Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Transformers Meets the Gobot

Remember that cartoon series in the 1980's The Challenge of the GOBOTS? Yeah, theyre kinda like the Unitop version of Transformers, when actually Gobots came first. Anyway, the fame of Transformers has shrunk the Gobots totally. I think this video is based on actual events. Enjoy! (oh, and Johnny 5 from the movie Short Circuit also makes an appearance)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Hurt Locker

By Reymundo Salao

The Hurt Locker is a 2009 American war thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film is based on recently declassified information about a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD / bomb squad) team in present day Iraq. The Hurt Locker is written by Mark Boal, a freelance writer who was embedded with a bomb squad.

The world premiere of The Hurt Locker was at the 65th Annual Venice Film Festival, Venice, Italy, on September 4th, 2008 and appeared in several film festivals where it won several awards. It has only been theatrically released in the U.S. only lately (June 26, 2009). But copies of the movie have been available all around the net and the DVD stalls.

This is one movie which may not have the marketing power of other Hollywood movies, specifically because the actors on it are not very well-known. But make no mistake in underestimating this movie because this really is one really good war movie. A very realistic urban-action war actually, one that really reflects the goings-on in urban Iraq.

It was a good thing that the movie employed actors which are relatively unknown, so as in order to erase any familiarity from the audience which adds to the realistic semi-documentary appeal it has. On the other hand, there are also minor appearances by well known actors, Ralph Fiennes makes an appearance as a British soldier, and then there's also David Morse and Guy Pierce as soldiers as well.

This film really shows us how complicated is the situation of US soldiers in Iraq. A setting wherein it is thickly urban and they know for sure that a great number of their population is either secretly fighting against them, or at least sympathizing against them. This is a place where they can get really paranoid, and sometimes tend to push them over the edge. This is perhaps the reason why the main character (Sgt. James) played by Jeremy Renner is so charismatically appealing, it is that he keeps his cool and has that semi-suicidal personality. His character very much reminds me of Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon, a character who seems to have that fuck the world attitude deep inside him that is why he tends to joke around death and the possibility of being killed in action. This makes me think of it as a realistic Lethal Weapon set in real Iraq. At one point, this character takes off his entire body armor and declares that "there's enough explosives here to send us to Jesus, if I'm gonna die, I wanna die comfortable" which is probably one of my favorite lines in the movie, and clearly defines the character of our hero. If this was indeed Lethal Weapon, Anthony Mackie plays this movie’s Roger Murtaugh . Mackie plays the more human side of the three-man team. He is the one who is more worried of James’ recklessness and is constantly trying to take things far more cautiously than James.

Although the film gives us a realistic style of filmmaking as it sometimes employs a documentary video look, the movie also tends to shift into more stylish angles at times, beautiful shots from well-placed angles, and also the smart use of high-res slow-motion shots in few scenes. But it never ever deviates from the realism. There is a desert gunfight action scene, particularly a sniper battle which really shows us how complicated things can get in a sniper battle, such as the waiting before the target can be visible, and many other problems such as the jamming of guns, and such. There is also a gunfight battle that can get realistically brief. This movie is as realistic as real anti-terrorist action can be. This is straight-up serious action. No bullshit. This is one of those movies that really lets you step into the shoes of a soldier, and lets you join in on a tour of duty.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Upcoming Vampire movies & their High-Res Posters

So there's three upcoming Vampire movies. One, which is BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE has already opened in Metro Manila, maybe next week it will open here in Iloilo, but is yet to be released in the U.S. on July 10, 2009.

BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE is a live-action film adaptation of Blood: The Last Vampire, which was a critically acclaimed anime film about a girl named Saya who is a 400-year-old half human-half vampire who hunts full blooded vampires, both to rid the world of them and as they are her only source for food. She works with an organization known only as "The Council". Normally a loner, Saya forms a friendship with a young girl she meets at an American military base while preparing to battle Onigen, the highest ranking of the vampires.

Then, there's also this other film which is arguably NOT A VAMPIRE MOVIE actually because of many MANY reasonable things which I don't really need to enumerate right now. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is set to be officially released on November 20, 2009. Check out this NEW MOON poster, and notice that it kinda looks like one of those soap opera posters. New Moon sa Dramarama sa Hapon! hehehe

Then there's
DAYBREAKERS which is about
Edward Dalton who is a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world's population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.
DAYBREAKERS is set to be released January 8, 2010.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

By Reymundo Salao

Ever since the release of the first movie, Transformers is probably the biggest most profitable film franchise, currently the biggest goldmine in commercial cinema, anyone who is given directorial power over it is like given a godlike power. And as natural laws follow, when you give godlike powers to somebody who does not use it wisely, and uses it with reckless arrogance and overconfidence, the result of it is a horrendous tragedy.

I usually begin the review with a synopsis. But Transformers 2 needs no synopsis because a great number of you mind-numbed zombies are going to waste your hard-earned money to watch this movie anyway, regardless of a good or bad review. There is nothing I could say here that can stop the great numbers of people, specifically parents with their nagging children, and teenagers, from lining up and flocking to the theaters this week for this movie. I don’t need to explain what it’s about, because they obviously have an idea what this thing is about: big robots, big explosions, and sexy babes.

