This Week In Film #2

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2008 by brettjm16

Movies i watched this week:

Penelope (2007)

Punch Drunk Love (2001)

The Big Lebowski (1998 )

The Dark Knight(2008 )

Much more will be written in the next day or two. Till then happy blogging.

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Itzhak Perlman live performance in the 78th Oscar Award.

Posted in video on July 22, 2008 by brettjm16

Box Office Report

Posted in Box Office on July 21, 2008 by brettjm16

So there’s little to no surprise that The Dark Knight broke records this weekend at the box office ranking in an outstanding 155.3 million dollars in its opening weekend (Friday -Sunday), beating the record that was once held by reining box office champ Spiderman 3. According to Rottentomatoes.com the film averaged an impressive $35,579 from 4,366 theaters. Batman grossed over 18 million during its thursday showings between 12 and 3am which also set a new record beating Star Wars Episode III previous record of 16.9 million. With working at a theater I can see as to why this film broke records. The theater in Winnipeg, MB had lines going out into the halls, filled with eager fans waiting hours upon hours to see the film. Our numbers haven’t been this high in a long time.

Coming up in close second this weekend was Mamma Mia, ranking in just over 27 million on its oppening weekend. Falling to third this week, Hancock did fairly well ranking in 14 million proving Will Smith is the one actor to guarantee box office success.

The Dark Knight $155.3M
Mamma Mia! $27.6M
Hancock $14.0M
Journey to the Center … $11.9M
Hellboy II: The Golden… $10.0M
WALL-E $9.8M
Space Chimps $7.4M
Wanted $5.1M
Get Smart $4.1M
Kung Fu Panda $1.8M

Why So Serious

Posted in Movie Reviews on July 20, 2008 by brettjm16

The Dark Knight

2008, surprisingly with a rough start has been turning out to be one of the greatest years for film in a long time. We’ve already had animated wonders like Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda, artsy masterpieces like Funny Games and comic book adaptation after comic book adaptation which mostly never failed to entertain without loosing its intelligence. After the surprising successes of Iron Man it wasn’t likely there would be a film that would be able to match it. Here comes The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolans sequel to the surprise hit Batman Begins back in 2005. The Dark Knight without a doubt knocks Iron Man out of the ball park making it one of the greatest, no sorry the greatest comic book adaptation ever brought to the big screen and the very best film of 2008. I doubt there will be another film this year that touches greatness like The Dark Knight has. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

There is something to be said when the villain steels the show from the main character. Heath Ledger’s turn as The Joker is one that will go down in the history as one of cinema finest performances ever. Heath Ledger in his final role matches the greatness of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lectar in Silence of the Lambs and Alex from A Clockwork Orange and it will be an upset if he is not rewarded with an Oscar come next years Academy Awards. His presence on screen is terrifying but captivating at the same time. The film it’s self though is mostly a dark ensemble piece, allowing each and every character the chance to have as much screen time as the main leads. Everyone in this film from Michael Caine to Garry Oldman to Maggie Gyllenhaal all give outstanding performances and enough screen time to showcase just how talented they are. Someone please though, give batman a throat lozenge. This is Christopher Nolans second time behind the camera to direct a batman movie, the last time was in 2005 for Batman Begins which i thought revamped the series. He should be seriously considered for an Oscar this year. The writing and direction is pitch perfect threw out and you can tell his love for film while watching and that he has a great eye for and amazing action sequence. Most of the main action scenes are filmed either on set or on location with close to no green screen involved.

Unlike the previous batman films which went more for a fun, cartoonish look, this new batman is anything but cartoonish and silly. Its a dark, gritty looking movie that doesn’t intend to be kid friendly(despite its odd PG rating). Some of the images you’ll witness in The Dark Knight are sure to leave your children, hell adults with nightmares. The idea that The Joker doesn’t want to be a villain for money or fame, but for the enjoyment of chaos he’s brought among people makes the idea of The Joker even more terrifying. The main premise behind The Dark Knight is Batman’s struggle with the public and the media. Is he a hero, a vigilante killer, the real villain in Gotham city? unfortunately he’s put into a loose-loose situation when The Joker decides to kill everyday until Batman is finally unmasked as the Caped Crusader. There’s also a small love triangle involving Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent who later becomes Two-Face(this was being advertised long before the movie was released so this is NOT a spoiler in any way) and Rachel Dawes.

