Category Archives: Movies

MOVIES: Summer Movies Begin Opening Tomorrow: Five Must-See’s; Five To Avoid!

Today isn’t the last day of spring – at least, not according to the calendar. For movies, though, it’s another story. I’m not exactly certain when May became “spring” for movies, but it’s a fairly recent development. What marks the season is the first in an onslaught of blockbuster, tentpole movies that all the major studios have scheduled to make the most of their favored demographic’s spring break/summer vacations.

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Most movie writers/critics have already listed the films they especially want to see, or expect to do boffo box office – and last week, our own Michelle Alexandria went against the grain by listing the movies she was least desirous of screening. After much consideration, I’ve decided to split the difference and have compiled a list of the five films I am most looking forward to – and the five I most wish to avoid at all costs [not that I necessarily will – such is life for film writers…].

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CONTEST: Win our Exclusive Battle for Terra Toy Set!

battleforterra

Here’s something pretty cool. We have 5 sets of Toy Figurines for the Battle for Terra to give away. I’m personally looking forward to this movie, it has a unique plot where Humans are actually the invaders of another world. The film tells the story of Senn (Justin Long) and Mala (Evan Rachel Wood), two rebellious alien teens living on the beautiful planet Terra, a place that promotes peace and tolerance, having long ago rejected war and weapons mass destruction.  But when Terra is invaded by human beings fleeing a civil war and environmental catastrophe, the planet is plunged into chaos. During the upheaval, Mala befriends an injured human pilot (Luke Wilson) and each learns the two races are not so different from one another.  Together they must face the terrifying realization that in a world of limited resources, only one of their races is likely to survive. The movie opens this weekend, Friday May 1.

 

Take a gander at 3 of the Toys in this collection that 5 lucky winners will get.

Battle for Terra  

Battle for Terra

Battle for Terra

 

Contest Rules

 

We have 5 sets of toys to give away. The contest will run for three weeks, Wed April 29 -  Monday May 18th. To participate leave a post about your favorite Animated movie and or what summer film you are looking forward to the most.  On the 18th send an email to contests@eclipsemagazine.com with your UserID and full address. We will select 5 winners at random.

MOVIES: Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time

With all of the negative hype surrounding the upcoming Xmen Origins: Wolverine movie I thought it was time for comic movie fans to put things into perspective.  Remember no matter how bad X-Men Origins: Wolverine may be, or those of you that think Watchmen sucked, it can always get worse. Let’s go back….

The Punisher – Dolph Lundgren

Punisher Dolph

Here’s the thing, while I acknowledge that the original Punisher movie with Dolph was horrible, I thought it was still fun to watch and at least they got the essence of the character right. The problem with this movie is it was hamstrung by a shoestring budget and at times it tried to be a little “artsy.” But Dolph as the Punisher was actually pretty inspired casting. He really did look just like the comic book character.

Captain America

Captain America

I don’t want to date myself but I saw this as a child and thought it was pretty cool. Matt Salinger Reb Brown looked hot and muscular, the colors were bright and cheerful it was fun. I remember watching this movie again as an adult and shaking my head saying “what was I thinking?” The casting of Matt was pretty good, he looked like and was built just like the comic book character. The problem with the movie is, it was fine for the time it was originally released but by today’s standards it doesn’t hold up well at all.  I will say, I can’t see how they could do it much better today, the producers will still have to deal with the fact that Cap’s costume and Shield is a garish throwback to 40s era patriotism and 60s style spandex.  I don’t see how you get around that. Although, Superman’s costume always seem to translate pretty well on camera.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Obsessed – Fatal Attraction of the 21st Century

Obsessed Movie

A brief office encounter between an executive and his new temp turns into one of the well-done stalker movies of our time. Derek Charles has it all. A new house in the suburbs, a lovely wife, a young son, and a great job as an asset manager who has just been promoted within his company. His life could not have been better. That is until one day, a new temp named Lisa was assigned to his office. At first, she adapts quickly to her new office environment and proves to be more efficient than most other secretaries in his office. Then, an evening at the office Christmas party, things start to unravel between Lisa and Derek. Lisa starts to put moves on Derek and begins her deadly obsession with her boss which jeopardizes everything that Derek Charles has worked for. Obsession combines a lot of classic movie elements. It’s the classic new secretary meets her boss.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Michelle is Obsessed!

Obsessed Movie

I originally wasn’t going to write a review this weekend because it was pretty slim pickens at the box office, but I was so bored Sunday that I broke down and caught a matinee of Obsessed. What do you get when you put two of Hollywood’s worst actresses, Beyoncé Knowles and Ali Larter in the same movie? You get a surprisingly decent little paint by the numbers thriller. Now in Beyonce’s defense she’s a great singer who is desperately trying to be an actress, Ali has no defense, she’s beautiful eye-candy but even that wore thin a long time ago. My initial issue with Obsessed is that, based on the trailers I knew exactly what kind of movie this was and there was no way it was going to surprise me, I would probably like it on DVD but to spend real money and time seeing it in a theater. Nah, no way. But like I said it was either this, "Fighting," or nothing. I originally chose nothing.

