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Kick-Ass invites controversy, courts it in fact, as director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn refused to compromise in bringing the comic book series to the big screen. Vaughn went outside the studio system, obtaining his own financing and going through the entire production without knowing whether his hard R-rated film would ever find a home. He kicked up interested in Kick-Ass at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, unspooling clips he hoped would get fanboys and fangirls worked up into a frenzy, and would get the attention of a major studio.
Lionsgate eventually snagged the rights to distribute Kick-Ass and Vaughn was able to release his version of the film without having to delete a major character, something that most likely would have been required had there been studio involvement early on. The fact that major character, Hit Girl (played by the astounding young actress Chloe Moretz), is in the film intact makes Kick-Ass the most kick-ass comic book adaptation in film history. Not the best - I still swear by The Dark Knight - but it's right up there in the ranks of the most memorable, entertaining, and conversation-inspiring comic book adaptations ever made.
When the Sci-Fi Channel announced a campaign to re-brand itself as Syfy even non-fans scoffed at the silly name change. When a representative for the network was asked on Twitter why the change was made and how it would impact programming, the official answer was, ďSyfy is about catching up to where our programming mix is, not about changing it.Ē
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a brilliant movie for the future of film in a variety of ways that I suspect no one involved with the film will want to celebrate. For example, I suspect that hopeful movie critics for years to come will be given it as a test of their abilities. It's a tricky movie to critique. I also have my suspicions that a wide variety of film classes will make great use of it. Should we turn the sound off and examine scenes for any number of the methods and modes of film creation, this is a movie with much to teach. It is, without the slightest hint of question, a beautiful and masterfully constructed film. It is also the best silk purse example of a film I've had to suffer through since Gods & Generals.
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Antichrist, like many films by its Danish director Lars von Trier, has had the foaming-mouthed witch burners of the popular press out in full, end-of-the-world effect. It is, they hiss and scream with the moral certainty of which only the most self-regarding ideologues are ever capable, a work of pornography.
Bridget Jones' Diary
Bridget Jones's Diary is, quite simply, the finest motion picture released by Miramax Films since 1999's The Cider House Rules. Based on the novel by Helen Fielding, the screenplay for Bridget Jones's Diary (written by Four Weddings and a Funeral scribe Richard Curtis) successfully adapts the book into an easily-manageable 90 minute chunk while retaining much of the humor and remaining faithful to the tone. Bridget Jones's Diary is smart, sassy, and thoroughly enjoyable, and features one of the most endearing and believable characters to grace the screen this year.
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It's a tough thing for a dysfunctional-family-at-Christmas movie to avoid doses of melodrama, and it's fair to say that The Family Stone contains its share. But the nice thing about the movie is that it avoids overt manipulation. There's some - it's virtually impossible for a movie of this sort to generate an emotional response without any - but it's kept to a minimum and doesn't come at the viewer like a sledgehammer. Instead of having to sit through a Terms of Endearment scene, we are offered something more tasteful.
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By any standards, Silk is a bad movie: pretentious, stillborn, devoid of emotion. Itís a perfect example of how awful direction and performances can ruin an adequate screenplay. Granted, whatís on paper isnít perfect and it contains a number of ripe lines of dialogue, but the way it is butchered by director François Girard is shocking. Thereís very little that this movie does right; itís hard to believe it came from the man who directed two acclaimed motion pictures (Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould, The Red Violin).
Mr. Holland's Opus
When The American President was released, many knowledgeable movie-goers commented how the sentimentality of its "feel good" storyline recalled the work of director Frank Capra. Now, with Mr. Holland's Opus, another Capra-esque motion picture has reached today's theaters. Similar in theme and content to Dead Poets' Society and It's a Wonderful Life, this movie persuades its audience that no life spent in a worthy pursuit is ever wasted. Unlike The American President, however, it doesn't stoop to heavy-handed proselytizing. And, while no one will accuse Mr. Holland's Opus of getting its message across subtly, it's a more dramatically secure picture than Rob Reiner's -- when it manipulates, it does so skillfully.
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The operative word in Drugstore Cowboy is "drug". Matt Dillon plays the leader of a group of dopeheads who wander around the country robbing pharmacies to feed their habits. Dillon's chums include doltish James Le Gros and teen-age junkie Heather Graham; also along for the ride is Dillon's wife Kelly Lynch.
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After enrolling in an experimental study on Rage Impulse Disorder at the Straun Foundation, Michael Dare discovers that the research is not what it seems. After learning that the Foundations head, Dr. Timothy Straun has his own agenda for them, Dare and head resident Dr. Susan Verger team up to stop him. Strauns shocking family secret and twisted plan are then revealed in a stunning finale.
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Friends and family pursue an estranged writer to an isolated house only to find that, once theyve entered, their own fears will kill them if they leave.
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She searched for a home, she searched for love. Confronted by Apartheid and a father who was Minister of censorship. With men like Jack Cope and Andre Brink she found much love, but no home. In his first speech to the South African Parliament Nelson Mandela read her poem The Dead Child of Nyanga and addresses her as one of the finest poets of South Africa.
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Beer Barrel Polecats
The stooges make a whole batch of homemade beer, but get tossed in jail when Curly sells some to a cop. Their minor indiscretion turns into a forty year sentence when a keg of beer Curly has hidden under his coat explodes while the boys are being photographed. In prison the stooges get into more trouble with the warden and wind on the rockpile when they try to escape. Released as old men with long gray beards, the first thing Curly wants is a bottle of beer.
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Creating a World: Aeon Flux
25st century. Deadly virus has wiped almost the all population of humans, and the survivors have to live in the single city ruled by a congress of scientists. Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) is a sexy revolutionist assassin having the governments top leader as a latest target. The story is based on an animated series by Peter Chung.
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The story of a group of young Australian men who leave their various backgrounds behind and sign up to join the ANZACs in World War I. They are sent to Gallipoli, where they encounter the might of the Turkish army.
Moonlight & Mistletoe
Overall, a pretty good story for a Christmas season diversion. A yearround Santas village type place is suffering budget problems, andnearing bankruptcy. Tom Arnold stars as the owneroperator of thesentimental amusement center, but his dedication and festive spirit arenot matched by any business sense. The place has fallen from bettertimes, and is now nearing extinction through bankruptcy or sale.
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