo (known for directing a multitude of episodes of the hit show Community, as well as the upcoming Animal Practice) are in talks to direct this film, and it’s rumored that Anna Kendrick, Felicity Jones and Imogen Poots are front-runners for a leading role in the film as well.

In addition to a television show and four direct sequels (including The Avengers 2), Marvel has plans for two new films: Guardians of the Galaxy, which is slated for a 2014 release, and Ant-Man, which is based on the last comic-book Avenger and has been helmed by Edgar Wright. According to rumors, Wright’s film will begin shooting next year.
Based on information already gleaned from multiple interviews, the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con announcements and other sources, it will be very exciting to see where the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two takes us!

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Karen O. Contributes to Frankenweenie Sountrack

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Karen O, frontman of the indie rock group the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, has recently written an original song for the ending credits of Disney’s highly anticipated stop-motion children’s film Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton. The song is titled “Strange Love” and will be included on Frankenweenie Unleashed!, a 14-track compilation inspired by the film.

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Karen O spoke of her inspiration and how her idea transformed into reality. “Tim [Burton] wanted an unconventional unconditional love song. My music inspiration came out of the same era of B movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film.” She further explains her vision, the unique sound of the song, and her musical influences in the Tim Burton world; “ I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it’s quirky, good vibes music… I remember Beetlejuice introducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte’s calypso record so I wanted to give a nod to that too.”

This is far from Karen O’s first contribution to the sounds and stylings of the film industry. Over the past ten years she has collaborated with many famous artists such as Spike Jones, David Lynch, and the Flaming Lips. She composed the score for 2009’s Where the Wild Things Are, and co-wrote the Grammy Nominated song “All is Love” with Nick Zinner. Most recently she is heard contributing to the vocals to a cover of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” in the feature film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Frankenweenie’s original motion picture soundtrack, composed by Grammy award winner Danny Elfman, will be available on September 25th in addition with Frankenweenie Unleashed!. Along side Karen’s “Strange Love,” Frankenweenie Unleashed! will feature songs from Neon Trees, Plain White Ts, Imagine Dragons, and many other diverse and popular artists.

Trailer Tuesday: August 21st

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Trailer Tuesday is a normally a column where Cinedork’s staff of writers guide you through the ABCs of new trailers, taking a look at what’s awesome, what’s bizarre, and what’s just cringe-worthy in upcoming movies. This week, Corwyn Johnson takes control of the trailers, adding some of his own insights as he breaks down a slew of new movies about killing lawmen, zombies, and Osama bin Laden.

DISCLAIMER: Trailer Tuesday writers have NOT seen the films, and are simply basing their opinions off of the movie trailers, casting rumors and internet chatter — these are NOT substitutes for our actual film reviews.

Due out August 31st, Lawless is a gangster film set during the Prohibition era. Based off the book The Wettest County in the World, this is a film that focuses on a family, the Bondurants, as they grow and expand an illegal moonshine operation. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Guy Pearce, the film focuses on both the growing operation and wealth of the brothers’ business, as well as the local law’s response, bringing in a hard nosed city “special agent” to shut the Bondurants down. The trailer makes the film feel like a spiritual successor to the 2009 Johnny Depp starrer, Public Enemies, but with a much better cast, and more focused direction. Lawless may the ability to surpass Public Enemies in every way. For that, it will receive an Awesome.

Due out September 14th, Resident Evil: Retribution is the latest film in the franchise that has clearly become an annual Milla Jovovich paycheck. In the latest installment of the Resident Evil, Jovovich’s Alice wakes up in an Umbrella Corporation facility. More of her “mysterious” past is revealed to her as she explores the compound. Eventually, the film sees Alice chasing Umbrella around the globe, fighting to save humanity from a virus set loose that turns anyone it infects to a mindless, flesh-eating zombie. The trailer shows flashes of Alice’s companions and allies from previous films, including ones who were supposedly dead, as well as the villain, Albert Wesker, who was supposed to have been killed off at the end of the last film. It makes a viewer wonder what exactly the director, Paul W.S. Anderson has in store for us… it also makes one cringe at the vast similarities to the previous installments. You can’t help but feel as though if this film franchise has been separate from the video games, it might have done well. As it is, the final verdict is Cringe-worthy.

From the Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow comes a film that will surely tap into American patriotism. Zero Dark Thirty is a tale of the decade long manhunt for Osama bin Laden, starting with 9/11 and ending with his death during a SEAL Team Six raid of his compound in May 2011. The trailer itself is very formulaic. It runs fast paced and has redaction lines running throughout it constantly as you see various clips of agents analyzing data, soldiers running around, and dialog implying the importance of the mission. It’s actually very reminiscent of a Bourne trailer, and we know that Bigelow is capable of handling military drama/suspense given that her last movie was The Hurt Locker (for which she won her Oscar). One would hope that, with Bigelow at the helm, this film does not become another The Green Zone. Still, for now, this trailer ranks itself at Awesome.

Which of these movies are YOU looking forward to? Which of them looks cringe-worthy? What trailers would YOU like to see us review on the next Trailer Tuesday? Leave a comment below and let him & us know!

PFMChannel: Arrested Development Art Show at Gallery1988

In anticipation of the upcoming Netflix-produced fourth season of Arrested Development, Ben of The Pretentious Film Majors takes a trip out west to the Arrested Development art gallery opening at Gallery1988 in Los Angeles. While there, amongst the frozen bananas and blue handprints, Ben even discovers creator of the show Mitch Hurwitz!!

Additional Special Thanks to:
Jenna Dundas for the lower thirds
& Gallery1988 for hosting the event

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