The other reason I’m not putting any synopsis is that this movie has no plot whatsoever. It is not a surprise coming from a Michael Bay movie, but this one is the winner of all his films. I may admit to liking his past films like The Rock or Bad Boys (as far as I can recall, the only really bad ones before this is Armageddon and Pearl Harbor), but this one is the champion, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is Michael Bay’s loudest and most dumbest movie ever made (only in close contest with Armageddon). Not only does this not have a plot, it rips off other movies as well: the metal balls of Aeon Flux, the used set of Indiana Jones, the myth of Stargate, the goof of the Star Wars Prequels, the human assassin robot just like the Terminator, and the Gundam-like Optimus Prime at the final battle, I can name several more rip-off scenes, they are so many that you swear this is as un-original as something that came off Mother Lily’s production.

Do not get me wrong, this movie will definitely be enjoyed by children, kids not older than 16, people with some difficulties in terms of basic normal intelligence, and people who just enjoy watching colorful dumb sh1t. Do not even argue that this is a kid’s movie so I should not watch it with a critic’s eye. Because you have movies like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Incredibles, Shark Boy and Lava Girl; those movies are also for kids, but at least they have a storyline, at the very least, these are movies that have some form of order and a decently smart sense. Even a single episode of Ben 10 or Scooby Doo has a far better and more coherent storytelling than this new Transformers movie.

Yes, there are many many things horribly wrong with this movie. The sequel introduces new robot characters, yet it does little or no effort at all to give them life. The only focus we get are on the corny ridiculous characters that are supposed to be funny. Imagine being reintroduced to not just one, but several Jar-jar Binkses. There is one robot character whose presence seems to just be highlighted by a dumb “humping-a-leg” joke, after that, it’s as if he already served his ultimate purpose and we don’t even see him in the movie anymore. There are other robots which exploit their humor from what appears to be a racist sense of humor; the robots with ebonics and the personality of the negro stereotype, and there’s the robot with a thick Italian accent.

The movie also does not focus on the main robot characters. We are not interested in Sam’s life, his roommate problems, or his girlfriend problems, neither are we interested or remotely amused by his parent’s corniness and how his mom gets high. There is an incredible amount of focus on Shia Lebouf’s character and an incredible lack of focus on the Transformers themselves. We only see or hear robot characters like Ironhide for a what seems to be just a few seconds, we never even got to know Ratchet or Sideswipe or the other Transformers. Optimus Prime himself feels like he is taking a backseat merely as a supporting secondary character. Spill.com’s C. Robert Cargill got it right when he reviewed this film saying this is like watching a Star Wars movie, but you’ll be hanging out with Jar-Jar Binks the whole time.

The design of the robots are already confusing, and with Bay employing needlessly stylistic and dizzying effects, the action looks blurred. Up to a point that many actions scenes look ugly. It's like watching a fistful of screws, bolts, and nails being poured into each other. All you see are pieces of metal crashing into each other---not robots fighting. Although there is that one sequence which is the forest battle wherein you think Bay has improved the way he directs the action in this movie, because the forest action sequence was an improvement: the fight was visible, it was clear what the robots are doing or how they fight. That was the only sequence where you think was a sign that Bay has improved, not until the action style resumes afterwards, back to the same old needless visual stylistics and shots too close to be visibly coherent.

The film is also badly edited. Sequences seem to be incoherently out of tone. One minute we have the main characters rushing to finish what they set out to do, the next minute, we see a scene where they lazily stare at the evening skies exchanging silly sweet lines.

Just when you think the movie could not go more idiotically ridiculous with the appearance of a "senior citizen" robot with an "old man" walking stick, the movie suddenly shifts to X-men universe as they suddenly teleport from America to Egypt. Whoa! Where did THAT come from? I thought we were just dealing here with robots that could change their physical form, now we have one that has the power to disappear and reappear in another distant location? Across the globe, I might add.

The movie is just flooded with corny jokes. The kind of jokes that are designed to impress people with low I.Q. The movie employs the lowest, dumbest form of humor, with vomit jokes, animals-having-sex jokes, and testicle jokes; the movie proves that it is designed for the kids of Generation Stupid. Transformers 2 proves that filling your movie with action, hot chicks, and big special effects is simply not enough to make it a movie good or enjoyable enough to watch.

This is the ultimate dumbing down of the epic sci-fi genre. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an excruciating waste of time in charmless action history, never could I imagine that a movie filled with great special effects, action, explosions, and even sexy chicks can also get so torturously boring. Halfway through the movie, I was already in pain and asking God when will this garbage end? I swear I had a headache watching it. Two and a half hours of pure Idiocy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Ang Panday with Bong Revilla in the works

Oh my Lord! Why can't Bong Revilla just stop trying to be Ang Panday?!!!

Jocelyn Dimaculangan of Philippine Entertainment Portal reports that Senator Bong Revilla (during the wake of Douglas Quijano last June 17) revealed that they are working on a new Ang Panday movie and added that the film was already 60 percent finished. As early as January 2009, teasers about the upcoming film Panday were already being screened in cinema houses.

The cast includes Iza Calzado and Rhian Ramos as the leading ladies. Philip Salvador will play Lizardo (which was originally played in the original Panday movies by the diabolically charming Max Alvarado), the cast will also include Geoff Eigenmann, among others. Revilla claims that this will be bigger than Exodusm Agimat, & Resiklo (he always claims his movies are bigger than the previous year's product).

Shooting locations are in Ilocos, Caliraya, Laguna, Tanay, Rizal, and Palawan. Revilla reveals that this movie will be sort of a prequel because this will focus on the beginnings of Flavio as a young boy, and also focuses on the origin of Lizardo.
Obviously, this will be (his) Imus Productions' entry to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.

