Archives for posts with tag: movies

Sharknado

The people have spoken! Five thousand fans helped decide the title of the highly anticipated “Sharknado” sequel via Twitter, and the winner is – “Sharknado 2: The Second One.”

When the made-for-television film first aired on Syfy in July, only 1.4 million watched, but there were more than 5,000 tweets-per-minute about the B-movie on the night of its debut, grossing over 604,000 in total.

Buzz for the film was so intense, Regal cinemas even hosted midnight screenings of “Sharknado” on over 200 screens on Aug. 2.

The first film centered on Los Angeles where a tornado picks up a school of hungry sharks and sends them flying through the air. The man-eating storm wreaks havoc on a small town that becomes the site of a feeding frenzy.

Stars Tara Reid and Ian Ziering return for the sequel, which will be set in New York City and will air in July 2014.

Reid told U.K. newspaper the Sunday Mirror about making the film: “I read it and I was laughing so hard because it was the most ridiculous movie I’d ever heard of. It was so insane.”

Sharknado

Photo Credits: Syfy

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

The first Percy Jackson didn’t really light up the box office. 88 million domestically would make the sequel a little bit of a gamble. So why would they choose Freudenthal to direct? There is absolutely nothing about either Hotel for Dogs or Diary Of A Wimpy Kid that would make me believe that he could handle an ambitious sequel. He is not Chris Columbus, and the film feels it too.

Percy (Logan Lerman) is still struggling with issues of not being able to see his father, or speak to him. He’s off living at the Demi-God camp with everyone else. We learn the story of the camp, and how a young demigod girl that was the daughter of Zeus, died, which caused Zeus to create the force field around the camp to protect the demigods. Of course, this is massive foretelling, as that field breaks, and Percy learns about the Sea Of Monsters, and how the Golden Fleece can help save the demigod camp.

Percy isn’t the first to be chosen to go after the golden fleece. That honor goes to Clarisse (Leven Rambin), a badass daughter of Ares who thinks Percy is a joke. But when Percy finds out that Luke (Jake Abel) is still alive, and going after the fleece so he can revive Kronos, he realizes there is a prophecy that puts him in that place anyway. So he decides to grab his gang and go. His gang includes his Hermoine and Ron from the first film (Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson), and new entry Tyson, who is also a son of Poseidon. He’s not a human though, he’s a Cyclops. Can Percy and the gang get to the fleece before Luke, or will Kronos be reawakened and destroy the world?

The sequel is inferior to the original. Definitely. The first film did have some artistic merit brought to it by Columbus, but the sequel lacks any finesse. This is a paint-by-the-numbers sequel, and they apparently refused to pay the actors from the original to return. Percy no longer has a mother (Catherine Keener) or a father (Kevin McKidd). Pierce Brosnan apparently got fired too, and replaced with Anthony Stewart Head. Stanley Tucci replaces the actor they cast briefly in Dionysus’s role in the first film. The budget was really tight here.

Luckily, the special effects team weren’t shorted. I thought the effects here were more believable than in the higher-budgeted Jack The Giant Slayer. I saw this film in 3D (an absolute waste), so it did look “grainy” in some shots, but I often find that with 3D films that were probably done post-conversion. I would not recommend this as a 3D venture. They don’t throw things at the screen, which leads me to believe it was an afterthought. Unless you just LOVE pop-up cinema, skip it.

I feel like this should have been a better sequel. They entrusted a shaky franchise, essentially, to a manchild. And he did what we would all expect him to do with it. Nothing. You could have picked a random film student to get the same result (possibly better). I left disappointed, but still hoping for a third Percy film. The writing is solid, the characters are likeable, and I would enjoy continuing following them on another journey. Just as long as Thor isn’t directing.

FINAL GRADE: C+


STARRING: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Stewart Head, Nathan Fillion, Yvette Nicole Brown, Missi Pyle, with the voices of Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Ron Perlman, and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

WRITTEN BY: Marc Guggenheim

DIRECTED BY: Thor Freudenthal

Photo Credits: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The Butterfly Effect

Ashton Kutcher’s drama The Butterfly Effect is winging its way back to cinemas in a reboot less than 10 years after its original release.

The 2004 film, which marked one of Kutcher’s first drama roles, was mauled by critics but was a commercial success, garnering around $96 million at the worldwide box office.

Film bosses are now using a new cast to revive the movie, about a troubled college student who finds he can alter his past using time travel.

Eric Bress, who co-wrote and co-directed the original film, is back on board to pen the script for the reboot, reports Variety.com.

