Movie News

Friday, May 31, 2013

Chris's Review: Will Smith and son team up for lackluster and hollow ‘After Earth’

This was great . . .

Will Smith once ruled the summer box office with a string of blockbuster action hits (Independence Day, Men in Black, Men in Black II). The streak eventually began to sputter as Smith branched out to more serious fare. But over the years, Smith has dipped back into the summer action well every now and then – though with noticeably inconsistent and diminished results (Wild Wild West, Bad Boys II, I, Robot, Hancock, Men in Black III).

. . . this was not

Though just fourteen years old, Jaden Smith has already appeared in numerous films, starting with The Pursuit of Happyness with his dad, then moving onto a supporting role in The Day the Earth Stood Still remake, and eventually the lead in The Karate Kid remake.

In After Earth, a crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher (both with weird, unnecessary accents) stranded on Earth, one thousand years after unseen events forced humanity's evacuation. With his father, legendary general, seriously injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help and save them both.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dan's Discs 5/28/13--$5 BLU-RAYS!

It's New Release Tuesday!
One Problem.
There is nothing being released today that I want to cover.
A Nice List of Blu-Rays On Amazon that are $5 or less.

Danny likey those prices (claps hands).
You may have some or most of these already, but good deals need to be showcased.
Links will take you to the Film's Amazon Page.

SIN CITY (2 Discs, Theatrical & Re-Cut, Extended and Unrated Versions)

Well I guess there are at least 3 separate versions of the film on the Blu-Ray and possibly more.
I like SIN CITY, but I thought it could have been much better.
Frustrating to have all the pieces and end up with a so-so final product.
I think it had the potential to be a huge franchise, but we are just now getting a sequel, this summer. An 8 year hiatus never would have occurred if they could have made this film a little more accessible. I know the source material well and the film didn't even go as dark as the novels, so you can't really fault Robert Rodriguez on authenticity. However, the people eating and constant threat of disturbing sexual assaults is not something you build a franchise around. 
Jessica Alba dancing is something you build a franchise around!
I'm sure the Unrated Version will give you nightmares, so enjoy!

T2: JUDGMENT DAY (Skynet Edition)

If you ever take my word on something, let it be this: YOU MUST OWN THIS!
The extra features are AMAZING.
I've had it for a while and still haven't gone through everything on the disc.
One thing I have watched is the James Cameron Commentary Track.
I can say without a doubt it is my favorite Director Commentary of All-Time (List Coming Soon).
The commentary should be issued to film students of all varieties.
In 2.5 hours, you can learn a ton about film and filmmaking.
This is the film that made computerized, visual effects legit.
The commentary is basically an outline for the future of how films would be made. 
Well worth your $4.75.

DIRTY DANCING (20th Anniversary Edition)

Why not be a super pimp for $5?
Everyone loves this movie and right now, you know someone who needs this.
People who know me, know that I F-ing love me some Patrick Swayze.
I put ROAD HOUSE and POINT BREAK in a category of their own and both have given me hundreds of hours of entertainment. My next three favortie Swayze flicks are YOUNGBLOOD, THE OUTSIDERS and DIRTY DANCING. Swayze dominated here: As if the dancing and the classic, "Nobody puts baby in a corner.", weren't enough, he also wrote a hit song for the soundtrack.
Yup, never wrote a song before and it went to #3 on The Billboard Hot 100.
Oh wait, it's awesome and he sang it too? 
Pure Swayze. 
Rest in Peace Friend.
And if you don't dig 'She's Like The Wind', then I don't need ya:

So if you've got the funds, start grabbing these at $5 while you still can.
Here are some others:

Follow Us On Twitter: @NorthSouthFilm

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dan's Review: THE GREAT GATSBY Ain't So Flashy

I went into Baz Luhrmann's THE GREAT GATSBY with only one hope:
To have the decadence of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's classic novel shined up, and displayed, in 3D.
Instead I got a slowly-paced, un-sexy, film of quick cuts that left me wondering: was that luxury?