SOURCE: Philippine Entertainment Portal

Once again, Revilla will surely make another ridiculous run as Ang Panday. Why cant he just focus on his own created characters like Exodus and Resiklo. Every year, he insists on being an action hero. Is he delusional so as to see himself as some sort of Schwarzenegger? Does he not see how ridiculous he looks the way he puts on his costumes which appear to be designed to ineffectively make him look like a prettyboy? When what he looks like is an old fart short fat pig! Delusional, obviously.

Why can't he just sit back and produce it and get an appropriate actor for the part? I adored Ang Panday when I was a kid. Revilla comes back to make piss all over one of my childhood heroes & is surely going to make it dumb. Am I just jumping to a conclusion? Or is this a well-calculated prediction? Just look at Revilla's past films and tell me if that is not a well-calculated prediction!

They should have gotten Jericho Rosales back, and a better scriptwriting team, producer (coz the TV series was just gad-awful), and a better director... But hey, that's Mainstream Tagalog Cinema for you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Orci & Kurtzman shares plans for the Next STAR TREK

At the Press Junket for Transformers 2, Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub of Collider.com was able to get some seriously geeky good info from the film's co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman who were also the screenwriters behind this summer's successful STAR TREK movie.

The answers, in detail, are all found in Weintraub's video blog (found here). But if you choose to just get to the point here are just the highlights:

* They don’t know if J.J. is directing the sequel - he’s still undecided
* They want to finish the sequel script by Christmas
* Paramount wants to make the film as soon as possible
* They’ve been reading what the fans have been saying online

And here’s the big info:

With regards to what kind of villain we’d get in the sequel, Weintraub asked if they’d set anything up in part two that might pay off in another film. They say they’re debating between “the exploration sci-fi plot where the unknown and nature itself is somehow an adversary or the villain model. That’s an active discussion we’re having right now. In terms of thinking about more than one movie, we want the movie to be self-contained in a way, but we’re discussing the idea of having a couple of threads where if the second movie works, you could pick up into a cohesive whole. No thread more exciting and shocking for me when in “Star Trek III” you realize that Spock grabbed Bones and downloaded his Katra into him. When I saw “Star Trek II” I was like, “What’s going on here?” and two years later, you’re watching it and you’re like “They’re geniuses! They’re geniuses!” So we’re trying to think is there a version of that but again, “Star Trek II” does not rely on that thread, even though it turns out to be a thread. So we’re thinking in those terms.”

Source: Collider.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Will Chris Nolan Return for Batman 3?

There had been recent reports (check out the complete report here on Batman-on-film.com) stating that "Batman Begins" & "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan might not come back to direct Batman 3. It seems to be just Batman Geek Paranoia at work. But there have been indications to support the possibility of the same, such as the fact that Nolan has not yet signed for the third movie.

IGN chatted with David Goyer recently about his new TV series FlashForward, which they barely had a chance to ask him about what's happening with Batman 3. It's not much, here's what he said:

"Well, I believe he said if we can find the story that he's happy with, that he would return. And unfortunately, respecting Chris… You know, talk to him after he finishes Inception, which he's shooting right now. That just started shooting. "

There you have it. Batman fanatics out there, there's no reason to cry out already. No reason to panic...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Test Screening Insider Review of the upcoming G.I. Joe movie?

a scene from the upcoming "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra"

Test Screening Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Originally Posted on June 14th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta from Slashfilm.com

Last week a post appeared on producer Don Murphy’s message board claiming that director Stephen Sommers had been fired from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura later provided damage control, calling the accusation “ridiculous,” refuting claims that the movie is a disaster by saying that “The movie tested very well…” I had also heard from a couple friends that Sommers had been thrown out of the editing room, but was unable to find anyone who would go on record. And bottom line is that Sommers supposedly has final cut. But is the movie the disaster that the anonymous message board posting eluded to? Or is it something more?

Back in March I received an anonymous email from someone calling himself “Dr. Drew” (we’ll assume this isn’t the same Dr. Drew who is on Love Line or Celebrity Rehab). Drew told me that he had just seen a test screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and would like to submit a reader review. I told the Doctor that I was interested and made a comment on Twitter about having one of the first GI Joe reviews. A rep from Paramount contacted me and was quick to verify that a test screening had taken place the night before, in the same location my tipper claimed to screen the movie.

But before I had a review in hand, Dr. Drew stopped responding. I sent him a bunch of e-mails, but he vanished into the darkness. I joked with other journalist friends that Paramount somehow killed the story. When the Sommer news hit last week, I thought I’d reach out to Dr. Drew once again. I was curious… is the film really THAT bad? Or is Lorenzo telling the truth? Did the film actually test really well?

The Doctor got back to me and explained that he had never gotten my previous emails (intercepted by Paramount? probably not… Lost in the interwebs? more likely). What did Dr. Drew think of the movie? Full details after the jump.

First I want to warn you that this is one man’s (not even a movie critic) thoughts on an early unfinished print of the film. Visual effects were not complete, sound not finished, and the final film could be entirely different. Some films have tested horribly, only to be reedited/finished, and released to acclaim. My point is, a lot could be changed from the time this screened in the time this screened in March up until the August theatrical release. Now that I’ve given you the context, here is the reader review:

“As far as Sommers’ being shit-canned, I wouldn’t be surprised after seeing the rough cut; it’s not exactly on par with the Paramount/summer blockbuster standard established with Iron Man, Transformers, and Star Trek. Quite frankly, I’d be embarrassed to have Transformers 2 be released, G.I. Joe two weeks later, and both with the Paramount Mountain opening up the credits. I hope you find something interesting to pull out of this, I don’t exactly write reviews and tried not to spoil too much…

As far as summer blockbusters go, you could say I’m a aficionado of the kind. Although I’m well-read in the history of film and seek out indies, oscar fare, and of the such, blockbusters are where my heart’s at. I loved Star Trek; I saw it 3 times, I think it’s magical, I think it has that special something that blockbusters rarely hit (although I do think Iron Man and Transformers found it last summer). I thought Wolverine lacked a well thought out narrative and it might have been fun but I couldn’t get past the mess of character organization and lack of direction from one action to another. But I’d watch it again. And Terminator Salvation I didn’t find nearly half as bad as everyone else; I can acknowledge the criticism it received but I really enjoyed it, nothing I can really rave about but it entertained me enough that I wasn’t able to pay attention to the flaws.