The original film spawned two less successful follow-ups, 2006’s The Butterfly Effect 2 and The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations in 2009.

Syfy

The strange success of Syfy’s Sharknado movie – which former “90210” star Ian Ziering called his “John Travolta ‘Pulp Fiction’ moment,” by the way – can probably be attributed to the same cultural normative (or abnormative, we should say) that made “Bubba Teeth” a hit: Every now and then, people just like to drop all pretense and participate in the humor of things.

But it looks like it may just be those producers who took a chance on such an utterly ridiculous movie concept who get the last laugh when this thing hits actual theaters. ‘Cause that’s happening now.

Yep, “Sharknado” took the TV-observing world by storm, pun intended, for several reasons, not the least of which was an out-right social media frenzy over the unashamed ridiculousness of the film. Live-tweeting it was kind of the thing to do that night (’cause what else is going down on some random Thursday evening?).

While viewership itself was ultimately just so-so, it was the web impact that really had teeth; at one point, the title was reportedly the subject of 5,000 tweets a minute.

And though Syfy’s been responding to the interest with shark-themed marathons and, yes, even plans for a sequel (!!), they’ve now got even bigger aspirations to see what kinda damage this thing can do on the big screen.

That’s right. Regal Entertainment will be hosting midnight screenings of “Sharknado” on Aug. 2 at some 200 theaters across the country.

“‘Sharknado’ has become a force of nature in its own right,” a rep for the theater chain explained. “The project transcends the original television platform and has created tremendous buzz. There’s just something epic about watching these huge beasts on the big screen with your friends and family. The crowd reactions will make for a memorable experience in our theatres … Regal is proud to be giving our guests this chance to fuel the social media whirlwind by inviting friends to come to the show and tweeting reactions.”

So … sticking with the weather-y theme, will lightning strike twice with this “Sharknado” thing?

Photo Credits: Syfy

Helen Mirren, the undisputed Queen of Everything Good in Life, arrived at the Los Angeles premiere of Red 2 last night wearing a bunch of kooky accessories. She did it with her signature “Look at me, I don’t give a f***” attitude that only she can pull off, and it was amazing.

For what it’s worth, the green dress she wore was designed by Elie Saab. But, c’mon, those earrings.

Johnny Depp Alice in Wonderland 2

Although The Lone Ranger wasn’t anything anyone had hoped it would be, it appears that Disney still wants to squeeze every penny they can out of Johnny Depp.

Deadline is reporting that Depp is in the final stages of locking down a return as the Mad Hatter in an Alice in Wonderland sequel.

It’s already been rumored that Tim Burton was ousted as director and will be replaced by Muppets director James Bobin. So, it’s a tad surprising that Johnny would continue on without his partner in crime. But I guess money makes up for any misgivings in the air.

Although I wasn’t a fan of the original, Alice in Wonderland made over a billion dollars for Disney in 2010. So, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that they’d be clamoring for a sequel.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Major movie studios obviously enjoy making money, or they wouldn’t risk dumping millions upon millions of dollars into movies about fighting giant sea monsters with equally giant robots.

After bringing in nearly a half billion dollars worldwide, it only makes sense that Paramount Pictures wants more Star Trek and they want it quickly.

In a recent interview with BuzzHub, Star Trek Into Darkness star Zachary Quinto seemed to second that idea by saying, “Star Trek 3 should be filming, I suppose, next year. It’s going to be made a lot quicker than the last one. That’s the plan, although nothing is confirmed yet.”

Cue the squeals from the fanboys….now.

The only problem with what Zachary said is that it probably means franchise Writer / Director J.J. Abrams won’t be involved. His plate is a tad full, considering he’s been tapped to direct the very much anticipated, seventh entry in the Star Wars franchise.

Who knows, maybe it means that the yet to be titled Star Trek 3 may just crossover with the galaxy far, far away. I’m sure you’ll all have a lot to say about that.

Hugh Jackman's NYC condo

Hugh Jackman has got that triple threat thing down.

Especially since he’s acting, singing and dancing all the way to the bank – and has so much stored away for a rainy day that he plunked down $25 million to live in the Big Apple’s lap of luxury.

In this edition of Real Estate Rewind, we’re going back to 2008 when the Aussie hunk moved into this massive modernist real estate masterpiece designed by internationally acclaimed architect Richard Meier.

And Celebuzz can give you a glimpse at the inside photos.

The 11,000 square foot, 3-level condo in the artsy enclave of the West Village was previously owned by billionaire Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, who put it on the market for a whopping $40 million, then $33 million, until the Prisoners star snagged it for a steal (but still staggering) $25M.

