CQ – An Intriguing New Sci-Fi Film

CQ is an intriguing looking advante garde, film noirish sci-fi flick. Normally I run away from the the theaters at the thought of seeing something “”advante garde””, but this trailer looks intriguing.

CQ is set in Paris, 1969: during The filming of a sci-fi movie set in the distant year 2000 is in trouble. The director’s obsession with the actress who plays sexy secret agent Dragonfly (Angela Lindvall) has clouded his judgment and the film has no ending.A young American (Jeremy Davies) in Paris to document his life on film “”with total honesty”” is brought in to finish the movie. THis prives to be difficult when the line between his fantasy life and reality becomes blurred and he, too, finds himself seduced by the charms of Dragonfly.[url=http://a772.g.akamai.net/5/772/51/4f5d8f8e07f046/1a1a1aaa2198c627970773d80669d84574a8d80d3cb12453c02589f25382f668c9329e0375e81784eb5887ea5b/cq_480.mov]CHECK OUT THIS INTRIGUING TRAILER[/url]

EclipseMagazine The TV Show Episode 10 Is Up!!!!

Hey, folks, due to some technical issues I wasn’t able to post the latest Episode of EMTV. Now your prayers have been answered! We’re back, and have a big show for you this week. On this week’s edition we review “”Frailty””, “”The Next Best Thing””, “”Changing Lanes””, as well as discuss Filmfest DC, and we have an exclusive video tribute to Microsoft’s fab X-Box.

Joining me on the couch this week is our man Caramel, the most embarrassing person in the world to go to a movie with, and Lora. To watch the show simply click the “”watch now”” link below.[url=http://eclipsemagazine.com/tvshow/emtv10w.wmv]WATCH NOW!!![/url]

Serendipity

In a crowded Manhattan department store, Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet over a pair of gloves they both intend to buy for their significant others. The mixup leads to coffee and conversation, but since they’re both involved, they reluctantly part ways.

To be safe, though, the superstitious Sara conducts two tests, writing her name and phone number on the inside cover of a book while having Jonathan do the same to a five dollar bill. She then explains that if either of them should find the book or bill, they’ll know they’re relationship is meant to be.Fast forward what we’re told is a “”few years”” later. We assume the book and the bill have gone undiscovered, as Jonathan and Sara are both set to marry different people, though neither of them seems to have forgotten the magical evening they spent together. In a last ditch effort to find his true love, Jonathan recruits best friend Dean (Jeremy Piven) to help him find Sara, just as she hops a plane with her friend Eve (Molly Shannon) bound for the Big Apple and what she hopes will be her soulmate’s arms.With a tender blend of self-effacing sarcasm and sentiment, as well as a “”lovers on opposite coasts”” subplot, “”Serendipity”” draws comparisons to Nora Ephron’s “”Sleepless in Seattle.”” But Peter Chelsom’s wistful romance embarks down a different path, actively pursuing the requisite coincidences that typically drive such fare instead of merely relying on them. Sara would refer to them as “”twists of fate,”” though we call them plot devices, and they move Cusack’s fruitless search for Sara along all-too-smoothly. The last one, involving a jacket left on a park bench, is a doozy, but completely acceptable in the context of the film. “”Serendipity”” exists solely in the saccharine-sweet fabrication of Manhattan reserved for romantic films like “”An Affair to Remember,”” “”Breakfast at Tiffany’s,”” or even “”When Harry Met Sally.”” As expected, the ideal date picture enchants, but in unconventional ways, as various “”new age”” detours addressing destiny and soulmates, as well as a jazzy soundtrack of original tunes by Alan Silvestri, make the familiar material seem lively and original.Grade: B-THE EXTRASWhat is already a light and fluffy romance comes off that much lighter and fluffier, courtesy of Miramax’s crisp widescreen anamorphic transfer. A Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track backs up the action, both amplified beautifully.In terms of extras, there are a few. Not only does Chelsom contribute a feature-length audio commentary track, he re-appears over the deleted scenes to explain why he felt these particular cuts could be exercised. Since the finished product flows so nicely, I’m inclined to agree. Finally, Chelsom includes his production diary, diving one step further into his thought processes during filming.Foregoing to typical HBO featurette, “Serendipity” instead includes a Starz/Encore “On The Set” look behind the scenes. The name is different, while the content remains the same: interviews, anecdotes, etc. The DVD rounds out with the requisite trailers, while s still gallery and storyboard comparisons will please the more visual folks in the audience.Grade: BOVERALL EXPERIENCE: BPeter Chelsom’s contributions elevate what could have been characterized as a standard “romantic comedy” release. The film is extremely entertaining, and the extras are worth your while.By Sean O’ConnellApril 15, 2002

The Net: Special Edition

Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) exists in her own cyber-community. When she’s hungry, she orders pizza online. When she’s feeling cramped, she books a vacation (flights, hotels, etc.) through the computer. And when she’s lonely, she burns hours in chat rooms, conversing with folks she thinks she knows, despite having never met them face-to-face.