The thing with G.I. Joe is that it tries to have the same spirit and flavor as Transformers–it’s really evident… but an ultimate failure. And people can talk shit about Michael Bay until the cows come home but when you watch something like G.I. Joe it does go to show the talent, craft, and attention to quality Bay can bring to an otherwise silly idea.

The movie has extremely cartoonish and, at times, theatrically silly aspects; for example, over-the-top characters, endless one liners, and visually farfetched technology and set pieces. However, it tries fiercely to ground itself in reality and in society’s current global climate. It’s with that grounding that the movie actually redeems itself quite a bit–but not too much. The G.I. Joes–as an organization–veer off from the hyper Americana reputation that it’s known for; G.I. Joe is a top secret branch of NATO that recruits members from all over the world. Within that aspect, a handful of somewhat interesting ideas are produced that could interpret somewhat interesting commentaries of our world as a global community… The only thing I got out of it was a debate with the person I went to the screening with about the state of government and the world; but not exactly tied with the movie. Really though, it’s not worth the brain stretch as essentially the movie’s purpose is to sell toys (and I’m guessing it will as many characters have different costumes throughout the film, along with various vehicles).

As far as the story goes, there’s not much to be told. G.I. Joe clings to dear live on a MacGuffin of a suitcase containing warheads filled with self-replicating, destructive nano-bots, which continuously shifts ownership between the G.I. Joes and the soon to be Cobra Command. And that’s the story, “who’s got the nano-bot warheads?” And that starts immediately as the film begins, right after a 1700’s(?) era backstory explaining James McCullen Destro XXIV / Destro; we’ve all seen this before (Wolverine) and it does little but two things–jack and shit.

Anyways, even though the CG was incomplete in my screening, the action is pretty great. The chase scene with Tatum and Wayans in the Iron Man suits is particularly well done. But rest assured as I’ve noticed a fear online that those suits play a big role; they don’t, they’re used in that scene and that scene only. Basically the biggest drain on this picture is the acting; even Dennis Quaid is cringe-worthy. But the worst has to be Sienna Miller—do not be surprised if anyone (or everyone) in the cast get’s Razzie noms. But with Miller’s character, she wears sunglasses half the movie, delivers normal lines as if they’re one liners, and just cheeses everything up. Snake Eyes may be the best part of the movie (not because he doesn’t have any lines, that’s only a coincidence) as whenever he’s onscreen, he’s doing something interesting.

Really, I don’t know how half the shit (lines delivered) made it to the editing room. Cobra Commander (or “The Doctor” as he’s known the entire movie) may be the most laughable part of the movie. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt but I’ll be god damned if this character isn’t the most ridiculous thing to come out since Lord Zedd of Power Rangers fame and (spoiler follows, highlight the invis-o-text to reveal) doesn’t actually become Cobra Commander (with the full-head mask) until the last five minutes.

All in all, it’ll be interesting to see how this movie reacts with audiences because it is a high quality production but the talent involved doesn’t match up, and the “toys” aren’t exactly believable.

There were laughs (some at jokes, some at sight gags, and of course at the expense of Snake Eye’s silence), a few cringes from older audience members (like I said before, the one-liners don’t stop), and a general engagement (but not really any type of energy or excited in the air). When the picture ended, there wasn’t really any chatter about the movie. We were given surveys questioning the film in great detail but most people just flew through them and left. It was a so-so experience from the audience perspective. There wasn’t much excitement from the audience afterward.”

It doesn’t sound like the epic disaster that was painted in that post on the Don Murphy message board, but it also doesn’t sound good…

SOURCE: Slashfilm.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reports Indicating G.I.JOE movie to be really BAD?

Latino Review re-posted an anonymous message board story alleging terrible things were happening between director Stephen Sommers and the producers of 'G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra'. They also said their sources were corroborating the story on some level. The upshot of the report was that Sommers had been dismissed from post-production after a disastrous test screening.

Various Reports say several really bad things about the film from a few informed sources. Common word is that it is a disaster for Paramount, and that a lot of unplanned post-production work was done to amp up the action and excitement factors and possibly just to make the thing watchable. No wonder the movie is set to be released on August, a month where it cannot compete with any other big action-adventure/sci-fi movie. Just one look at that costume Duke is wearing, and it instantly reminds me of The Power Rangers or Captain Power.

Russ Fischer from Slashfilm reports about these stories:
The condensed version goes like this: A disastrous test screening led production exec Brad Weston to push for Sommers’ firing. Stuart Baird was brought in to rework the edit, while producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura was also let go from the project. (di Bonaventura getting the boot seems unlikely.) There’s a lot of talk in the post about how di Bonaventura and Sommers didn’t know anything about ‘the mythology’ and how that led (somehow) to the ruin of the film. The ‘didn’t know the mythology’ argument seems like a fanboy straw man as the issue doesn’t seem to be that the movie is bad by GI Joe standards, but by any standard. Jeff Wells quotes an unnamed source that says Sommers “was given total freedom but he melted down and has made the biggest bomb in many a moon.” Again, not a bad GI Joe movie, but a bad movie, period.

