Sunday, July 29, 2012

Double Dipping: The Watch and Moonrise Kindgom

Film: The Watch

Starring: Ben Stiller (Tower Heist), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), and Vince Vaughn (The Dilemma)

Director: Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod)

Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi

Opening in theatres this past weekend was The Watch, a foul-mouthed comedy centering on a proud local citizen named Evan (played by Stiller) who decides to form a Neighborhood Watch after one of his employees is murdered during a night shift. Evan convinces three off-the-wall guys to join his group. First there's Bob (played by Vaughn), a loud and vocal father with two distinct agendas in mind. Bob is looking to meet some guys who want to hang out, drink beers, and have a rowdy good time, and he wants to do everything in his power to make sure his teenage daughter stays a virgin. Then there's Franklin (played by Hill), a mentally disturbed Police Academy dropout with a twisted mind and an obvious sense of aggression. And last but not least there's Jamarcus (played by Richard Ayoade), an English newcomer to the town who's looking to meet some friends. Everything seems well and good with the quartet until they discover that Evan's employee was murdered by an alien who is planning a carefully calculated invasion of Earth. Therefore it's up to this wild bunch of misfits to save the planet from absolute destruction.

At first glance, The Watch appears to be a re-hatched set of ideas with nothing new to add to the Sci-Fi/Comedy genre. In some ways, that's absolutely true. The Watch is a 100 minute long series of male genital jokes and lewd behavior. While almost nothing in the film feels original, the feature still boasts an uproariously funny set of actors that help sustain a solid sense of entertainment throughout the entire duration. Perhaps most notable is newcomer Richard Ayoade, a British actor/comedian finally making his way across the pond. Ayoade offers the only feeling of creativity to the movie. With Stiller, Hill, and Vaughn we see the same characters that we've grown to either love or hate time and time again. However, Ayoade is a sigh of relief and a fresh face to help accentuate the film's jokes.

While I won't urge anyone to rush out to theatres to see The Watch, I will say that it was slightly better than advertised and funnier than I expected it to be. If the members of the cast have a long history of making you laugh, than catch The Watch in theatres or on DVD somewhere down the line. Chances are you'll be mildly entertained and laughing enough to keep you somewhat satisfied.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C+

Film: Moonrise Kingdom

Starring: Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman, and Bruce Willis (Red)

Director: Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic)

Genre: Comedy

Acclaimed director Wes Anderson returns to the big screen with his successful indie comedy Moonrise Kingdom. The story follows Sam and Suzy (played by Hayward and Gilman), a pair of outcast youth who meet one Summer and, after becoming pen pals over an entire year, plan to run away together. As the young lovers attempt to flee their New England town, a local search party comprised of Suzy's parents, Sam's scout leader and troop, and Sheriff Captain Sharp (played by Willis) work tirelessly to find them.

In typical Wes Anderson fashion, Moonrise Kingdom is a winning effort that both glorifies young love in a unique way and delivers a multitude of laughs. First time actors Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman are simply excellent, reminding us of Anderson's unmatched ability to get phenomenal performances out of youthful unknowns. And much like the success that followed Jason Schwartzman (who has an impressive cameo in the film) after Rushmore, I'd expect a lengthy line of features to follow for both Hayward and Gilman. Anderson also sports an all star cast including Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. Each character offering up a necessary purpose to the film, Moonrise Kingdom is a winning effort thanks, in large part, to its entire cast.

As an admitted non-fan of Wes Anderson's previous work, I was pleasantly surprised by this latest release. Moonrise Kingdom is charming, genuine, and meaningful. Examining the magic of young love in only a way Wes Anderson can, we get a thoughtful and comical joy in the form of Moonrise Kingdom. If it's still out in a theatre near you, I suggest taking a chance on one of 2012's most successful independent films.

Stars: 3 stars out of 4.

Grade: B

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trio of Titles Shuffle Their Release Dates

You know it's fast approaching Oscar season when big-name movie titles begin to shuffle around their release date, and we received news of three changes this week alone. First, having nothing to do with the Oscar race and everything to do with the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad has officially pushed its release date back from September to January. The film included a wild scene where a bunch of goons were given the task of murdering someone at a movie theatre and, as shown in the newly pulled theatrical trailer, they wreak havoc shooting through the screen and into the entire crowd. By showing an overly large amount of sensitivity to the issue, Warner Bros. forced Fleischer to cut the scene out of the film and do some re-shooting. Perhaps I'm way off base, but I fear the consequences of allowing the actions of a crazed individual to effect our society's creative outlets. It's a slippery slope. Either way, we can all look forward to a Gangster Squad release come January 2013.