For the purposes of this film, our narrator and lead, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is coming to us from a sanitarium. Depressed  he therapeutically begins writing the story of the only man he knew who had the gift of being truly "hopeful", Jay Gatsby (the stellar, Leonardo DiCaprio). Gatsby is a man of great wealth and has quite a mysterious history. Everybody in New York City attends his parties and has their own Gatsby origin story, each more outlandish than the last. Carraway beings telling us of his summer spent as Gatsby's neighbor, which involved his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her wealthy husband, Tom Buchanan (played but an outstanding Joel Edgerton), who is also an old college buddy to Nick. 

Daisy and Tom are seemingly living the refined high life, but we are soon made aware that looks can be deceiving. Tom drags Nick to his bohemian, city love nest and begins learning him on the ways of booze and women. This portion of the film was my favorite. The crazily decorated apartment (lots of wild prints and bead work) is crammed with people making love, taking drugs, drinking, fighting and exploring the early stages of The Roaring Twenties. The sequence occurs early on, so you think the film will really take off once we get to visit a Gatsby Party.
It doesn't.


Okay, as I stated last time in This Week in Trailers, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is my most anticipated film of the year so far. But after this week, his good buddy/fellow Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro and the robots/monsters of Pacific Rim are giving it a serious run for the top spot.

Although one trailer has already been release and was pretty great, this new one is amazing and truly epic. I cannot wait for this!

The mega-action film stars Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Clifton Collins, Jr., Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, and Idris Elba. 

There is also a new, much more epic looking trailer for Man of Steel. In the past year or so, I have waffled back and forth on the idea of a new Superman film (I have never been a huge fan of the hero himself and the idea of Zach Snyder directing anything gives me nightmares), but this trailer has elevated my expectations and anticipation quite a bit. Maybe producer Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer really have come up with a great idea. Plus, Michael Shannon as a villain - sign me up!

Man of Steel hits theaters June 14.

Check out the rest of the new trailers after the jump: 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dan's Discs--CAPTAIN AMERICA-The Awful One

This is an odd edition of Dan's Discs because it is about a film you probably should not buy.
Unless you love reveling in the joys of unintentional comedy.
In that case, 1990's CAPTAIN AMERICA might be your new, favorite, bad movie.

I first saw CAPTAIN AMERICA when I was 9 or 10 years old.
I always liked the character of Captain America.
I think it was because for my 8th birthday somebody gave me this:

Yup, action figures with things that actually shoot are always, the best.
Cap could shoot his shield and actually knock down other toys.
So awesome.
When I saw the VHS sitting on the shelf at Jimmo's Video Store (Great Name), I rented it ASAP.

I was staying at my grandparents house and in a weekend I watched it probably seven times.
It used to be on TV after that, but I have not seen it in at least sixteen years.
When I heard it was getting a Blu-Ray release, I checked it out on youtube.
The whole movie is there, so don't waste you $11 on the Blu-Ray.

I know the movie was a huge bomb and has been lambasted for years, but it made me laugh.
Sure the special effects are terrible and the costumes and the acting are far worse.
However, it is not without it's charms, summarized well here.
It reminded me of a simpler time, before Comic Book adaptations were king.
When budgets for small films were the same as a day's catering bill for a major production.

Is CAPTAIN AMERICA a great or even a good movie? 
Absolutely not, but it does remind you that when you were 9, you weren't such a snarky asshole.
It may be fodder for RiffTrax now, but back then you actually enjoyed it.
So save your money, but take a trip down nostalgia lane and visit the less jaded version of yourself.

P.S. My other favorite figure was this Destro, from G.I. Joe:

Those red discs went FAST and I was quickly told not bring them to school anymore.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Best Film Since 2000 is . . .

The North Reporting:

It's Over!
From a list of hundreds, to 64 to 1.
We have played all 32 Matches in our Best Film of 2000-Now Tournament.
Two films bested the rest of the field and faced off for the title of Best Film Since 2000:


It has been quite the journey to get here.
Chris and I started this Tournament way back in March.
We agreed on 22 Films and then each selected 16 more, to give us a field of 64.
Read Part I of the 64 to 32 Recap here.
Read Part II of the 64 to 32 Recap here.
Read the 32 to 16 Recap here.
Read the 16 to 8 Recap here.
Read the 8-4 Recap here.
Read the 4-2 Recap here.