If Paramount had a solid action movie on their hands that wasn’t going to please the franchise’s core base, the studio could still do fine marketing it to the mass audience that doesn’t really care, as long as things are blowing up and Sienna Miller is wearing leather. Meanwhile, I have zero concern over the film one way or the other. Despite a basket full of bad efforts, I’m still willing to hope, no matter how unlikely it seems, that the Stephen Sommers of Deep Rising will show himself once again. And there’s always Joseph Gordon-Levitt to anticipate as Cobra Commander, dumb mask and all.

Update: Refutation or damage control? Latino Review spoke to Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who had this to say:

"…it’s completely untrue he was never asked to leave or been fired or any of that. That’s ridiculous. The movie tested very well…We had three test screenings, three different times and tested it and each time it just got better and better. We started off in a good place and we ended up in even in a better place, which is what you hope on a film from testing it."

And on what happened in the editing room:

"Nothing that doesn’t happen on every other movie, which is that you constantly work and work and work and you make it better and better. We had a delay on visual effects so we waited a long time to finish the movie but that’s the only thing. I don’t really know why that would be interpreting it negatively but I guess it was."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Filipino Director (Brillante Mendoza) Victorious at the Cannes Film Festival

Brilliante Mendoza was acclaimed best director for his film Kinatay at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in Paris, France, (last May 25). This was the second consecutive year that he fielded an entry, his entry last year to the filmfest’s main competition was "Serbis". Mendoza won over big name directors like Quentin Tarantino (for "Inglourious Basterds"), Pedro Almodovar ("Los Abrazos Rotos"), Ang Lee ("Taking Woodstock"), Jane Campion ("Bright Star") and Lars von Trier ("AntiChrist").

The complete list of the 62nd Cannes Filmfest winners as released by the Associated Press is as follows:

Palme d’Or (Golden Palm): The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke (Austria)
Grand Prize: A Prophet by Jacques Audiard (France)
Jury Prize: Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold (Britain) and Thirst by Park Chan-wook (South Korea)
Special Prize: Alain Resnais
Best Director: Brilliante Mendoza for Kinatay (Philippines)
Best Actor: Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (US)
Best Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg for Anti-Christ (Denmark)
Best Screenplay: Feng Mei for Spring Fever (China)
Camera d’Or (first-time director): Samson and Delilah by Warwick Thornton (Australia)
Best Short Film: Arena by Joao Salaviza (Portugal)

Three other Filipino films were entries in this year’s Cannes Filmfest. These are:

–Independencia by Raya Martin for the Section Un Certain Regard.
–Manila by Raya Martin and Adolfo Alix Jr.
–Sabungero by Fil-Am Janice Perez in the short film corner.

In 2007, Mendoza entered "Foster Child" in the Directors’ Fortnight. In 2000, a film by Raymond Red, "Anino", won the Palme d’Or for Short Film.

Mendoza's Victory at Cannes was Underpublicized

MAY 24, 2009 : Filipino wins Cannes FilmFest BEST DIRECTOR
by Reymundo Salao

what's so sad is that while this news was up, the entire country was so engrossed over, and its media stubbornly focused upon the idiotic Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho Scandal, which is clearly an insignificant topic overblown by the mainstream media's craving for sensationalism.
While the mainstream media and the Filipino people has been busy feeding on something which is actually quite normal in the little world of immoral spoiled-brat celebrities, a Filipino has already won something that is supposed to bring great honor to the nation... but not many were able to pay attention, not many chose to pay attention, and not many were interested in this news. Even I, admittedly, was late on the news. If you ask my opinion, there is many to blame. ABS-CBN, GMA, even the Philippine Entertainment Portal, which is supposedly a movie news site, did not give much attention to the Cannes victory news. The mainstream media are the ones who knows what news to give to the public, and apparently, what the mainstream media is interested in seems to be not on the task of paying attention to what should be relevant, instead they focus on the things that continue to corrupt Filipino culture. And believe me, that fucking scandal corrupts our culture. Blame also the government officials who waste their time and a good amount of taxpayer's money over it.

Believe me when I say that I kick myself in the ass for being so late with this news. I was quick to post the newest Hollywood news, but with the biggest Filipino news for Philippine Cinema for all history... I was late??? Shameful. And I call myself as somebody who is a Film Junkie... shame on me... But what the fuck... Local media was just crazy over the Kho-Halili Scandal while the Movie Websites were all just blabbering about the positive onslaught of Summer movies. At least, as I mentioned above, at least, I have somebody to blame, coz hey, unlike THEM, I do not have MuCH resources like reporters, etc to bring you movie news that matter.

Well, FUCK THEM, and let's be better late than never...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nispel to direct CONAN

Marcus Nispel to direct 'Conan' remake
[source: variety.com]

Marcus Nispel has been set by Nu Image/Millennium Films to direct "Conan," ending a nine-year development ordeal to reinvent the Robert E. Howard-created barbarian first immortalized onscreen by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982.

Production on the remake is set to start late this year in Bulgaria and South Africa. The film will be the most financially ambitious ever for Lerner, with a script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, whose credits include "Sahara" and "Cowboys and Aliens."

Paradox originally set the project at Warner Bros. but declined to ink a new rights deal after numerous unsuccessful attempts to make it with directors like Larry and Andy Wachowski and Robert Rodriguez. Malmberg then set it with Lerner in a seven-figure deal with strong progress to production stipulations. Lerner flirted with Brett Ratner last year, but the filmmaker could not commit in a timely fashion and Lerner couldn't wait. That opened the door for Nispel, who'll make "Conan" his third redo, after "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th." For Nispel, "Conan" is a job he has dreamed about since his childhood.