In other news, Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company is at it again. The movie mogul is strategically re-organizing the release dates for some of his Oscar hopefuls. Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master had it's theatrical release moved up a month to September 14th. Expecting big things from his well known director, Harvey Weinstein hopes The Master will get an early lead in the Oscar race. Furthermore, The Weinstein Company also announced that Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt will have its opening delayed a few weeks as they move the film's release from September 21st to October 19th. I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear about big-name titles shuffling around release dates as the Academy Awards slowly, but surely, approaches.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life of Pi Trailer

Academy Award winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) returns with Life of Pi, the story of an Indian boy named Pi (the son of a Zookeeper) who finds himself in the company of a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck leaves them adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Very visual and sure to captivate, check out the trailer for yourself.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nolan Says Goodbye to Batman

After almost a decade long commitment to the caped crusader Batman, director Christopher Nolan's personal relationship with the superhero has officially come to an end. With the July 20th release of The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan's epic conclusion to his Batman trilogy, it marked the final time the gifted director plans to visit Gotham City. Now, Nolan looks to the release of his new tell-all book titled "The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy", which explains everything from the creation and development of Batman Begins all the way through the production of the saga's final chapter. Yesterday, Nolan released the forward to his upcoming book where we can read the director's official goodbye to the The Dark Knight trilogy. Here's what Nolan has to say:

"Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me," Nolan wrote. "Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.

"People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy. This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids. The answer is complicated. When David and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future. I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him. I told David and Jonah to put everything they knew into each film as we made it. The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film. Nothing held back. Nothing saved for next time. They built an entire city. Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it. Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.

"I never thought we’d do a second—how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath. We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out—a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on—destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.

"I never thought we’d do a third—are there any great second sequels? But I kept wondering about the end of Bruce’s journey, and once David and I discovered it, I had to see it for myself. We had come back to what we had barely dared whisper about in those first days in my garage. We had been making a trilogy. I called everyone back together for another tour of Gotham. Four years later, it was still there. It even seemed a little cleaner, a little more polished. Wayne Manor had been rebuilt. Familiar faces were back—a little older, a little wiser . . . but not all was as it seemed.
"Gotham was rotting away at its foundations. A new evil bubbling up from beneath. Bruce had thought Batman was not needed anymore, but Bruce was wrong, just as I had been wrong. The Batman had to come back. I suppose he always will.

"Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gangster Squad Being Recut?

After four lengthy years of anticipation for the release of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, our indescribable excitement turned to sorrow with the news of a tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado. And like all great tragedies do, a noticeable impact may be in line for another Warner Bros. picture, Gangster Squad.

The trailer for Gangster Squad, which can be seen below, has already been pulled from theatres because of its visible movie theatre shooting scene. Rumors circulating the web suggest that Warner Bros. may force director Ruben Fleischer to recut the film and remove the scene all together. In doing so, the film with go back into post-production mode with a delayed release looming above it.

Man of Steel Teaser Trailer

In the wake of The Dark Knight Rises' tragic opening weekend, we've been given a first look trailer at 2013's blockbuster-to-be Man of Steel. Marking yet another reboot of the Superman story, Man of Steel (produced by Christopher Nolan) brings together Henry Cavill as the film's caped superhero, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as the featured villain General Zod, and Russell Crowe as Superman's biological father Jor-El. Check out the teaser trailer below.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Film: The Dark Knight Rises

Starring: Christian Bale (The Fighter), Anne Hathaway (Love, and Other Drugs), and Tom Hardy (Warrior)

Director: Christopher Nolan (Inception)

U.S. Release: July 20th, 2012 (Rated PG-13)

Genre: Action

Runtime: 164 minutes

After the four longest years of our lives, director extraordinaire Christopher Nolan's final Batman installment, The Dark Knight Rises, has finally arrived. And since 2008, no movie has even come close sniffing the quality and precision of The Dark Knight. With the biggest of shoes to fill, Nolan spent nearly half a decade meticulously crafting the epic conclusion to his unmatched Batman saga. And now that I've seen the movie twice in the past 36 hours, I can say without hesitation that Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises is an absolute godsend. It's the perfectly tied bow to the greatest cinematic gift ever given, the most notable trilogy of all time.

It's been eight years since the death of Gotham's white knight Harvey Dent and Batman (played by Bale) has vanished since his assumed responsibility for the murder of the beloved District Attorney. After a steady run of clean streets and no organized crime to speak of, a new villain emerges from the ashes. Raised in the shadows of hell on earth, Bane (played by Hardy) is an ex-communicated member of The League of Shadows wreaking havoc on Gotham to fulfill the destiny of Ra's Al Ghul and destroy the city once and for all.

