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Rob’s Review: This Is The End

This Is The End on Cinedraft.com
Letter Grade:
(?)

B+
The Good:

Good performances from actors, including a standout appearance by Michael Cera
Excellent satire
Very funny if this is your type of comedy


The Bad:

Quite campy and cheesy.
Special effects aren't great.
Dirty subject matter will turn many off.

Cast & Crew:

Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson

Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence

Fair warning, don’t pay too much attention to the letter grade on this one, your enjoyment of This Is The End is going to vary greatly depending on your taste. It’s ridiculous, cheesy, and over-the-top, but it works a lot better than I expected it to.

This Is The End on Cinedraft.com

Photo courtesy Columbia Pictures

The actors play versions of themselves here.  and  are best friends who have drifted apart after Rogen moved to Hollywood and Baruchel stayed behind in Canada. Rogen has made friends with , and  (to the extent that anyone can be friends with McBride) and Baruchel is threatened by this.  Rogen tries to bring them all together at a party at Franco’s house while Baruchel is in town. Things at the party don’t go well, and THEN the apocalypse happens.  The worthy are raptured up into Heaven, which leaves the unworthy (including everybody at the party) to be tormented on Earth. The group holes up in Franco’s house to avoid the raging fires, giant sinkholes, and marauding demons. (more…)








New Trailer: This Is The End

New International trailer for This Is The End, now with more Emma Watson. From the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express: Hollywood celebrities play “themselves” facing the end of the world in LA, and they are utterly unprepared for it. Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, with cameos from many more stars.








Dave’s Review: The Iceman

Letter Grade:
(?)

B
The Good:

Amazing acting performance by Michael Shannon
Reminiscent of 70's cinema
Fascinating character study


The Bad:

Subject matter is not for everyone

Cast & Crew:

Writer: Morgan Land, Ariel Vromen
Director: Ariel Vromen
Stars: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer (That's right, David Schwimmer...in a mob/hitman movie...)

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and some sexual content

Co-Writer and Director Ariel Vroman’s The Iceman tells the real life story of mob hitman (and all around psychopath) Richard Kuklinski (played chillingly by Michael Shannon). Kuklinski, who was apparently a generally unstable person and murderer prior to getting involved with the mob, is hired by a New Jersey crime boss (Ray Liotta) to do their dirty work…and he’s good at it. Over the course of 20+ years Kuklinski kills over 100 people before finally being apprehended by the authorities. During this time Kuklinski gets married , has two daughters, a lucrative (and fictitous) investing job and a successful family life in the suburbs of New Jersey. When Kuklinski was captured in 1986 his wife (Winona Ryder) and family had no idea that he had been a ruthless killer for the past 20 years. This film not only tells the story of Kuklinski’s mob killings (which would have been good enough for me…but i’m a little twisted) but also deals with his constant (successful) battle to hide the killer inside of him and maintain the fragile family life that he has established despite his anti-social and psychotic tendencies.

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Summer Movie Preview: June

It’s time for the next installment of our summer movie preview, this time we look all the way into June, 2013. “Zombies”, and Monsters, and Shakespeare, oh my!

The Internship

Release Date: June 7th

Synopsis: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson get laid off and enter an internship program at Google where they must compete with younger, smarter interns for a job with the search giant. Also features Rose Byrne, B.J. Novak, Josh Gad, and Aasif Mandvi. Directed by Shawn Levy (Real Steel, Date Night, and the Night at the Museum franchise).

Our Thoughts:

Rob: I have a feeling that, for better or worse, you’re going to get exactly what you expect out of this one.

Jennie: I hope this movie is funnier than the trailer suggests. Also, am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that the old guy in the wheelchair knows who Charles Xavier is but they don’t have any clue?

Dave: I got to imagine if you’re an old, bald, professor in a wheelchair, you hear the reference from time to time.

Dave: I think the trailer looks funny enough. I generally enjoy the combination of Vaughn and Wilson, but I foresee waiting to see this one on on DVD. Looks like it may be the type of movie that shows you the funniest stuff in the trailer…but i guess you never know.