Nispel said he will blend his childhood imaginings of the character with the influence of the famous Conan illustrations by Frank Frazetta, and the influence of such viscerally violent period films as Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto."

"Conan" maintains a following through such ancillary properties as a Dark Horse comicbook series, a vidgame for Xbox 360 and a Funcom/Eidos multiplayer online role-playing game.


I'm just glad that this project is off Ratner's hands. And Nispel looks like a decent director. His ties with violent movies has somewhat given us the idea that this movie will probably be straight-up barbarian action just like how John Milius' first Conan movie shocked the film industry.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Image of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash for Upcoming IRON MAN 2

IRON MAN 2 is well on the way for a Summer 2010 release and this (first) image of Mickey Rourke as the villain Whiplash has been released over the internet.

Whiplash sports a power pack on his chest that looks similar to the one used by Iron Man. "The technologies are definitely related," says director Jon Favreau. "That's part of the core theme of the film." The villain's alter ego, Ivan Vanko, is a Russian who "has constructed his own version of a suit," Favreau says. Among the creative innovations: a pair of whips, powered by the suit's glowing chest piece, that are expected to keep Iron Man cracking.

The rest of the cast have already been named.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Virginia "Pepper" Potts,
Don Cheadle will play Lt. Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes / The War Machine, as he is replacing Terrence Howard from the first film. Howard said, "There was no explanation [...] apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren't worth the paper that they're printed on, sometimes. Promises aren't kept, and good faith negotiations aren't always held up." Entertainment Weekly stated Favreau had not enjoyed working with Howard, often reshooting and cutting his scenes; Howard's publicist said he had a good experience playing the part, while Marvel chose not to comment. As Favreau and Theroux chose to minimize the role, Marvel came to Howard to discuss lowering his salary – Howard was the first actor hired in Iron Man and earned the largest salary of the cast. The publication stated they were unsure whether Howard's representatives left the project first or if Marvel chose to stop negotiating. Theroux denied the part of the report stating "the role of War Machine was scaled back and then beefed up". Cheadle only had a few hours to accept the role and did not even know what storyline Rhodes would undergo. He commented he is a comic book fan, but felt there are not enough black superheroes.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury: Jackson initially had financial problems with Marvel and was unsure about reprising the part of Fury (he appeared in the first Iron Man movie, at the scene found at the tail of the end credits), until they reached a deal that would entail his appearance in nine films as the character.

New Characters
Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer: Rockwell was considered for the role of Tony Stark in the first film, and he accepted the role of Hammer without reading the script. He had never heard of the character before he was contacted about the part, and was unaware Hammer is an old man in the comics, whereas in the film he will be around Stark's age.
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow: Johansson was cast after a scheduling conflict forced Emily Blunt to drop out of the part.
Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan: The Director of this movie, who is also a talented comedian and actor who also played Franklin "Froggy" Nelson in the Daredevil movie takes on the role of Tony Stark's chauffeur & personal assistant.
John Slattery as Howard Stark, Tony's father

The film will be released on May 7, 2010.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

"Kinatay" is Extraordinary, according to Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino described Brillante Mendoza's Kinatay as "extraordinary"
by Jocelyn Dimaculangan

SOURCE: Philippine Entertainment Portal

Brillante Mendoza already brought honor to the Philippines when his film Foster Child was included in the Director's Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. He once again showcased Filipino talent when his previous film, Serbis, became an official entry in 2008.

This year, his film Kinatay (The Execution of P) was able to enter the main competition of the 62nd Cannes IFF, making him the first Filipino director to bring a film to competition at Cannes two years in a row.

Not only that, Direk Brillante was named the Best Director for his work on Kinatay. This ranks him among past winners such as Martin Scorsese for the film After Hours (1986) and Ingmar Bergman for the film Brink of Life (1958).

The Filipino filmmaker managed to impress not only the judges of Cannes but also his fellow contender, Quentin Tarantino.

In 2007, Tarantino arrived in the Philippines to receive the Lifetime Achievement award during the 9th edition of the Cinemanila International Film Festival. He is familiar with Pinoy movies, especially the works of Cirio Santiago.

Tarantino (whose best known works include Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction) defended Kinatay, the Filipino film that received both praise and harsh comments from critics covering Cannes.

In the website of Metro France, an article titled J'ai trouvé Kinatay extraordinaire was posted on May 22, 2009. In this piece, Tarantino revealed that he found Kinatay to be "extraordinary."

Incidentally, last year's Cannes jury head, Hollywood actor-director Sean Penn, also had the same observation about the Pinoy film Serbis. In his letter to Direk Brillante, Sean wrote: "I was glad to speak with you at the closing night of the festival. Serbis is something extraordinary."

Here is the translation of the interview of Quentin at the aforementioned website, which posted the original article in French:

Metro France: You know already [all the good things] that people say about Inglorious Bastards. Quentin Tarantino remains one of the biggest cineastes of his generation. A well informed cinephile also, who has spent much time in Cannes theaters these past few days...

Is there a film that you've particularly liked since you arrived?
"I can't really speak about the other films in competition because if I mention two, they will ask me why I didn't mention two more! But if there is one that I would gladly defend, it's Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza because it seems [to be] receiving the worst critics up to now. But me, I found it extraordinary."

Precisely, what is your critique [of the film]?
"For a film that puts you in the witness position, I believed it from the beginning to the end, an impression strengthened by the fact that the story is told in real time. The situation is at the same time horrible and ordinary, almost boring. And it is rather crazy that such a thing could be boring! In some aspects, Kinatay reminded me of Outrages, the film of Brian de Palma. We are witnesses of a murder of this prostitute in Manila, a "disposable" being, if we refer to the world she lives in. And the filmmaker [makes] us aware of her humanity, showing her pain. I also adored the flight in the car, in the dark, exciting because we can make out the forms and the sounds."

Do you still go as often to the movies?
"From age 17 to 22, I was filling up a detailed list of all the films I would see in a year. I was averaging 197 to 202 per year and at that time I was broke! I am doing much less today. In real life, my own movies get in the way and one has to be a journalist to see so much!"

Friday, June 05, 2009

David Carradine dies at 72

Actor David Carradine found dead in Bangkok (AP)
Associated Press writer Polly Anderson and Entertainment Writers Erin Carlson and Jake Coyle in New York contributed to this report.

BANGKOK - Actor David Carradine, a born seeker and cult idol who broke through as the willing student called "grasshopper" in the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu" and decades later as leader of an assassin squad in "Kill Bill," was found dead Thursday in Thailand. Police said he appeared to have hanged himself.

The officer responsible for investigating the death, Lt. Teerapop Luanseng, said the 72-year-old actor had been staying in a suite at the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel. "I can confirm that we found his body, naked, hanging in the closet," Teerapop said. He said police suspected suicide. A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, Michael Turner, said the embassy was informed by Thai authorities that Carradine died either late Wednesday or early Thursday. "We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and his loved ones," he said.

Carradine came from an acting family. His father, John, made a career playing creepy, eccentric characters in film and on stage. His brothers Keith, Robert and Bruce also became actors. Actress Martha Plimpton is Keith Carradine's daughter. "My Uncle David was a brilliantly talented, fiercely intelligent and generous man. He was the nexus of our family in so many ways, and drew us together over the years and kept us connected," Plimpton said Thursday. Carradine was "in good spirits" when he left the U.S. for Thailand on May 29 to work on the movie "Stretch," said Tiffany Smith of Binder & Associates, his managers.

"David was excited to do it and excited to be a part of it," she said by phone from Beverly Hills, noting that Carradine was the sole featured American in the movie, whose other top cast members were French and Chinese. "When he was on a set he was in heaven." Filming on the thriller by French director Charles de Meaux began Tuesday, she said, adding that the crew was devastated by Carradine's death and did not wish to speak publicly about it for the time being.

"It is shocking to me that he is no longer with us," said Michael Madsen, who played an assassin in "Kill Bill. I have so many great memories of David that I wouldn't even know where to begin," he said. "He has a very special place in my heart."

The Web site of the Thai newspaper The Nation said Carradine could not be contacted after he failed to appear for a meal with the rest of the film crew on Wednesday, and that his body was found by a hotel maid Thursday morning. It said a preliminary police investigation found that he had hanged himself with a cord used with the suite's curtains and that there was no sign that he had been assaulted. Police said Carradine's body was taken to a hospital for an autopsy that would be done Friday.

Carradine appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby. One of his early film roles was as folk singer Woody Guthrie in Ashby's 1976 biopic, "Bound for Glory." But he was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest traveling the 1800s American frontier West in the TV series "Kung Fu," which aired in 1972-75.

"I wasn't like a TV star in those days, I was like a rock 'n' roll star," Carradine said in an interview with Associated Press Radio in 1996. "It was a phenomenon kind of thing. ... It was very special." Actor Rainn Wilson, star of TV's "The Office," tweeted about Carradine's death on Twitter: "R.I.P. David Carradine. You were a true hero to so many of us children of the 70s. We'll miss you, Kwai Chang Caine."

Carradine reprised the role in a mid-1980s TV movie and played Caine's grandson in the 1990s syndicated series "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues." He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill." Bill, the worldly father figure of a pack of crack assassins, was a shadowy presence in 2003's "Kill Bill - Vol. 1." In that film, one of Bill's former assassins (Uma Thurman) begins a vengeful rampage against her old associates, including Bill. In "Kill Bill - Vol. 2," released in 2004, Thurman's character catches up to Bill. The role brought Carradine a Golden Globe nomination as best supporting actor.

Bill was a complete contrast to Caine, the soft-spoken refugee from a Shaolin monastery, serenely spreading wisdom and battling bad guys in the Old West. He left after three seasons, saying the show had started to repeat itself. "David's always been kind of a seeker of knowledge and of wisdom in his own inimitable way," his brother, actor Keith Carradine, said in a 1995 interview.

After "Kung Fu," Carradine starred in the 1975 cult flick "Death Race 2000." He starred with Liv Ullmann in Bergman's "The Serpent's Egg" in 1977 and with his brothers in the 1980 Western "The Long Riders." But after the early 1980s, he spent two decades doing mostly low-budget films. Tarantino's films changed that. "All I've ever needed since I more or less retired from studio films a couple of decades ago ... is just to be in one," Carradine told The Associated Press in 2004.

"There isn't anything that Anthony Hopkins or Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery or any of those old guys are doing that I couldn't do," he said. "All that was ever required was somebody with Quentin's courage to take and put me in the spotlight." One thing remained a constant after "Kung Fu": Carradine's interest in Asian herbs, exercise and philosophy. He wrote a personal memoir called "Spirit of Shaolin" and continued to make instructional videos on tai chi and other martial arts.