While attempting to dissect Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, it's important to view the film in two different lights. First, examining the film within the context of the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is a fanboy's dream come true. Circling around in impressive fashion, Nolan's conclusion once again focuses on the psyche of the story's hero Bruce Wayne. In 2005 Batman Begins was predominantly a movie about Wayne, only to see 2008's The Dark Knight turn its focal point to other characters such as The Joker and Harvey Dent. With The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan delivers closure to the trilogy's main character by spending a near 2 hour and 45 minute journey testing both Wayne's physical and mental being. In doing so, we receive a finale that is both thematically perfect and utterly satisfying. Although The Dark Knight Rises fits perfectly into the mold of Nolan's big picture, some will claw and search for any flaw that they can find. The most obvious criticism may reside in the small sense of disappointment in Bane's character. However, Nolan makes the right decision by shifting the story back to Bruce Wayne and using Bane solely as a backdrop to a larger picture. Let it be known that Tom Hardy's valiant efforts will not go unrecognized, yet they're a far cry from the indescribable work of the late Heath Ledger. And to Hardy's credit, he adhere's to his director's wishes and never tries to steal the show. Nolan is one of the greatest visionary directors of all time and his masterfully executed finale, The Dark Knight Rises, is just another testament to his brilliant abilities.

In addition to analyzing the film within the context of its trilogy, it's also important to dissect the movie as its own entity. In this regard, The Dark Knight Rises becomes less perfect and sparingly flawed. With obvious visions of grandeur, Nolan inflates his script with an overabundance of central characters and gaudy action sequences. While I'll agree that most of Nolan's additions are warranted and beneficial to the film, I can think of one subplot and character in particular that's clearly forced into the story. Despite these minor blemishes, The Dark Knight Rises is entertaining throughout and clearly one of 2012's best pictures. Part of its success hinges on the phenomenal casting decision of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. I must admit that I was one of the skeptics and naysayers when news broke of Hathaway's inclusion in the script. However, I was catastrophically wrong and freely admit to it. Hathaway adds a much needed element to the film that only Nolan could have envisioned. Kudos to the director and his leading lady on proving many of us wrong.

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises is the biggest "Must See" movie of the year. Although it never reaches the same heights as its predecessor, it stands well on its own and it makes for a truly epic conclusion to Nolan's Batman saga. There's plenty to enjoy for all types of moviegoers and there won't be a better summer blockbuster than The Dark Knight Rises. Don't wait any longer, head to theatres ASAP and witness the final installment to the greatest trilogy of all time.

Stars: 3 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: A-

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises News

As the clock strikes midnight from Thursday evening into the start of Friday, fans of the caped crusader Batman will filter into theatres all across the country. The release of The Dark Knight Rises signifies a historic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy that's been four years in the making. Early reviews for The Dark Knight Rises have been pouring in and many major outlets are calling the film an "epic" finale. Although I haven't seen the film yet myself (I have a Wednesday night screening and will post my review on Thursday), I can honestly say I'm no longer concerned about things like the Anne Hathaway casting decision or the movie itself being a catastrophic follow up to 2008's The Dark Knight. Currently sporting an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes (with 46 reviews accounted for), we should all breathe a sigh of relief and ask ourselves why we would ever doubt the masterful Christopher Nolan?

And what good is the anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises if we can't have a little bit of fun with it? Here are some fun links associated with Nolan's final batman installment:

Here's a story about a critic who decided to bash The Dark Knight Rises in a review ... only problem is, he never saw the movie.

Movies and politics don't mix. Apparently Rush Limbaugh believes that The Dark Knight Rises is an Anti-Romney conspiracy.

Here's a list of 8 sequels to The Dark Knight we should be happy we never got.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ruby Sparks

Film: Ruby Sparks

Starring: Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) and Zoe Kazan (Meek's Cutoff)

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine)

U.S. Release: July 25th, 2012 (Limited Release - Rated R)

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Runtime: 104 minutes

After building a career off of video documentaries for musical acts such as R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer, directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris finally branched out in 2006 with the well received full length feature Little Miss Sunshine. After years of waiting patiently for the perfect sophomore project, the duo received the script for Ruby Sparks, a magical tale of love and the human mind. The film stars the real life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan (who also penned the story) who light up the screen and make the work of Dayton and Faris seem almost effortless. With Ruby Sparks, the tandem of directors are sure to have another indie hit on their hands.

