Posts Tagged ‘Paramount Pictures’

Friday The 13th (1980) – Everybody Looking Forward To The Weekend

Posted 03 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Friday the 13th, USA, 1980

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham

Friday the 13th - a film that delivers what it promises. Alfred Hitchcock created the genre: the “slasher” picture. It was 1960, and the film was Psycho. If we wanted to stretch that fact, we can claim that the original slasher film was a small, yet admittedly scary, film called Peeping Tom, directed by Michael Powell. It was released only a few months before Psycho, but didn’t have nearly the same impact on audiences, or critics. Psycho soared to the top, and Peeping Tom was left to be later rediscovered and revered. Hitchcock, without intention, birthed a new era of horror film that wouldn’t come into its prime until 1974 with the release of Bob Clark’s Black Christmas.

Black Christmas redefined what Hitchcock had started, and set the rules in stone: a mentally unhinged masked killer stalks attractive teens and picks them off, one by one, in creative ways. After Black Christmas, then came John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), which cemented the popularity of the genre. After Halloween was a critical and financial success, studios ran with the idea that they could make money selling “dead teenager movies” (a term coined by Roger Ebert) to live teenagers. They were right, and in 1980, the first studio-backed slasher film was released. It was May 9th, and it was Friday the 13th. Read More

Kung Fu Panda 2 – More Black Than White

Posted 21 Jun 2011 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Kung Fu Panda 2, USA, 2011

Directed by Jennifer Yuh

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a 2011 3D American computer-animated action comedy film and the sequel to the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda. Perhaps the most important aspect of Kung Fu Panda 2 (and I never thought I would type this) is that the series is aging with its fans; so much so that I could expect Panda 3 to be the most adult of the series. They’ve already started exploring more personal themes than the last entry, which mostly took the themes of following your heart and believing in yourself and employed them. Here, the story deepens more than you might expect, dealing with themes of adoption, unrequited love, and acceptance of others. More importantly, the imagination of the film has grown tenfold.

Of course, there’s a bit of formula; you can’t escape the fact that it’s a kid’s movie, but it gets further away from the drama-killing formula that impeded the first film. When I sat down in the movie theater in 2008, I knew exactly what I was getting. It was going to be a film about a goofy “man-boy” (bear-cub?) panda who doesn’t quite belong, who gets a Jungian call to duty to learn kung fu and save his village. Here, that formula is side-stepped in favor of a generally engrossing and slightly depressing storyline. Po (voiced by Jack Black) finds out that he’s adopted and wants to find his biological parents, he’s in love with Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie), who may or may not share his feelings, and the entire country of China is under attack by a villain who has a cannon that shoots a blast so powerful it wipes out any trace of the kung fu that seems to be the nation’s bread-and-butter. So Po and his Furious Five – Tigress, Crane (voiced by David Cross), Mantis (voiced by Seth Rogen), Monkey (voiced by Jackie Chan), and Viper (voiced by Lucy Liu) – go off to defeat it; but how do you use kung fu to stop something that stops kung fu? “By finding inner peace,” Po’s mentor, Master Shinfu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman), tells him. That’s heavy. Read More

25 Year Anniversary Release of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Posted 08 Jun 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Essay, Film Industry News

By Rachel Menendez Any eighties kid is going to be excited, and perhaps a little shocked, to learn that August 2nd sees the release of the 25 year anniversary Blu-Ray and DVD version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Any eighties kid is going to be excited, and perhaps a little shocked, to learn that August 2nd sees the release of the 25 year anniversary Blu-Ray and DVD version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

It is hard to believe that it is 25 years since writer/director John Hughes gave us Ferris Bueller. To celebrate the occasion Paramount is releasing an anniversary version.

The anniversary version features special packaging and graphics as well as in-depth bonus material and features to take viewers behind the scenes and get a whole new perspective on this eighties classic.

The charming comedy centers around Matthew Broderick as a high school student and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and best bud Cameron (Alan Ruck), who ditch school to enjoy one perfect day as a kid with no responsibilities. The audience strap themselves in to enjoy Ferris’ wild adventures in the Windy City during a single, glorious day off. Read More

Rango

Posted 25 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Rango, USA, 2011

Directed by Gore VerbinskiRango film

I wasn’t prepared for Rango to be as dark as it was. Gore Verbinski has always been a director to dabble into life’s bigger questions with a lot of subtle ease, without losing the ostensibly fun side to his films, but, with this being an animated Nickelodeon production and all, I was blind-sided by the depth of John Logan’s screenplay and the heartfelt genuineness of Johnny Depp’s performance as a chameleon with an identity crisis. To be fair, the screenplay’s base elements are very standard – there is a formula, and you know where the film is headed as soon as it starts – but, to the film’s credit, everything that happens in between is remarkably intelligent.

And the whole thing feels like a painting. Gotta love that.

Consider that this one of the rare CGI films that pays respects to traditionally animated films; remember that Tangled (2010) was specifically designed to look like oil paintings and 2D animation. Rango achieves this without the oil painting angle, and does so seamlessly. I couldn’t point to one shot that didn’t look carefully rendered. I also had a hard time not picking out references to other films. I like movies that respect their elders. Nods to Star Wars, Raising Arizona (tell me that score doesn’t have echoes here), and obviously older westerns are everywhere. There’s even a certain cameo that ties the entire story together and references that by which the entire Western genre has come to be recognized. Read More

Thor – Let The Thunder Roll

Posted 06 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott MartinThor, The God of Thunder

Thor, USA, 2011

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Marvel movies know what they’re doing: clear action, sharp performances, and intelligent screenplays. Of course, the studio is allowed their mistakes after so many successes (here’s lookin’ at you, Iron Man 2), but more often than not, Marvel nails it, especially in their set-up for the long awaited Avengers film. We’ve had Iron Man, Black Widow and The Incredible Hulk, we’re getting Captain America, and now we have Thor – the god of thunder. Not just thunder, but lightening and fertility and strength (thanks, Wikipedia). And if anyone can embody fertility, strength, and inclement weather, it’s Chris Hemsworth. Tall, blond, beefy – he has to be the ideal casting – and in a film racked with political intrigue, light hearted hysteria, and Shakespearean grandeur, Kenneth Branagh has to be the ideal director. Read More