Ocean’s 13 – Teaser

December 21, 2006

I always enjoyed the ‘Ocean’s’ movies whether it was with the coolest of the cool, Frank Sinatra, and his Rat Pack friends in the 1960s version of Ocean’s 11 or with the George Clooney and his friends in the 2001 remake of Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12. I thought the remake of Ocean’s 11 was terrific. It was very stylish, the dialogue was witty, the soundtrack was superb and the characters of the movie were memorable. To round it all up, the plot was pretty good as well. Although I did not enjoy Ocean’s 12 as much as the others and thought it wasn’t particularly necessary to come up with a sequel, I still thought it looked great on screen (visually) and overall, it was fairly entertaining.

Well, it looks like Daniel Ocean and the rest of the Ocean’s crew are back in Ocean’s 13 (what other name did you expect?), the final installment of the ‘Ocean’s’ trilogy. Although Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones will not be returning in this film, I can’t wait to see this. With its great cast, the directorial style of Steven Soderbergh, the casting additions of Ellen Barkin and the legendary Al Pacino, you can’t help but to look forward to this. What I love most about the ‘Ocean’s’ films is that its about the entertainment and its style. They’re not about trying to make cinematic history or looking to sweep the Oscars, its just a crew of great actors having fun and putting on a show for its audience. You can definitely say it stays true to the philosophy of what the Rat Pack did back in the 1960s version.

[Ocean’s 13]

– Jon

Horem pádem (Up and Down)

December 21, 2006

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As Christmas holidays kicked off into full swing, I had the opportunity to pick up a couple of movies to watch. One of these was a 2004 Czech film Horem pádem, which was translated simply as Up and Down in English. Director Jan Hrebejk masterfully portrays the everyday lives of Czechs from different social backgrounds. The overall movie I’d say would fall into the Drama category, with an abundance of comic relief. The beauty of this film is how it seamlessly integrates the storylines of three groups of individual. The movie kicks off when smugglers of immigrants discover a baby in the back of their truck. Rather than heartlessly leaving the baby to die, they bring him to a pawn shop where he is to be put for sale. In another scene, a soccer hooligan’s wife desperate wants a baby but is unable to have one. They are also unable to adopt due to the husband’s criminal record stemming from soccer. And then there’s the story of a dying professor whose dying wish is to divorce his separated wife so that he can marry his girlfriend. These three stories inevitably coincide with one another throughout the movie. If ever you get the chance, this is one movie you should check out.

-phil

Curse of the Golden Flower

December 2, 2006

A much anticipated movie from Zhang Yimou, who created Hero and House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower is an epic film that displays a deep plot and heavy artistic elements. By far this film is Yimou’s most expensive productions with a total cost of $45 million dollars; which makes it China’s most expensive film production to date. Throughout the trailer, Yimou’s style of colour co-ordinating scenes and massive epic battles can be easily seen. ‘The plot concerns the volatile balance of power between the King (Chow Yun Fat) and the Queen (Gong Li) and his three sons, which entails betrayal, deceit and passion, pitting King against Queen and father against sons.’ Set to open in New York and Los Angeles on Dec 22nd, the film has already been released to for critics with mixed reviews. Although grande and epic, many feel the film lacks substantial martial arts action and the story is too much focused on drama. Regardless the trailer is a must see and it readily compares to Frank Miller’s film 300.

-e

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Surface To Air has released their 3rd publication which is comprised of 50 movie posters. 50 artists have been commissioned by Surface To Air to “recreate, reinterpret, reinvent, reshape, remix a poster for a film of their choosing”. The result is an impressive compilation of re-designed posters of movies spanning from the 1950s. The styles and techniques used for these posters vary greatly making this project all the more unique.

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A while ago, Stussy created a documentary film called the “World Tour” which takes a look at 16 artists who influence street culture around the world. Last month, there was a screening of this documentary at the Vista theater in Los Angeles. For the most of us who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a short preview of what you can expect. From the looks of this, it looks really well done.

-phil

Beck and Michel Gondry team up again to create this bizarre and surreal video “Cellphone’s Dead” off of Beck’s latest album “The Information”. Beck and Gondry worked together for his video “Deadweight” (which is one of my favorite music videos of all time. Click here to view) which was so inventive and imaginative in terms of story telling and visual effects. The “Cellphone’s Dead” video is no different.  For any inspiring artists or film makers, Gondry’s work is essential viewing in my opinion. This is definitely worth checking out from one of the most creative directors out in the industry.

– Jon

Smokin’ Aces – When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel (Piven)decides to turn state’s evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he’s no longer breathing. – [IMDB]

This is the fastest movie preview I’ve ever seen. I ain’t lying. In this 1 minute teaser for Joe Carnahan’s latest movie, Smokin’ Aces, I don’t think I had enough time to comp-rend everything in the clip because its extremely fast paced. Next thing you know its over. I believe I saw Jeremy Piven (AKA Ari Gold from Entourage), Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Ben Affleck…ah..Alicia Keys and Common all in the same movie? If all goes well, Joe Carnahan (which directed Narc) can bring the diverse cast and make what looks to be a really good action movie. Based on the teaser, it looks pretty damn cool if you ask me. It looks like something Guy Richie would direct. Hopefuly, it won’t turn out like “Revolver”.

– Jon

300: The Movie

October 23, 2006

Warner Brothers have just launched the website for 300: The Movie, a historic film based on ‘Spartans’ and adapted from critcally acclaimed and award-winning writer Frank Miller’s graphic novel. Miller also wrote Sin City (with Sin City 2 to be released in the upcoming year as well). Release date for this movie is set in 2007. Expect it to be BIG. Check the trailer. The use of ‘colour themed’ scenes, shown in the trailer, make this to be one of the most anticipated movies in the upcoming year.

300: The Movie Official Website
-e

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GQ recently released their list of the most stylish films of all time and they’re right on with the films listed. Actually nearly most of my favorite films are on this list. Without any doubt, Ocean’s 11 (the original Rat Pack version of course) made it on the list. If you ever watched the original 1960 version of Ocean’s 11 you know what I’m talking about. It is THE definition of cool. Old blue eyes aka Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and the rest of the Rat Pack. It’s a heist film. In Vegas. Come on. Sure it wasn’t the greatest film I’ve ever seen but it has timeless style.

I’m glad GQ didn’t limit the list to American films only. Godard’s feature “Breathless” which started the genre of French New Wave Cinema (Click here for my review of “Breathless”) as well as Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 (which is probably one of my favorite films of all time), made the list. I absolutely loved Wong Kar Wai’s “In The Mood For Love” and it definitely had a reason to be on this list because its stylish cinematography/photography that made this film. Trainspotting, A Clockwork Orange, Rushmore and of course my favorite film of all time, The Godfather Part II were notables of the list as well.

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