Ruby Sparks follows Calvin (played by Dano), an insecure novelist struggling with both his writing and his love life. After penning an American masterpiece very early in his career, Calvin lacks the inspiration and ability to rebound from the overwhelming success of his first novel. That is until he dreams up Ruby Sparks (played by Kazan), a beautiful and free-spirited young woman that inspires him to write again. And just when Calvin begins to worry that he's falling in love with his character, Ruby inexplicably appears in his real life. Calvin then discovers that, with every word he types, he has complete control over Ruby's actions and feelings. Therefore, giving him more power over the person he loves than anyone could ever handle.

Ruby Sparks is a colorful and imaginative love story that transcends the stereotypical romance movie and explores the raw emotion of human interactions. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris take a clever rom-com premise and turn it into a well ranging psychological tale that circles through every emotion imaginable. Ruby Sparks begins as a magical experience filled with laughter and joy where anything seems possible. And all of a sudden, through the realistic eyes of writer and star Zoe Kazan, the feature unfolds like a genuine relationship between two people where issues of trust and freedom become tested. On one hand, Paul Dano's character is the mastermind of Ruby, prideful and determined to make sure that their relationship succeeds ... no matter what. This obsession with success leads to irrational behaviors and decisions that take Calvin's and Ruby's relationship on a downward spiral to the point of desperation. For such an unbelievable premise, Ruby Sparks is a remarkably earnest and genuine examination of love and relationships.

As well as a top notch script, real life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan aid the authenticity and purity of Ruby Sparks. Their chemistry is obvious and their talents far exceed bigger named celebrities who have made a career off of the romantic comedy genre. Dano is a truly gifted young actor that continues to impress with every new performance. And while Kazan is a lesser known actress, this role is sure to put her on the map and open the door for various opportunities. Kazan not only demonstrates her dazzling ability to act and entertain, she also portrays a strong future as a writer in Hollywood as well. In fact, outside of having no subplots and an ending that may irk some with its blandness, Ruby Sparks is a strong showing on almost every level. Another unfair criticism may come in the form of the screenplay's inability to explain Ruby's arrival. But as the movie and trailer so aptly describe it, sometimes "falling in love is an act of magic". And for as much as people enjoyed Dayton's and Faris' debut Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks only raises the bar.

Unfortunately for many, Ruby Sparks may never get a mainstream release for a larger audience to enjoy. Either way, I strongly suggest searching out this little indie gem in order to dissect its important message. Despite such a wildly out of the norm storyline, the movie ends up feeling shockingly real, thanks to a pair of directors and an entire cast that complete the the difficult feat with ease. And although it may not arrive in your city until August or maybe even September, do the right thing and check out Ruby Sparks. It's the most honest "relationship" movie since 500 Days of Summer and one of  2012's finest offerings.

Stars: 3.5 stars out of 4

Grade: B+

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oz the Great and Powerful Trailer

Sam Raimi returns to the director's chair in Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel to the classic Wizard of Oz. James Franco stars as the Wizard, as we see his remarkable journey to capturing the throne of Oz. It's a mighty feat trying to live up to the heralded acclaim of the first installment, but we can all agree that the trailer looks somewhat enticing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catching Fire and Noah News

After the enormous worldwide success of the film The Hunger Games, which grossed north of $400 million, Lionsgate seems to be fast-tracking the sequel Catching Fire. In recent news, the multi-talented Philip Seymour Hoffman has signed on to join the sequel and will be cast as Plutarch Heavensbee. Due to hit theatres in 2013, Hoffman is clearly a welcome addition to the cast.

In other news, Darren Aronofsky's Noah keeps on adding big names to its long list of star-studded celebrities. The feature, which plans to tell the biblical story of Noah, has just reportedly brought Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins on board to play Methuselah. With no release date in sight (loosely planned for 2014), Aronofsky's epic tale seems to be shaping up very nicely and hopefully his follow up to Black Swan will exceed high expectations.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Why Stop Now Trailer

Academy Award Nominee Jesse Eisenberg has decided to keep things light after garnering the red carpet treatment for his role in 2010's The Social Network. It was just last year when Eisenberg returned with his Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer to star in the comedy 30 Minutes or Less. This year he continues the comedic trend with Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and stand-up extraordinaire Tracy Morgan in Why Stop Now. The trailer features Eisenberg as a piano prodigy who tries to help his drug addicted mom get one last score to keep her out of his hair before he embarks on the biggest audition of his life.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Film: Savages

Starring: Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass), Taylor Kitsch (Battleship), and Blake Lively (The Town)

Director: Oliver Stone (Platoon)

U.S. Release: July 6th, 2012 (Rated R)

Genre: Drama/Action

Runtime: 130 minutes

Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone only has one word in the back of his mind while making a film, and that word is "epic". As the director of Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, and the Wall Street movies, to only name a few, Stone has branded himself as one of Hollywood's biggest names. Known for his visions of grandeur, Stone has returned in 2012 with Savages, another big time film filled with an all-star cast from top to bottom. And after a somewhat mediocre stretch of releases over the past decade, we've finally got the Oliver Stone of old.

