Kick-Ass may not be your archetypical blockbuster superhero movie, but don’t think that director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) is simply doing a goof on the genre--because he’s not fooling around. Kick-Ass is a gleeful deconstruction and reinvention of everything that has gone down before it. All the audacious violence interspersed with coming-of-age protagonists backed by a killer comedic script guarantees that Kick-Ass will be a classic cult hit for the fan boys and girls even if it doesn’t clean up at the box office.
Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman based on the graphic by Mark Miller and John Romita Jr.
They don’t make ‘em like they used to, especially when it comes to stylish, edgy film noir flicks that defined the Forties and have inspired more misses than hits as time slinks on. Perhaps the powers that be don’t trust the intelligence of today’s filmgoing audience and have to slap on the inevitable happy ending. Or perhaps it’s getting trickier to keep an audience on their toes. The fact that it’s been a long time since contemporary genre classics such as Chinatown, Body Heat and Blood Simple is not due to a lack of trying.
Late is probably the deepest student film I've ever seen in my entire life. The story begins as a well-dressed family scrambles to get ready to leave. They rush out of the door and drive off to their destination. While driving, they see a scruffy man walking down the road. The father and mother tell their son to never become like such a man.
The Knight of Shorts Film Festival 2009 screened The Engagement, a film by a group of young filmakers who were set out to develop, write, shoot and edit a movie all in 48 hours. This thrilling 5 minute short about a kidnapping whodunit, is jam packed with twists that will leave you guessing until the credits roll; with an ending you will never see coming.
Final Warning, which premiered at the Knight of Shorts Film Festival in 2009, is a very thrilling short film by up and coming French Director Marie Sanyas. It’s the chilling story of a man who goes on a rampage after being affected by watching too much violence on the web. Through great imagery and compelling story telling, Ms Sanyas keeps you entertained until the very end, and shows that hers is a name to keep and eye on.
December 7, 2009
“Harvey the Monster Racist” premiered on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the Regency South Coast Village Theater as part of the Orange County Screenwriters Association event featuring actor Kevin Sorbo.
The cooperative production between OCSWA and Lennex Productions had many instant fans as the appreciative audience gave it thumbs way up for its fun tone and clever writing. The eight minute short had people laughing from the opening images to the closing credits and afterward the gathered filmmakers took a much deserved bow talking a bit about the making of the short.
Additional material: Eric Hensman, Mark Sevi
The pilot of “V” was like watching a compilation reel of bits of a 2 hour movie compressed into 44 minutes. Although one review I read about the way the narrative threads were complied to introduce the aliens and set up the show complimented the technique, I found the introduction of the aliens and the way the world responded to be less than engaging - like eating a sandwich made of air.
Yeah, I know - it’s an old story - especially since this is a remake of the 1983 series - but who remembers that storyline? We do, I guess since we're only really given the thumbnails of this current story: Aliens come to Earth, offer miracles of technology, and like some old-timey hippie gurus with interstellar VW busses, promise nothing but love and prosperity for all mankind. And we for the most part buy into it.
Kenneth Johnson (5 episodes, 2009-2010)
Scott Peters (5 episodes, 2009-2010)
“Polanski: Unauthorized” is the latest from quadrupal-threat writer/producer/director/actor Damian Chapa. Perhaps he should let one or two of those titles go and focus more on the things he does well.
The movie itself, perhaps a familiar story to some, is based in the life of director Roman Polanski told non-linearly from his childhood in war-torn Poland to this arrest and 1st trial in the United States on rape charges.
"District 9" (or D9 as they call it in the movie,) is a film with moments of heart. That makes up a bit for the total lack of logic in the plot. And I do mean total. Again, I don't do spoiler alerts so read on if you don't care (yes, I know that in itself is a spoiler alert - clever me.)
Okay, so we've got interstellar aliens who manage to cross parsecs of space in a ship that's the size of a city and yet we humans have to rescue this seemingly simple-minded race from themselves. Aliens, "prawns" - they look more like roaches to me - can't seem to manage actually getting out of their ship once it sorta "lands" on Earth. No, of course they logically hover around for a few days or weeks until we have to cut into the ship and find them all milling around, malnourished, in the ballroom - or whatever they're all doing when we cut this ship open using...well, I guess it doesn't matter - that bit of logic is left out too. A ship that large that can also tolerate the enormous stresses of outer space and Earth gravity can't possibly stand up to our titanium-bladed Black and Deckers.