The finals turned out to be a microcosm of the reason we started North/South:
We both love movies and think our opinions are always correct.
Even when Chris and I agree on the merits of a film, we will always find something to argue about.
This match was no different.

Quentin Tarantino vs. Paul Thomas Anderson.
Colonel Hans Landa vs. Daniel Plainview.
Aldo Raine vs. Eli Sunday.
This match was an absolute battle from start to finish.
The reader votes were a dead split.
Chris loves THERE WILL BE BLOOD like it's his child.
I am one of the biggest Tarantino fans around.

I would rate both INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and THERE WILL BE BLOOD as 10s out of 10.
Picking between two such incredible, dynamic films is basically impossible:
Both have amazing, Oscar winning performances.
Both could be the best work of their decorated director's careers. 
The both have great drama, comedy, action and dialogue.

The task surely was difficult, but in a Tournament, there is one winner and many losers.
One film must reign supreme, while the other becomes one of the nameless rabble of also-rans.
At least both of these films were mutually agreed upon by Chris and I.
If one of our personal favorites won the whole thing, the winner would never let the loser forget.
In the end, one film would either drink the milkshake or get blown to smithereens.

The winner of North/South's Inaugural Tournament and the title of BEST FILM SINCE 2000 is . . .

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Past Ebert/Dan's Discs--CLOUD ATLAS

For me, almost every day of the week has a significant tie-in to film.
Sunday and Monday: Box Office Results
Tuesday: New DVD Releases
Wednesday: Sucks
Thursday: Roger Ebert Review Day
Friday: Opening Day
Saturday: Matinee Day

Sadly, my love of Thursdays ended with the death of our friend, Roger Ebert.
However, we still have the ability to read and enjoy his past writings.
He wrote about CLOUD ATLAS and gave it the ultimate confirmation: An Ebert 4 Star Review.
As you can see in the above picture he also gave them the highly prized Box Cover Quotation.
If Ebert calls your film "daring and visionary", you put it on every piece of print, for eternity.

Take a minute to read his review and remember that Box Office success means nothing.
A great film can do poorly and a terrible film can make $146 million.
CLOUD ATLAS was destined to fail in the theaters: 
It is long (164 minutes). 
It is confusing (actors playing multiple parts, over multiple centuries and settings).
And you couldn't possibly explain it all in a 30 second trailer.
For today's spoonfed audiences, that is a recipe for disaster, but for Ebert it is a challenge.
Can he convince you to take 3 hours out of your busy life to digest a great film experiment?

For me, the answer was yes.
Ebert said, "Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made."
When Ebert says that, you drop everything and get to the theater.
Hopefully you did it quickly, because ATLAS came and went in the blink of an eye.
For me, it wasn't perfect, but damn was it interesting.
I can't find better adjectives to describe it than the ones used by Ebert: 
Daring, Visionary and Ambitious.
It was not a Blockbuster, but if you love movies, you owe to yourself to watch it.
Trust me, you will be thinking about it long after the 3 hours are up.

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Live-Action 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Coming Out of the Sewer Soon (*UPDATED with trailer*)

The first trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is online now. Check it out here:

(Update 4/30) And now, a second trailer has been released that shows a bit more of the the action, the story, the Turtles, and even a glimpse of Shredder:

(scroll down to bottom of page for more updates)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - the favorite part of childhood

Well, we have put off talking about this for long enough, but since it is currently filming and making big waves all over the interweb, I guess we finally have to . . .

Our old friend Michael Bay (as a producer, not director) and his folks at Platinum Dunes (who remade Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are making a new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

They're back! I'm okay with it as long as they bring back Vanilla Ice for a new song

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This Week in Movie Trailers: Ender's Game, The World's End, Gravity, and more!

Summer is here!
Last week, Iron Man 3 officially kicked off the summer blockbuster movie season (Check out Dan's review here). And since the festival/award season rears its overstuffed head in the fall, movie lovers are being inundated at the moment with new trailers, pictures, and posters from all the big upcoming films. 