Savages centers around an unlikely trio of lovers Ben (played by Johnson), Chon (played by Kitsch), and O (played by Lively). Ben, a Berkley grad and Buddhist with a knack for growing the best marijuana on the planet, and his lifelong best friend Chon, a fearless and tainted ex-soldier from the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, find themselves in a dangerous situation when the Mexican drug cartel wants their product. After the duo refuses to do business with the cartel's leader Elena (played by Salma Hayek), she sends her enforcer Lado (played by Benicio Del Toro) to kidnap their common girlfriend and force their hands. Desperate to save O from enslavement, Ben and Chon must go to outrageous lengths to free their lover and survive the ordeal.

Savages is a full-throttle adrenaline rush that makes for an entertaining ride. Nothing short of intense from start to finish, director Oliver Stone delivers another winning effort to add to his illustrious credentials. Insanely violent and sure to stir up some anxiety, Savages succeeds on countless levels. For starters, Stone conjures up a once in a lifetime cast that undoubtedly helps elevate the film to a whole other level. Aaron Johnson is as superb as ever and Kitsch and Lively give no reason to lose interest in the story. And as convincing as its trio of lead stars are, Savages benefits most from its secondary cast. Benicio Del Toro steals the show as Lado, the head of the cartel's most capable goon. Del Toro is absolutely ruthless and makes for one of the most memorable onscreen villains of all time. Other notable casting decisions come in the form of Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Emile Hirsch, and 2012 Best Actor Nominee Demian Bichir, all of which give excellent performances and propel Savages to stardom. In addition to the film's brilliant casting, I must compliment Stone for his phenomenal directing job and the entire collection of writers. Savages is not only a suspenseful and serious journey, it has a strange aura of dark comedy and a lighter side that enables the movie to progress with ease. It's remarkably unique in the sense that you'll cringe while watching a brutal torture scene and then find yourself simultaneously chuckling at little nuances of the characters. Savages is both clever and original, making it one of 2012's most exciting films of the year.

Despite it's overwhelming amount of highlights, Stone's Savages fails in one major area. The feature's ending is anger inducing. After watching the movie I read an interview with Stone where he attempts to explain his rationale for the film's closing scenes, and his explanation was unjust and idiotic. By wrapping up Savages in the manner he does, Stone shows disloyalty to the natural flow of the story. For roughly two hours Stone has the audience in a trance and hooked whether they like it or not, only to allow the whole experience to unravel in a pigheaded way. It's truly a shame, because Savages ultimately suffers and never feels as complete as it should.

As Oliver Stone likes to do, he once again pushes a piece of work over the two hour plateau. However, due to a fine screenplay and top-notch performances by Del Toro, Johnson, and company, Savages keeps a masterful uptempo feel and remains highly engaging throughout. And despite a butchered ending, Stone still manages to return to classic form and offer up one of 2012's best efforts. If you enjoy dangerously high levels of intensity and you think you can stomach the violence that I promise you is there, get to theatres and check out Savages. It's a wild ride.

Stars: Three stars out of four

Grade: B

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises News

In the wake of its July 20th release, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures have officially released a more detailed synopsis of Christopher Nolan's epic conclusion to his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. Along with the updated synopsis, it has also been confirmed that the film will boast a running time of 164 minutes and an MPAA rating of PG-13. Here's the new full synopsis:

"It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.
But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane."

Compliance Trailer

One of Sundance's most talked about films, Compliance, has officially released its trailer. The movie, which is based on a remarkably true story, examines a burger joint and a manager's mishandling of a delicate situation. Check out the trailer for Compliance, which hits theatres in August.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 2012 Poll Recap

Throughout the month leading up to one of the most anticipated films of all time, The Dark Knight Rises, I posed the poll question asking, "What is your favorite Christopher Nolan film". The people have spoken, and the people are saying that they love all of his work. June's poll resulted in a tie for first place with 33% of the votes going to both Inception and The Dark Knight. In my opinion, you can't argue against either one of those choices. Also receiving votes were Memento (26% of votes) and The Prestige (6% of votes). Make sure to check out July's poll question of the month (located in the upper right hand corner of the page) asking, "Which film is the Best Comedy of the Year".