Nicki: I love this team. They could read the phone book and make me laugh. Just the scene of “What? What?!” alone, makes me want to see it.

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Oz The Great and Powerful coming to Blu-Ray on June 11th

Oz The Great And Powerful

*Disclaimer* This post may be mostly an excuse to post a picture of a monkey in a hat.

Disney announced today that Oz The Great And Powerful will come to Blu-Ray on June 11th. I personally gave the movie a B-. It looked really nice but somehow the whole was less than the sum of the parts.

Blu-Ray bonus features include:

The Magic of “Oz The Great and Powerful” (Second Screen Experience) – An immersive Second Screen experience that details all things Oz.  From an interactive map full of secrets and surprises, to an inside look at the spectacular world of Oz. All fans need to do is download the special “The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful: Second Screen” App (which is free and currently available for immediate download at the iTunes Store for iPads) which provides fans with infinite opportunities to remain connected to their favorite film, its cast of characters and to dive deeper into the magical world of Oz. This App provides exclusive access to invigorating and exclusive content including:

  • The Enchanting Characters and Creatures of Oz – From Munchkins and Tinkers to good witches, bad witches, and flying baboons, this piece follows each character and creature of the Land of Oz from inspiration to final outcome.
  • The Sounds of Magical Oz – What adds fragility to the sounds of China Girl’s footsteps; ferocity to the tornado; or weight to the flutter of Finley’s flapping wings?
  • Sleight of Hand: Zach Braff Puppet Theater – Actor, and voice of Finley, Zach Braff introduces viewers to the Finley mockup.
  • Mariah Carey Music Video

Bloopers

My Journey in Oz by James Franco – A personal story produced and directed by James Franco.

Mr. Elfman’s Musical Concoctions – An interview with composer Danny Elfman unveils his inspiration in scoring “Oz The Great And Powerful.”

China Girl and the Suspension of Disbelief – This feature uncloaks the several forms of movie magic employed to bring China Girl to life, from the initial artwork and character design, to the on-set puppeteering during filmmaking, and finally, through each stage of the visual-effects process; and includes an interview with Joey King, the voice of China Girl.

Before Your Very Eyes: From Kansas to Oz – Production designer Robert Stromberg takes viewers through the set design of the Land of Oz, from sketching his original ideas on a napkin, through to the final set pieces and the accompanying visual effects.

Mila’s Metamorphosis – Lead makeup artist Howard Berger expands on one of the oldest, most tried-and-true forms of movie magic: makeup design and effects.

Walt Disney and the Road to Oz – It is well known that Walt Disney had a fascination with the Land of Oz since he was a child.  See how that fascination grew into inspiration as he began planning for his own adaptation of the stories in the classic Baum books.

 

OzGreatandPowerfulBlurayCombo

*Photos courtesy Disney Home Entertainment








2013 Cannes Film Festival Lineup

This year’s lineup at Cannes has been announced. I’ve done my best to collect trailers where I can, though some aren’t in English.

 

OPENER

  • “The Great Gatsby” (Baz Luhrmann)

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Movie Review: Spider-Man 2

Letter Grade:
(?)

A+
The Good:

A real exploration of Peter Parker's character.
Doc Ock is a HUGE improvement over the Green Goblin. A villian with real depth.
Great pacing.


The Bad:

Franco plays one note.
For a superhero he sure loses his mask a lot.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon, Alvin Sargent
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

[Originally published on 6/30/2004.]

Thought Spider-Man 2 was great! I cannot name a better superhero movie. Only Batman comes close, and I’m disqualifying that for lack of actual superpowers.

It’s not afraid to put the action on hold for a bit and have some actual storytelling, and that’s good. It’s probably a big part of what made it so good. This isn’t just an action flick; Peter Parker really has his own problems, and isn’t certain that he really can, or even wants to, play the hero. The problem with the X-Men movies has been that they just have too many people to really explore each character in depth. With 2 hours devoted to a single superhero, Spider-Man can really be fleshed out. (more…)