Michael Jackson Film: New Details, Release Date

August 21, 2009

Michael Jackson at the 02More info on the film I first reported on here.

The Times:

The documentary compiled from Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for the concert series he was preparing when he died will be released in theaters earlier than expected and will be shown for only two weeks. In a news release, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment said that the documentary, called “Michael Jackson THIS IS IT,” would open on Oct. 28, two days sooner than originally announced, and that tickets for the film would go on sale Sept. 27 in most cities. The movie will be directed by Kenny Ortega, the director and choreographer who was working with Mr. Jackson on his planned “This Is It” concerts, a series of 50 shows that Mr. Jackson was to have performed at London’s O2 Arena beginning in July. Sony, which paid $60 million for the film in a deal between the studio, the Jackson estate and the concert promoter AEG Live, said the documentary would draw upon more than 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage and rehearsals shot between April and June.

I suspect Sony is using the “limited release” threat to drum up sales and I wouldn’t be surprised if the planned two-week run was miraculously extended if the ticket sales (which they are conveniently starting a month before hand) are high.

Needless to say, I WILL SEE THIS.

“Avatar” Teaser Trailer Premiers (!!!!1!!)

August 20, 2009

avatar_posterThe teaser trailer to James Cameron’s much-hyped uber-real 3-D film, “Avatar”, has premiered.

The 2-minute spot has got some great action and a healthy sampling of the film’s special effects. Judging by James Cameron’s previous CGI-heavy ventures – namely, “T2” and “The Abyss” – I’m sure the special effects, coupled with the new 3-D technology, will make for an absolutely amazing visual experience.

Head over to Apple.com (where they’ve been touting a to-the-minute countdown for the past 5 days) to watch it in HD.

“Avatar” comes out December 18, when the collective heads of the geek-iverse will explode.

More: Official site

Opening Today: “District 9”

August 14, 2009

district_9_movie_poster“District 9” promos (trailer below) have been playing in pretty heavy rotation (not to mention the viral marketing) – and I don’t know about you – but it struck me as something that would be totally mindless, stupid eye candy.

However, reviews are starting to suggest otherwise. For example:

From the New York Observer‘s review titled, “District 9 Blew My Mind“:

Consider District 9 to be the anti–G.I. Joe. […] District 9 was made on a relatively lean budget ($30 million), with no well-known actors and a 29-year-old director named Neill Blomkamp (who? Exactly.) And yet, District 9 is the most exciting science fiction movie to come along in ages; definitely the most thrilling film of the summer; and quite possibly the best film I’ve seen all year.

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly called the film, “madly original, cheekily 
 political, [and] altogether exciting” before bestowing it with a rare “A” grade.

And A.O. Scott writing in The New York Times:

““District 9” subtly shifts from speculative science fiction to zombie bio-horror and then, less subtly, turns into an escape-action-chase movie full of explosions, gunplay and vehicular mayhem. In the midst of it all you almost take for granted the carefully rendered details of the setting, the tightness of the editing and the inventiveness of the special effects. Not the least of these are the aliens themselves, who are made expressive and soulful without quite being anthropomorphized.”

More reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, where it holds a perfect, 100% Top Critics’ Score!

Second “Where The Wild Things Are” Trailer Premieres

August 7, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

To be released October 16, 2009.

Trailer: “The Lovely Bones”

August 6, 2009

This looks very interesting. From the press release:

Based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, and directed by Oscar® winner Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Jackson & Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens, “The Lovely Bones” centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Oscar® nominee Mark Wahlberg and Oscar® winners Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon star along with Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli and Oscar® nominee Saoirse Ronan.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Interesting confluence of genres, no?

Opening Today: “In The Loop”

July 24, 2009

This movie somehow completely escaped me:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Awl collected some choice reviews:

New York Daily News: “It would be a perfectly respectable use of this space to do nothing more than rave about the collected works of British television genius Armando Iannucci. However, then we wouldn’t have room to laud his first foray into film, which happens to be one of the sharpest satires in years.”

New York Times: “The plot is as intricate and elegant as a computer circuit board, though at times it looks more like a tangle of crossed wires. The short summary is that everybody betrays everybody else, that opportunism trumps idealism and that telling the truth is a matter of tactical calculation rather than ethical imperative…. The audience, meanwhile, is likely to die laughing. While ‘In the Loop’ is a highly disciplined inquiry into a very serious subject, it is also, line by filthy line, scene by chaotic scene, by far the funniest big-screen satire in recent memory.”

Boston Globe
: “‘In the Loop’ is that rare film utterly without heroes; instead, it amasses a group of boobs, users, and charlatans on both sides of the Atlantic and asks us to recognize our duly elected and appointed officials. You’ll laugh until you bleed, or vice versa.”

Los Angeles Times
: “Violently verbose and startlingly impolite, with shovelfuls of obscenities, “In the Loop” is the most savage, biting political satire on the big screen in years.”

And finally, the Guardian, noting the UK release of the DVD: “This is so far ahead of other current comedies that I had more laughs from the 27 minutes of deleted scenes than any other full-length movie this year.”

Sign me up!

More: Rotten Tomatoes (93%!) | Trailer Addict (Clips, additional trailers, and deleted scenes)

Teaser Trailer: Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland”

July 22, 2009
Vodpod videos no longer available.

A tad too much CGI, in my opinion.

“Alice In Wonderland” will be released March 5, 2010.