Archive | June, 2010

Just In-New Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

29 Jun

Just a short post-vacation post that had to be shared ASAP; the latest trailer for Harry Potter ATDH trailer was released today, as seen on MTV.com and EW.com.  And without further ado:

Though some of this is repackaged from older trailers, the gist is these are going to be two seriously epic movies for us Potterphiles out there. Only 144 days until part one hits theaters! November 19th can’t come fast enough!

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Movie Musings

19 Jun

As I’m about to head down to lovely Cape Cod for a little vaca, here are some Friday movie musings.

  • Next on the Oscar list (in no particular order): Chicago, Gone with the Wind, Cavalcade and the Hurt Locker
  • I am finally going to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (in Swedish with subtitles) this week
  • Toy Story 3 has been getting some really good reviews; I’ve even seen some early Oscar buzz around it. It’s probably gold for best animated feature and might be a contender for Best Picture now that the category is extended to 10 films for the second year.
  • The nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy awards are announced in 201 days on January 5th and the awards are given out in a mere 254 days on February 27th.  Both of these dates are in 2011, which is weird.
  • How excited are you now that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open? I think I’d give up ice cream and my left arm to apparate there right now (and yes, this is fully indicative of what a dork I am.)
  • Ever wonder what the Oscar nomination timeline is like?  It’s pretty simple: according to Rules 2 and 3 of the official Academy Awards Rules, a film must open in the previous calendar year, from midnight at the start of January 1 to midnight at the end of December 31.

And those are my movie musings for this lovely Friday! Enjoy the weekend!

Sequels, Prequels and Remakes: Are original movies dead?

16 Jun

So this past weekend, two movies duked it out for the top spot; one a remake of an 80’s movie and one a big screen adaptation of an 80’s TV show. As you might have seen, The Karate Kid beat The A-Team—by a pretty large margin too, $56 million to $26 million.

We all know that remakes have been all the rage lately, and the concept is a hard one to find fault in; unless you’re the loyal fan of the original. Take what was once a popular film idea and make it over with a bigger budget, new actors and a new audience, and it’s a surefire formula to roll that money in.Besides remakes, sequels have enjoyed a serious foothold in movies today. With the fourth installment of Shrek hanging in the top 10, along with Ironman 2 and Sex and the City 2, it seems that any movie that crosses a (insert million dollar figure here) mark, automatically gets greenlighted for a sequel…or two.

The long awaited Toy Story 3 opens this Friday…seriously, though, was anyone actually waiting on this one? What, is Andy 25 and married now? Is he still really playing with Buzz and Woody? Toy story 2 came out 11 YEARS AGO. That, in my opinion, is too long to wait before rocking the sequel.

But I digress. With sequels and remakes becoming more the norm, we haven’t seen a lot of re-releases—but we’re in for a treat come July 10th. Apparently, Grease, the sing-a-long edition is coming out in limited release this summer. WTF?!?  So apparently, this version has been seriously sanitized from the original and encourages a whole theater full of regular (read: not people I want to pay money to hear sing) people rocking out to “Summer Lovin” and “Sandra D.” Yikes city.

With so many movies now just extensions of other movies, it begs the question: are there legit no more ideas for a feature length film? Is the only avenue left to remake old movies, tack on sequel after sequel to successful movies (which are now likely to be based on a book or comic) or make some bogus pre story up and call it a prequel?

Though I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other about the Karate Kid remake, there are some movies that I feel cannot be remade; you don’t want to mess with perfection. On the top of my list is John Hughes’ 1985 classic, The Breakfast Club. If for some unknown reason you haven’t seen the Breakfast club AND for everyone else who loves it, here’s a clip:

What movie remakes would you hate to see if done?

MTV Movie Awards: New Clips!

11 Jun

From one throwback to another!  So the MTV Movie Awards aired last week. Far from an Oscar or Golden Globe indicator, everyone knows these awards as being off the wall with crazy categories like “Best WTF moment,” which went to Ken Jeong from The Hangover and “Best Villian,” picked up by Tom Felton’s awesomely evil Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. In fact, there have only been two occasions in the MTV Movie Award’s Best Movie 18 year history that their pick has matched the Academy’s choice for Best Picture: in 2004 for the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and in 1998 for Titanic. Not super surprising when you consider some other classic MTV best movie winners are Napoleon Dynamite, There’s Something About Mary and last year’s Twilight.

Speaking of Twilight, if you missed it, the 2nd movie in the Twilight Saga, New Moon, pretty much cleaned up on the awards front like it did last year and probably like the next movie, Eclipse, will next year!

Which brings us to my favorite part of the show: the new clips from Eclipse (out on June 30th) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1 out on November 30th and part 2 out on July 15th 2011)! Embedded below for your viewing pleasure, both clips courtesy of YouTube!