So in what may (or may not) become a regular posting, I (Chris from The South) give you a wrap-up of some of the new trailers that hit the internet this week (and one from a few weeks ago to catch up on). Many of these film are included on Dan and I’s respective Power Rankings Lists on the right hand side of the screen ------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
And with these new trailers, we may see some movement in the rankings.

First, we have Ender’s Game, the long-gestating film adaptation of one of the most beloved sci-fi novels of all time by Orson Scott Card.  For those of you who do not know, Ender’s Game is about: 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.
Ender’s Game stars some top young talent Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), plus some big name stars like Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. The film is directed by Gavin Hood.

Plus, it was shot in my backyard (not literally, but in my city) of New Orleans. The film is certainly highly anticipated, and though I have not read the book, the trailer has got me really excited. It looks like a highly enjoyable sci-fi adventure opening November 1.

Check out more trailers – including Gravity, The Word’s End, Thor, and Inside Llewyn Davis after the jump:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dan's Discs 5/7/13--Tom Cruise Time!

With the home release of JACK REACHER today, I thought we'd talk Tom Cruise for a minute.
I never saw REACHER, but the trailer entertained me very much.
I really thought it was an F-You to the haters.
At first I thought it was a "Funny Or Die" video, but when I realized it was real, I had to applaud.
It's an Opus on Everything Cruise.
It's so absurd.
So ridiculous.
Just watch it and refresh your memory:

By the time he gives the hat back to the guy, I was on the floor.
I have two favorite parts:
#1. is when he calls the kidnapper back and says, "On second thought, I'd like to kill you."
#2. is when the cards say, "THE LAW HAS LIMITS" "HE DOES NOT".
The whole thing reminds me of ROAD HOUSE.
It is too good to be unintentional comedy, it has to be satire.
It was always my belief about ROAD HOUSE, later confirmed by Rowdy Herrington's Commentary.

People hate on Cruise for a variety of reasons, but I will tell you one thing:
He is still here and he is still huge.
The web was going nuts when it was announced he'd be back for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 5.
(AICN story about that here)
The guy is not a puppet, he is the puppet master.
He knows some people will be laughing at him, but a lot of others ($) will be there, Opening Day.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dan's Review: IRON MAN 3 Suits Me Very Well

IRON MAN 3 is the culmination of the "Comic Book Movie" genre. 
It has great action, story, wit, style and (real) substance. 
In perhaps his best turn as in-flux hero Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. reminds us why this franchise became so huge, so fast. Downey and director, Shane Black, have furthered a genre that has been increasingly obvious and easy. They delivered a complete film, that will entertain people of all ages and is far greater than the usual Summer Blockbuster.

When we rejoin Stark, he is struggling with hard emotions from his near death in AVENGERS.
He has basically cut himself off from everyone and has been "tinkering" away on more Iron Men.
It's obvious Stark is no longer the carefree version we see in flashbacks.
The line between him and Iron Man is fully erased.  
The suit is no longer the weapon. He is the weapon.
Stark knows we are not alone in the universe, so he keeps building, waiting for whatever comes.

The threat that emerges is The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a puzzling, meta-terrorist bent on teaching the West lessons via bombings and scary TV broadcasts. When The Mandarin's actions directly effect Stark he jumps back into action with actual reckless abandon. Our hero still has some past demons to overcome before he is ready to take on such a large task and he suffers from not being in fighting shape.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

John Hughes' WEIRD SCIENCE To Be Remade!

In Hollywood, remaking 80s movies has become it's own genre.
Some were successful (KARATE KID), some were bombs (ARTHUR), but all were truly terrible.
There is news of another 80s movie remake, but this time, we have a reason to hope it could work:

Universal Pictures and Joel Silver are set to remake the John Hughes' WEIRD SCIENCE

I heard a collective groan after that sentence, but here is the silver (pun intended) lining:
Joel Silver produced the original WEIRD SCIENCE at Universal in 1985.
I know that for many, remaking a Hughes film is cause for an immediate boycott. 
You may have even stopped reading this article, but I am actually excited.
WEIRD is the only Hughes movie that could work as a remake.
It's really just a romp from start to finish. 
It is never serious and doesn't have the same 80s angst as his other works.