Once you get past how this is a paint by the numbers affair with an ending that you see a mile away, it is a really nice glossy looking film that clearly had a nice size budget and cool soundtrack. Downtown LA looks as shiny and plastic as ever. Why is it whenever I’m in LA the city looks dirty, dingy, and kind of disgusting? The problem I have with the crazy, delusional woman movie cliché is that I never buy into the obsession. There’s no reason for Lisa (Ali Larter) to instantly become obsessed with Derek (Idris Elba). I mean yeah he’s a great looking, successful Executive Vice President of a major financial institution and an awesome guy on top of everything else, but for her to fall for him the instant she sees him in an elevator? I’m a skeptic, I don’t believe in love at first sight. But again, Lisa’s a crazy…. Which is how writer David Loughery explains every implausible thing Lisa does. After awhile I didn’t question anything, I just said, "Oh yeah, right, Lisa’s a crazy…."

Director Steve Shill (primarily a television show director) takes a big chance resting an entire movie on the performance of Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles. And both actresses actually rise to the occasion. I don’t think either one of them really have a good on-screen presence but Larter really makes this role work for her. The pacing was just about right, scenes didn’t feel overly long and we didn’t have to put up with long doses of either Knowles or Larter. Just when you start thinking, oh god how much longer is this movie, the scene moves to another character. While Obsessed is about Larter’s character, we get her in "seemingly" small doses. She sashays into a scene and then leaves for awhile but her presence is always felt. Lots of shots of her just standing around in the office and preening before the camera, not much of her actually talking (which is a good thing). The inevitable confrontation between Sharon (Beyonce) and Lisa is a decent catfight. I would have liked it to be more over the top violent, other than that, this movie is exactly what you would expect it to be.

Final Grade B-

EM Review
By Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 04.26.09

MOVIE ESSAY: Back To The Future – Star Trek Returns By Scott (The Plant) Essman

Star_Trek_XI,_2009,_Zoe_Saldana

Star Trek is nothing if not a franchise—the most popular genre franchise in American pop cultural history. The original TV series ran from 1966 to 1969, encompassing 80 episodes and revolutionizing science fiction with its cult status on syndicated TV in the 1970s. Demand was so great for more Star Trek, it led to a series of 10 films and four additional spin-off TV series. But a strange thing happened to Star Trek in the new millennium. The coolest sci-fi franchise suddenly became uncool. In the era of The Matrix, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings, Star Trek seemed tired and old.

Enter J.J. Abrams, the creator of TV’s Felicity, Lost and Alias, and director of the third Mission: Impossible film. He was handed the Star Trek reins for a new self-titled film in the form of a prequel to the original series. With Abrams’ requisite amplitude and new imagining of the franchise, it seemed Star Trek was re-energized for a new generation. Youth and enthusiasm were injected into cast and crew, and Abrams’ high-octane style was the perfect antidote to the doldrums of an entity now over 40 years old.

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MOVIE NEWS: Ten New Star Trek Pictures!

Ah, we just got ten more tasty Star Trek movie images. I’m still not enthused about this movie, I don’t know why. But the buzz is strong with this one, everyone who has seen it has loved it. It looks like this is going to be a huge success in every way and I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon and get over this incredible, “meh” feeling that I have.      

 

Star Trek Images

STAR TREK

 

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Soloist Plays Brilliantly!

I don’t know who made the decision to back The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Paramount’s most likely Oscar® candidate, and to shuffle The Soloist to the spring release schedule where it will undoubtedly get lost among the spring blockbusters, but they definitely backed the wrong metaphorical horse. The Soloist is a film of subtlety and intelligence and does not do something that most movies do: manufacture a happy ending.

soloist 2

Even though changes have been made to make the film a better story, The Soloist shines like the music of Beethoven, the particular favorite of Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Jr. [Jamie Foxx]. Ayers came to national prominence when he was discovered, by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez [Robert Downey Jr.], playing Beethoven’s music in the street. The column Mr. Lopez wrote garnered more attention than anything he’d ever written and sparked a huge amount of interest in Mr. Ayers, who had been a student at Julliard before succumbing to schizophrenia.

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MOVIE NEWS: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse gets A Director!

summit

Summit Entertainment announced today that David Slade has been hired to direct THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE from a screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg.  THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, the third film in the studio’s TWILIGHT film franchise based on the Stephanie Meyer’s blockbuster book series, will be released theatrically in North America on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.  The announcement was made by Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Production. Meyer stated, “I am thrilled that David Slade will be directing ECLIPSE. He’s a visionary filmmaker who has so much to offer this franchise. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with wonderful directorial talent for the Twilight Saga, and I’m so happy that ECLIPSE will be carrying on with that tradition.” 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Earth: Lovely to Look At; Not So Delightful to Know!

Earth, the first release from the new arm of Disney, DisneyNature, may be the most beautifully shot film you will see all year – and James Earl Jones could make the phone book sound great. Unfortunately, the cinematography is really the only stellar part of the film.

EARTH 01

The trailer for Earth says it follows three animal families. That’s only partially true. Besides the attention spent on the polar bear family, the elephant family and the whale family, we get detours to watch wolves stalk caribou, baboons having a problem with “waterfront property,” and penguins [which have their own, “built-in toboggans”]. The result is that, of the film’s ninety-six minutes, after digressions and credits, there’s about eighty minutes split between the three families – most of it on the elephants.

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