In the 2004 interview, Carradine talked candidly about his past boozing and narcotics use, but said he had put all that behind him and stuck to coffee and cigarettes. "I didn't like the way I looked, for one thing. You're kind of out of control emotionally when you drink that much. I was quicker to anger."

"You're probably witnessing the last time I will ever answer those questions," Carradine said. "Because this is a regeneration. It is a renaissance. It is the start of a new career for me.

"It's time to do nothing but look forward."


By Reymundo Salao

Christine Brown is an ambitious young loan officer who is striving for promotion to the position of Assistant Manager in the company she works for. Her boss tells her that he is yet to decide and the position requires somebody who is capable of making tough decisions. A mysterious old lady, Mrs. Ganush arrives at her office to beg for an extension on her home loan. This is one tough decision for Christine to rule upon, so she eventually denies the extension, showing her boss that she is indeed capable of making tough decisions. Mrs. Ganush, after having felt humiliated when her begging proved futile, held a grudge against Christine and gave her a curse. The curse of the Lamia, wherein which its victims will be harassed by a demonic spirit, and after three days of tormenting her, the demon Lamia will claim and drag her to hell to burn for all eternity.

In the wider mainstream of moviegoers, Sam Raimi is known as the director of the Spider-man movies. But to those more familiar with his reputation, Raimi's greatness as a director is marked by his Evil Dead movies (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness) It is this year that Raimi returned to the genre that made him one of the greatest cinematic masters, that which is the Horror Genre, with his new movie DRAG ME TO HELL.

This is the kind of horror movie that is definitely designed for more of a fun scare. There have been many horror movies out there which are made in order to really give you nightmares and even render you sleepless, horror movies that disturb you to the point of creating psychological trauma. Not this movie. This is a movie that you can get a fun thrill much like how some people would like to go to carnival rides or rollercoaster rides. DMTH may be disgusting in a more comedic, almost-"Looney Tunes - humor" kind of way, but it is never brutal. His horror is more wholesome, while it does maintain a certain high degree of fear factor. This is more of a horror movie which has a very 80's movie feel (take for example movies like Gremlins or Critters), which means that it can get really really scary at some parts but can also get really funny at times, definitely the kind of movie designed for the pure fun of watching a horror flick. And because of this, the movie really is something you can bring your kids to. But that's not to say that this is a kid's movie, because it does indeed tend to be dark and gritty in some aspects of it.

In a Sam Raimi movie, even the monsters find themselves in clumsy, awkward situations. This is just one example of how such a horror movie can also be absolutely hilarious. The oddball humor is just so funny that even now, as I look back at the movie's funniest moments, I break my own silence with a delightful snicker. Raimi employs simple practical tricks that still work in the current horror trends. This is not a big production, yet it delivers in a powerful scale its entertainment value.

One would notice that there is very little use of elaborate special effects. Some of the special effects seem to be suspiciously been rendered badly in an intentional manner, perhaps Raimi wants his special effects to look bad in order to have uniformity with the 80's B-movie style and feel of the film. They even managed to use the old Universal Pictures logo, the one used in the 1980s when director Sam Raimi got started in the horror genre with the first two Evil Dead movies. If you are a big fan of Army of Darkness or Evil Dead, you will definitely love this movie, as Raimi injects familiar styles in the movie that are so reminiscent of the format used in Evil Dead, the voice format for the possessed, the animal possession, the awkwardly floating possessed, and the fist-fighting monster; quirky, but absolutely superb.

Alison Lohman as the main character Christine was great in her role, and she is indeed appropriate in order to give her the kind of image that will make the audience immediately sympathize with her character regardless of what she does in the movie. On the otherhand, she also effectively shifts into bad-ass mode when we get to the scenes where she fights back the scary old lady trying to get to her. But Lorna Raver as the scary Mrs. Ganush really held the spotlight for me, a menacing character which can get really funny at times. I was definitely wanting to see more scenes with her in the movie.

All in all, DRAG ME TO HELL is a movie definitely worth watching. An ultimately FUN movie, in my opinion, if you indeed wanna laugh, you should watch this one instead of Night at the Museum 2. A movie that is conveniently destined to be another Sam Raimi classic. This movie is highly recommendable as a movie to be watched with a group of friends, because this is one horror movie that can make you laugh, cheer, and even scream.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Robert Rodriguez wants Schwarzenegger for PREDATORS

Rodriguez wants Schwarzenegger for the PREDATOR Sequel
It has actually been quite a while now since news broke out that a new PREDATOR movie is set to be filmed, and would be directed by Robert Rodriguez. The new film is actually entitled PREDATORS and it will not be a reboot, remake or prequel. Instead, the source says the director's camp has indicated it will be a sequel to John McTiernan’s PREDATOR movie (the one with Schwarzenegger). As we said last month Robert did flesh out a Predator 3 script a decade ago but Fox chose not to go through with it because of budget concerns. This new project will likely take some of the story elements from that original idea. In addition, Rodriguez wants Arnold Scwarzenegger to be in the film, playing his character (Major Dutch Schaefer) in the first movie. PREDATORS is set for a July 2010 release. Click Here to read the FULL STORY.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Scott reveals a new ALIEN breeding

At the press junket last May 29 for “The Taking of Pelham 123", director Tony Scott confirmed that there would indeed be a new ALIEN movie.
The big news is he confirmed Carl Rinsch would be directing it and that it’s a prequel to his brother Ridley’s classic!


If you ask me, if they would make a prequel to ALIENS, it should have been appropriate that its creator RIDLEY SCOTT HIMSELF should direct it, let this not go the same route as Star Wars!