On Tuesday night (10.20.09) O.C. filmmaker Regina Crosby’s film “Teenage Dirtbag” screened at the Regency South Coast Village Theater. Since Ms Crosby has sold the distribution rights to the film to Universal (congrats due for that), and Universal has decided to take it direct to video, this was one of the rare times it could be seen big.
There was a Q&A with Director Crosby and Actor Michael Bradley after the screening led by Mark Sevi of the Orange County Screenwriters Association.
Thumbnail critique - a movie and evening worth the price of admission.
All good filmmakers have some poetry in their souls no matter what genre they express themselves in. In the case of filmmaker John Woo, he finds the ballet of violence and force against force to be his haiku (yes, I know haiku is Japanese and Woo is Chinese but just go with it.)
In his soon-to-be-released "Red Cliff" Woo once again shows why he is a director who must express our humanity with blood and battle. But "Red Cliff" is so much more than a foxtrot of fists or a sonnet of swords. It's an all out, balls first, epic - with a heart. It's about big moments, small moments - the huge tapestry of life, and life on the edges of despair and death.
John Woo (screenplay) &
Khan Chan (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) &
Cheng Kuo (screenplay) (as Kuo Cheng) &
Heyu Sheng (screenplay) (as Sheng Heyu)
"Time to nut up or shut up."
Zombieland is a big piece of yummy cake with buttercream icing. It's Sprinkles Cupcakes, Crispy Cream Donuts. Empty, fat calories but just too good to care.
As usual, I don't do spoiler alerts so be warned.
It's a Zombedy and a good one at that. Almost pitch perfect is the phrase that comes to mind. Couldn't say there were many false notes (except as a friend mentioned in one of his Facebook posts - who the hell is running the power grid that is amply used?) Plus, I have to say I wasn't wild about the Bill Murray character. Didn't add a lot to the story and felt a bit forced although Mr. Murray remains one of our most fearless actors. But those are minor issues in an almost perfect and fun film. "Men In Black," "Shaun of the Dead," "The Incredibles," - I'd rate it up there with those also almost perfectly-envisioned genre films.
Rhett Reese (written by) &
Paul Wernick (written by)
The following took place between 11 PM and 1:02 AM: I watched Twilight on pay-per-view. I was emotionally uninvolved enough to read a few chapters of my book, respond to emails and talk to my son about changing his major. That said, I did not miss a thing. So on the plus side, one can definitely multi-task and watch Twilight simultaneously.
Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Stephenie Meyer (novel)
PG-13, 122 mins
This movie is unfortunate in so many ways.
I'm not familiar with Jody Hill's work. It appears he hasn't done much, but after seeing this, it seems that this script just got away from him.
First, he didn't start with a very compelling concept. Concepts should have a built in conflict which begs to be watched.
R, 86 mins
Well, first of all, learn from this reviewer’s mistake and do NOT get a big gulp trough size fountain drink before entering the theater to see this film. While I didn’t find State of Play anywhere near as compelling as some, I couldn’t justify a quick trip to the ladies, although I think I easily could have.
Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray
PG-13, 127 mins
Take heart, all mooney-eyed, tender souls in search of fantasy funny love; the romantic comedy is NOT dead. Indeed it is not, but it has adorned a new persona, the Bromance. A “bromance” is not a male driven romantic comedy (ala Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin), there’s no boy on boy action involved. It celebrates the joy of brotherhood. And in the case of I Love You, Man it’s all good.
Hamburg (story by John Hamburg/Larry Levine)
R, 105 mins
After Brett Ratner single-handedly felled the franchise when he took over for X-Men 3, I had few expectations for the first in the prequel trilogy, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Having said that, those expectations were met but never succeeded.
David Benioff and Skip Woods
PG-13, 107 min
There is nothing better than the perfect summer movie with the excitement and joy of a thrill ride to get us and gear for the season and not feel guilty for watching something just for fun and putting off The Reader or whatever else won Oscars until after Labor Day. Right now, there’s nothing better than Star Trek its so Vulcan good!
Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof