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Preview: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Ever wondered what happened to Hansel and Gretel when they grew up??? Here’s a preview!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9246msCh7x4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Premium Rush

To what extent would you go for excellent customer service and a plea for help from your girlfriend’s roommate?

Well in Premium Rush, Joseph Gordon Levitt goes that extra mile (ok, a few miles) for a seemingly normal bike messenger delivery until a mysterious (and very crooked) detective (played by Michael Shannon) tries to stop him. Wilee (Joseph Gordon Levitt) plays a genius bike messenger who innocently gets involved with a smuggling scheme that goes awry because of a very crooked Detective’s gambling problem and a law-abiding Chinese immigrant. With the occasional help of fellow bike messengers, and some typical New York drivers, Wilee is able to outsmart, and out bike most of the obstacles in his way. JGL’s character has the most depth, but you aren’t even paying attention to that. You are more focused on the cringe-worthy bike crash scenarios and familiarity to bikes and traffic if you have lived in NYC for at least a year. This movie is non-stop action, and you will most likely find yourself gripping the seat for your life as if you were in the back of a NYC cab speeding down the FDR. Definitely a must-see, especially for those JGL fans.

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Chicago Comic Con 2012

This weekend saw the yearly Chicago installment of Wizard World’s tour of Comic cons. The celebrity guest list was huge: everyone from WWE wrestler John Cena to regular favorites like Boondock Saints cast and Lou Ferrigno, and even new to the convention Tom Felton (Draco Felton from Harry Potter) and Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead).

As usual, there was a plethora of artists featured in Artist Alley for the comic art fans. I myself purchased another piece from Tommy Castillo (in Philly I got a headless horsewoman print…this time I got a horror depiction of Alice in Wonderland). Tommy Castillo also hosted a “Drink and Draw” activity at the Hyatt Friday Night for attendees. As I only got to Chicago on Friday evening, I noticed that Saturday was very busy, with lots of Cosplay. I saw Zombies, superheroes, villains, and a bunch adorable kids!

Speaking of kids, I’d live to give a quick shoutout to Johnny, who I tweeted a photo of on Saturday. He was a adorable little boy who loves The Walking Dead (although his mom pointed out he’s not allowed to watch the extremely gross scenes). Johnny was dress like Rick Grimes–hat and Sherriff’s outfit–and informed me he “wants to make zombie movies” when he grows up. When his mom asked him why he didn’t want to be an engineer like his uncle, his response was clear, “I want to make zombie movies because they’re cool.” He then proceeded to meet his idols from TWD, Norman Reedus and Jon Bernthal, who both thought Johnny was very adorable.

20120813-112327.jpg Johnny as Rick Grimes

There were also several panels that con goers were able to attend. Such panels included several Q&A’s with celebrity guests like Bruce Campbell, Sam Trammell, The Waking Dead (Jon Bernthal and Norman Reedus) as well as Buffy and Charmed panels.

As usual there were toy vendors, tee shirt/memorabilia vendors and comic book vendors. We also saw special local groups of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Zombie fans that boasted tables In the main entrance hall.

This was a great convention, and I even had time to go into Chicago and did a little sightseeing!!!

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Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is nothing short of adorable. Set in the 1960s in a New England island town, a pair of 12-year-old misfits fall in love through letters and agree to run away together. Sam, an orphan spending the summer at scout camp, wanders backstage at a church play and meets local loner Suzy; the two become pen pals and plot their escape. Once the tweens’ absence is discovered, a search party forms consisting of the island’s seemingly sole policeman (Bruce Willis), Sam’s Khaki Scout Master (Edward Norton) and Khaki Scout troop, and Suzy’s parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray) and little brothers. Adventure, hilarity, and personal growth ensue.

With an all-star ensemble populating the island, getting to know these residents is delightful. Anderson gives us a little of each at a time, and by the end of the film we’re invested in all of them. At first set on separating the pair to return Suzy to her family and Sam to the care of the state, the search party eventually sees what we see: two quirky, troubled kids giving each other the support and acceptance that they desperately need but can’t find in the usual places. The debut of Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman (Suzy and Sam) makes the movie; the fresh, green actors contrast with the familiar faces of the adults in the film, reminding us that no matter how Suzy and Sam might act, they’re still just kids.

The film looks and feels retro, appropriately, and you would know Moonrise was Wes Anderson’s work even if I hadn’t told you. The comedy is in the same vein as The Royal Tenenbaums, with characters full of idiosyncrasies we can’t help but laugh at. The film is visually enthralling, too, and I left the theater considering my options in the way of little-known New England islands to visit.

All in all, my Scout Master recommendation is to make the journey to Moonrise Kingdom. This movie will tickle you pink, whether you want to be tickled or not.

Moonrise Kingdom film group photo

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The Dark Knight Rises (NO SPOILERS)

The 3rd and final installment of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” series premiered at midnight tonight with an explosive 2 hour 45 minute finale. The tale begins 8 years after the events of “Dark Knight” and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has retired from being Batman and ends up a cane-wielding recluse in rebuilt Wayne Mansion. After an inspiring speech by a young, motivated, beat cop, John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and after new villains such as Bane (Tom Harding), Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and all the low-level criminals start to take over Gotham City, Batman rises from seclusion to take his crime-ridden city back and restore it to it’s former glory. At the same time, protecting his family’s fortune amongst financial upheaval in the stock market with the help of fellow millionaire investor Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).