Trouble begins when one of Angela’s chat room denizens pulls her deep into a web (pun intended) of intrigue because of information she receives on a disc from a friend who’s immediately executed. Fearing for her life, Angela runs, but begins to realize that every facet of her life – from her bank account to her passports to her own identity – is tied to the Internet, and therefore at the mercy of her tech-savvy predators.Convoluted thriller makes light of our utter reliance on technology (just think how far we‘ve come since then!), but pushes the envelope a bit too far when the characters become far too dependent on computers and ignore the need for human interaction. While the story is pedestrian in terms of technological thrillers, “”The Net”” does say something of a person’s ability to hide under the Internet’s security blanket – though Bennett works with many, she’s identifiable by few – and avoid reality. Maybe it’s time we all just logged off and shook a friend‘s hand, huh?Grade: C-THE EXTRASWhen contemplating Sandra Bullock’s hits, and their have been plenty, I have to wonder if I’d have chosen “The Net” for a special edition treatment. Probably not (where’s “Speed”?), but that doesn’t prevent CTHE from dressing up this thriller for mass consumption. And just in time for “Murder By Numbers,” too … very convenient.Still, the movie had fans, and the DVD will, too. For starters, the film boasts a clean anamorphic widescreen transfer, and a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track, which clean up the ’95 film for a modern screening. Director Irwin Winkler (“Life As a House”) and producer Rob Cowan sit down for the first of two commentary tracks, while screenwriters Michael Ferris and John Brancato contribute to the second. If pressed for time, test drive the screenwriters’ track, which proves far more insightful as to what messages the film wanted to convey, and the different lengths it went to in saying them. For ’95, “The Net” was ahead of its time, in more ways than one.Next up, we have various “behind the scenes” featurettes, one from HBO (“Inside The Net”), and one entitled “From Script to Screen” which features a number of interviews about the process of greenlighting “The Net,” filming, and editing. “Script” is informative and fun, while the HBO piece just reeks of studio self-promotion (to be expected on most DVD releases to date).The disc culminates with trailers and filmographies, standard fare.Grade: B-OVERALL EXPERIENCE: C+An overall vanilla feeling from an overall vanilla movie. “The Net” wasn’t nearly that thrilling, and its companion DVD takes few risks. Purchase at your own risk.By Sean O’ConnellApril 15, 2002

Lessons from the Ark

I loved this and thought I would share.

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE, I LEARNED FROM NOAH’S ARK

One: Don’t miss the boat.

Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Three: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Four: Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

Six: Build your future on high ground.

Seven: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

Eight: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

Nine: When you’re stressed, float a while.

Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

The Sweetest Thing

The Internet Movie Database, a Bible for movie lovers, tells us that “The Sweetest Thing” director Roger Kumble received a “thanks” credit on the Farrelly Brothers’ groundbreaking gross-out comedy “There’s Something About Mary.” Had I known that, I would have been less surprised by the falsely marketed film’s numerous trips into the toilet for its humor.

Maybe its because I was half expecting “Thing” to be that long-awaited Cameron Diaz vehicle that would propel her to a Julia level, or a Sandra plateau. After years of sharing the screen with the girls of “Charlie’s Angels” or Ms. Roberts herself (“My Best Friend’s Wedding”), Diaz appeared ready for the breakout. And that’s why I found myself so disappointed in this “Thing” on screen, as glory hole gags and oral sex jokes piled up faster than NASCAR racers on the second turn at Bristol.“Thing” could be described as screenwriter Nancy Pimental’s vulgar answer to “Swingers.” In a welcome twist, the film places its high-heeled shoe on the other foot, and casts strong, confident female leads in the role of wolves hunting unsuspecting sheep … uh, men.The leader of the pack is Christina (Cameron Diaz), a female “playah” with relationship issues who’s fiercely loyal to her best friends, Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair). On the dance floor of a pulsating nightclub, Christina encounters the one man who seems impervious to her domineering ways (Thomas Jane), and his resistance to her alluring charms only spurs her on. With Courtney’s help, Christina plans to infiltrate a wedding she knows her mystery man is attending, so she can determine whether this guy’s “Mr. Right,” or “Mr. Right Now.”Pimental, best known for her hosting gig on Comedy Central’s “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” delivers a script that’s initially rife with girl talk and feminine charms. While largely giving women the upper hand, it also assumes (perhaps correctly) that women can be slobs, often swear like sailors, and dream of receiving oral pleasure while they gorge themselves on ice cream. It also strips its stars down to practically nothing for huge chunks of time and has them touch each other frequently. Remember, Feminists, one of your own kind wrote this one, so put those placards of protest away.Diaz and Applegate actually display a likeable chemistry on their road trip. The former literally bounces through scenes as if she were filled with helium, while the latter reminds us why she was a crucial element on a long-running sitcom. Selma Blair, playing the duo’s third wheel of a best friend, doesn’t get off so easily. While Diaz and Applegate take turns sharing the glamorous spotlight, Blair shags an imbecile in a mascots outfit and sings her way out of an oral dilemma. Girl, fire your agent. Immediately.Farrelly Brothers humor aimed squarely at the target teen demographic completely derails this train before long. You’ll laugh into your sleeve at its strongest material, feeling guilty the entire time. But thanks to its reliance on bodily fluid and immature, insulting sex jokes, “Thing” quickly becomes the most perverted, obnoxious and derogatory “guy flick” written by a girl I’ve ever seen.“Sweetest Thing” runs a scant 84 minutes yet still needs a movie-montage sequence, which is funny but still filler. Its abbreviated length just might be the sweetest thing of all.Grade: D+ THE EXTRASTwo versions of the film are available on DVD, an a rated and an unrated, though Columbia decided to send me the rated version and spare me what equals 3 minutes of additional footage. Remind me to thank them next time I have the chance.Instead, I plowed through two “”Making Of”” featurettes. The first, entitled “”Politically Erect,”” goes on to explain that while making “”Thing”” was anything but politically correct, it was a G-String full of dirty ole fun. Good for them! The dreadful “”Day in the Life of Nancy M. Pimental”” attempts to spoof the daily routines of a Hollywood writer. Honey, your movie wasn’t funny, and neither is this extended skit.The DVD does contain a screen-specific audio commentary with Kumble, Diaz and Applegate that’s breathlessly vapid, but light as the helium Cameron inhales. I kid you not.Grade: C-By Sean O’ConnellSept. 1, 2002

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