And it’s only the very best for the superstar. The 5-bedroom spread is the largest in the building and is filled to the crown moldings with dramatic details – from expansive views of the Hudson River and 3 terraces to huge double-height ceilings and swirling staircase.

The digs include a professional gourmet kitchen, studio/exercise area (to get into tip top Wolverine shape), recreation room for his two kids Ava and Oscar, sauna, library and wine cellar. And we can’t forget the music room where he perfects those Broadway pipes.

Check out each room for yourself in the CB! gallery above.

Ryan Serhant knows you are who your friends are.

And with friends like Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the Million Dollar Listing New York star could throw an awesome Beverly Hills pool party courtesy of their $19.5 million dollar digs that just hit the market.

Cox and her ex hubby have kept the listing on the DL since they split in 2011, but now the contemporary manse is available to the mega-rich masses.

The newly-revamped 5,500 square foot abode has 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and an incredible view of the L.A. skyline to gaze at while your floating in the sparkling pool.

So what kind of profit does Hollywood’s one-time “It” quirky couple hope to make if the sale goes as planned? Well, they bought the hilltop home in 2004 for nearly $5.5 million. So you do the math… It’s a lot.

That a movie about a gel-haired, Camaro-driving Jerseyite with a porn addiction and a dysfunctional Italian Catholic family doesn’t come off as a parody is an accomplishment in and of itself. It’s a toss-up whether Don Jon owes its sincerity most to Joseph Gordon-Levitt the actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt the writer or Joseph Gordon-Levitt the director, as he serves all three roles admirably in this film. During the movie Gordon-Levitt’s Jon eats Sunday family meals in just his undershirt, talks about “smashing” with his boys outside a pizza point, actually smashes a myriad of anonymous leggy women and, oh yeah, watches pornography with reckless abandon, but it never feels disingenuous. Don Jon is the most earnest movie about pornography you’ll see this year.

Okay, Don Jon is not really about pornography. Instead, it’s about the way media we spend so much of our lived immersed in – or, rather, immersing ourselves in – affects our perceptions and expectations. If that sounds lofty and academic, the film itself manages to also be immensely entertaining and funny.

In Don Jon, Goron-Levitt plays the titular Jon Martello, a part-time bartender and full-time stud in his suburban New Jersey town. Meeting Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) puts a halt to his meaningless flings with anonymous women and to his more committed relationship with anonymous women he watches have sex on the internet. But like any addict, he can’t stay away for long. Jon is no intellectual and lacks even an ounce of self-awareness and Gordon-Levitt is great in a role that’s completely against type for him.

As Jon and Barbara’s relationship progresses, both prove themselves to be not quite fit for commitment as each has developed unrealistic expectations for the other: Jon through the uninhibited women in porn he’s constantly watching and Barbara through the perfect, selfless men of the romantic comedies she so enjoys. Those who criticize Johansson for being good but never great should meet Barbara Sugarman, a wicked maneater disguised behind an array of curve-hugging outfits and over-the-top accessories, Hackensack’s siren. Johansson deserves praise for her performance, her Barbara is so fully realized you can almost taste her sticky lip gloss through the screen.

Gordon-Levitt’s direction is at its strongest as he compares Jon’s porn habit to Barbara’s devotion to rom-coms. Their eyes glaze over and faces go slack, as Gordon-Levitt’s camera compares two people sucked into a fantasy they just know they both deserve in real life. The film is full of clever stylistic flourishes. The routine of Jon’s life is shot with a sort of dramatic monotony, his own personal GTL regime of gym, church, family. It’s self-regulation he’s confused with self-actualization. Gordon-Levitt’s passion project is also brilliantly subversive of Catholicism, Jon’s weekly trips to mass are less out of faith than they are out of habit and his confession is less cathartic than it is ritualistic. His eventual disenchantment comes as the same time as his eventual awakening.

That awakening comes courtesy of Julianne Moore, who is, as always, an absolute delight. Moore plays a darkly funny, deeply sad woman Jon meets at the night school course Barbara has forced him to take. Moore here gets a chance to exercise her two biggest muscles as an actor: deadpan comedy and emotional devastation. As Esther, she packs a deadly one-two punch.

The film’s major hiccup comes via a dramatic tonal shift in its third act. And while it’s a bit jarring, the film doesn’t lose its appeal. Joseph Gordon-Levitt here has proven himself to be a filmmaker with interesting things to say. Here’s hoping he’ll keep saying them.

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