Again, we see Batman regulars such as Comissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Mayor Anthony Garcia (Nestor Carbonell), Alfred (Michael Caine), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and even a brief appearance from Dr. Crane (Cillian Murphy). However, missing was any mention of Joker (previously played by the brilliant Heath Ledger) or any of the Mob bosses seen in Dark Knight.

In this movie we see the internalized and personal struggle Bruce Wayne must go through in order to suit up again after 8 years of mourning the murder of his one true love, Rachel Dawes. The main villain, Bane, is a fantastic foe for Batman to rise up against and really stop at nothing to stop him, maybe even breaking his one rule: no guns, no killing. We really see how the citizens of Gotham, desperate for someone to save them, goes into survival mode and lives for a period of several months in a distopian, crime-ridden society where the law is outlawed and mutiny is fatally punished.

Visually, the movie is amazing. It seems pretty clear now that anything Christopher Nolan touches seems to turn to gold. I’m very excited to see what he has in store for us in the future. He definately is the future of filmmaking and the future of film production. I see nothing but a very bright future for him in the film industry. I really hope he gets an academy award for this film because he definitely deserves it.

PS: only one downside–sometimes Bane is very hard to understand due to accent and the fact that he wears a Darth Vader-type face mask. Just a heads up.

SEE, SEE, SEE!!!!!! MUST SEE!!!!!

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Jeff, Who Lives At Home (May 2011)

My roommate brings home this movie under the impression that it is a comedy (“That’s what redbox told me,” he says). Jason Segel is one of my favorite actors so naturally I assumed humor would be involved.
 
Though light-hearted, this movie deals mainly in kismet not laughs, as slacker and pot smoker Jeff (Jason Segel) goes from scene to scene as the guy who is in the right place at the right time. Jeff’s main goal is to appease Mom, Sharon (Susan Sarandon) who has been hounding him to fix a broken shutter. This is Jeff’s impetus to leave the house but he gets side tracked (which seems quite typical for him) and incurs some strange encounters. Eventually he runs into his brother Pat (Ed Helms) who appears to have his life together until he crashes the Porsche he bought in an asshole move that leads him to spy his wife in the company of another man. The story turns as the brothers (who don’t quite get along) move from location to location, following Pat’s wife Linda (Judy Greer). 
 
The subtle character development is what drives the movie. There’s no outstanding performer here, but a group of actors who work well together to create a much more realistic story. It gives you that human element, which–if you’re not in the right mood, can be boring. I do have to say my favorite part is when Susan Sarandon’s character gains a secret admirer. Without giving away the twist, I will say that it is probably the most romantic part of the movie. Not a comedy and not necessarily a movie that I’d go back to see again, Jeff, Who Lives At Home is a very human story that leaves you with a positive perspective at the end. Warning: may contain happy ending.
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Safe and Predictable, but Hilarious–Pixar’s Brave

I’m not sure what provoked me to go see Pixar’s first fairytale, Brave. Maybe it was the strong female protagonist Merida (another first for Pixar) or maybe it was the delightful Scottish accents. Either way, I wasn’t disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, for adults this wasn’t a Pixar great that broke through and offered anything groundbreaking, but it was funny and great for kids of all ages. I found myself laughing mostly at the side characters like Harris, Hubert, and Hamish (the mischievious younger triplet brother of our heroine Merida) who, though silent, lead the story for many of the laughs.

A bit of a darker fairytale the likes of Hans Christen Anderson or the Brother’s Grimm, Brave boils down to one essential message: there needs to be communication between mother and daughter. So what’s the story? Prepare for a minute spoiler: There are a lot of bears. Seriously. The story centers on the rebellious princess Merida (Kelly Macdonal) who would rather practice her archery than the good-manners her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) is trying to teach her. When the four major clans gather, tradition determines that Merida must marry, and only the first born of each clan has any stake. Cue the arrival of the hilarious and competitive clan lords: Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). To win Merida’s hand, one must win an archery contest (anyone see where this is going? I did at this point, plus the trailers spoilt the lovely part). After Lord Dingwall’s son accidentally wins, Merida announce that she, as the first born of clan DunBroch, will compete for her own hand. After mother and daughter fight bitterly (while King Fergus “entertains” the fight-happy and easily incited clan lords). Merida slashes a rift in her mother’s tapestry of the family while Elinor throw Merida’s prized bow into the fire.
Angry and feeling the injustice of her position, Merida mounts her horse Angus and flees the castle for the forest. When she is thrown from her horse, she follows the wlll-‘o’-the-wisp until she comes upon a hut. Inside she finds an eccentric Witch who’s masquerading as a wood carver (who carves BEARS exclusively). Merida demands a spell that will change her destiny–or more specifically her mother. And change her mother does, into something that Merida spend the rest of the movie trying to fix. Because it’s Disney-owned Pixar, there has to be a happy ending, but not before mother and daughter are forced to get to know each other better and forge a stronger relationship.
In the end, tradition is broken in favor of Merida (and all the other youngsters of marriageable age) so that all can marry for love. What I liked best about this movie, was that Merida stayed a strong character. She didn’t succumb to the cliche of so many princesses before her and she never found her Prince Charming. Her family came first and I LOVE that concept. I recommend this movie for those of you that want to laugh and don’t mind a bit of morality with your movie. Don’t expect to think too much (many events are predictable) but expect to leave the movie with a smile on your face.
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