It Happened One Night (Winner, 1934/7th Annual Academy Awards)

8 Jun

OK, so three random factoids about this 76 (!) year old movie (besides the fact that it was the first film to win the Big 5 of the Academy Awards):

1) In 1934, the 7th Academy Awards were held at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel (now the Millennium Biltmore). The Biltmore was constructed in 1923, and at the time, was the largest hotel west of the Mississippi. Besides hosting the Oscars 8 times in the 1930’s and 40’s, the Biltmore also hosted me and my friend Alyssa overnight in January! What a storied place =)

2) I just saw Sex and the City 2 this past weekend, and It Happened One Night is the black and white movie that Big and Carrie watch after Anthony and Stanford’s wedding! What are the chances of that?!?

3) In spite of the title, the movie takes place over several nights, which I thought odd.

So, I succeeded in finding a non-depressing winner, horray! Though I had my reservations about watching this, I was more than pleasantly surprised. It didn’t hurt that an actor I was familiar with (Clark Gable, from Gone with the Wind), but I really enjoyed It Happened One Night. An early precursor to today’s romanic comedies, It Happened One Night follows a spoiled rich girl Ellie Andrews, played by Claudette Colbert, who runs away from her rich father to meet up with her new husband, who her dad hates. As she’s on the run, she comes across a recently fired journalist (Gable, as Peter Wayne) who recognizes her from the papers (as she’s been all over them since her father lost here) and offers to help her in exchange for her story.

Of course, funniness ensues, and like every romcom we’re used to seeing in 2010, the two leads fall in love after some serious chance happenings threaten to keep them apart. I’ll let you see the details for yourself, but I definitely thought this was cute and funny.  My favorite part about watching it was definitely seeing the differences between movies then and now. For example, the only kiss in the movie is between Ellie and her at-the-time husband, and it’s very brief. The difference between the strict moral and social conduct back in the 30’s is so different from movies now! Seeing the conduct and dress was also a trip; men in suits and hats and women in buttoned up dresses. The scene from this movie that’s mimicked in Sex and the City occurs when Ellie is trying to flag down a car for a ride, and in doing so, hikes her dress and shows a little leg (which is how Carrie flags down a cab for the girls in Abu Dhabi!)

I thought this was a fun watch, light and fluffy fair from 1934. I was able to stream this one from Netflix, which was super convenient. It’s also out on DVD.

And as for Sex and the City 2 (which I saw with my friends Elisa and Ashley), I thought it was much better than all the reviews said! It was a little long in places, but it was a nice escape to a life most of us won’t ever have. Of course, the designer clothes and wonderful shoes might make me a little biased, but I still miss the show and will probably continue to turn out to see Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte as long as they keep making the movies. SatC2 also marked my first experience at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in the lovely city of Nashua NH, which was a lot of fun, as I’m sure you can tell!

Elisa and I enjoying Chunky's!

Up next—I’m on a mission to find the Hurt Locker at  Redbox and see what took down Avatar! Check back soon =)

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • In 1993, It Happened One Night was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
  • On December 15, 1996, Clark Gable’s Oscar was auctioned off to Steven Spielberg for $607,500
  • Neither star of the film was the first choice for their roles, and both were said to have thought the movie was a stinked during filming
  • Estimated budget: $325,000 (roughly the equivalent of $5,316,926.14 in 2010!)

The Oscars’ Triple Crown

1 Jun

So, though the title of this post would lead you to believe, the “triple crown” of the Oscars isn’t a reference to the number of feats, but the exclusivity of this accomplishment. Like the triple crown, with only 11 winners, the “Big Five” of the Academy Awards has only been achieved by 3 films.  Consisting of what’s considered the most prestigious of the awards (best picture, best director, best screenplay, adapted or original, best actor and best actress) the only movies to have swept the Big 5 are It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Having discovered this, my next Oscar winner is going to be It Happened One Night, which, besides being a Big 5 winner, is also my first Oscar winner to not have a rating. Starring Clark Gable (better known as Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind) and Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night was one of the last films to be released before the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)’s 1930 Production Code, which went into effect in 1934, but that’s a subject for another post!

This will also be my first foray into the wonderful world of black and white movies, which can be both good and bad; good, because I think it really lets the story and acting shine through where it might not with color and special effects, and bad, because, well, B&W’s can get boring! It took me 2 tries to finish up Casablanca, but it was worth it at the end!

As for in theater movies, I have a few coming up I’m psyched to see. Of course, Sex and the City 2 is on my list, no matter how panned it was by reviewers, and The A-Team, with the always hot Bradley Cooper! What movies are on your summer radar?