The running time may throw off some of the average movie goers with a running time of over 155 minutes, but for die hard fans of the series, the running time is just near perfect and doesn’t reach the point where you feel as if it could have been cut a good 15 minutes or so. The film is perfectly paced, allowing us enough time to follow each and everyones plot line without confusion.

There are so many wonderful performances to talk about in The Dark Knight, but the one I keep coming back to is Heath Ledgers performance as The Joker. The Joker is terrifying threw out yet he manages to provide numerous laughs, providing us with some very dark humor as well. Ledgers performances never reaches the point of over the top and when he is on screen you don’t want him to leave and when he’s not, you’re anxiously awaiting his return.

The movie is being labled as a comic book movie but it surpasses that label by being an excellent complex crime drama. One that ranks Christopher Nolan as one of the great filmmakers of today along side Paul Tomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese. The Dark Knight isn’t anything short of brilliant, mixing perfectly the comic book hero with authentic realism. If it isn’t recognized by the Oscars this year, it’ll be a huge upset.

RIP Heath

RIP Heath

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2008 by brettjm16


Heath Ledger in his finale role as The Joker in The Dark Knight

I just finished watching The Dark Knight and it makes me sad to think that such a wonderfully gifted actor was taken away from us this past January. His final film role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight will go go down in the history of one of the scariest and memorable film characters ever brought to the big screen. He joins the ranks of Anthony Hopkins as Hannible Lectar in The Silence of The Lambs and Alex from A Clockwork Orange as some of the creepiest “villains” ever brought to life. There is already huge Oscar buzz revolving around his performance in the Dark Knight and it’ll be an upset if his name doesn’t appear in the list of nominees. The Dark Knight is one of the best and memorable films of the year and the best superhero film ever brought the big screen.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

Heath was well known for choosing risky and diverse characters to play in films, ones that didn’t come without a challenge. He recently stared along side Cate Blanchet in the Oscar nomiated film I’m Not There playing a character inspired by the great Bob Dylan and in 2005 was nominated himself for best actor in a leading role for his star making role in Brokeback Mountain where he played a gay cowboy. A nomination which he rightfully deserved. Threw out his life he’s played a Knight in A Knights Tale, a heroine addict in one of my personal favorites of his, Candy, and a modern day Romeo in 10 Things I Hate About You . His last role, and the one he’ll be remembered for is as The Joker in this weeks The Dark Knight which is being claimed the best picture of the year so far and the best superhero movie to ever be released. What a great way to end what could have been a terrific career.

The Australian actor was only 28 years old when he was found dead early in the morning in a Manhattan apartment on January 22, 2008. The cause of death was believed to be an accidental drug overdose of prescription drugs. His last film before passing was in Terry Gillam’s new film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The movie was still shooting during his death. They’ve re-casted heath ledger as the title role by hiring Jude Law, Collin Ferral, and Johnny Depp to play Doctor Parnassus. “Since the format of the story allows for the preservation of his entire performance, at no point will Heath’s work be modified or altered through the use of digital technology. Each of the parts played by Johnny, Colin and Jude is representative of the many aspects of the character that Heath was playing”. Says Terry Gillam in an interview. This was the second time Terry Gillam and Heath Ledger teamed up. He directed Heath in the 2005 film, The Brothers Grimm which was a mild failure to say the least. It’s a shame though that we had to loose someone so committed to his career and a joy to watch on screen. It’s a sad loss in the world of film and watching the Dark Knight today, Heath Ledger was an actor on his way up to becoming one of todays most gifted actors of our generation. A modern day Bogart. One that will be remembered for years to come.

Here’s a look at his Filmography.

  • The Dark Knight (2008 )
  • I’m Not There(2007)
  • Candy(2006)
  • Brokeback Mountain(2005)
  • The Brothers Grimm(2005)
  • Casanova(2005)
  • Lords of Dogtown(2005)
  • Two Hands(2005)
  • Ned Kelly(2004)
  • The Order(2003)
  • The Four Feathers(2002)
  • A Knights Tale(2001)
  • Monsters Ball(2001)
  • The Patriate(2000)
  • 10 Things I Hate About You(1999)

This Week In Film #1

Posted in This Week In Film on July 16, 2008 by brettjm16

I decided i wanted to start a new segment on my blog called “This Week In Film”. This is a chance for me to discuss my opinions on films i have watched threw out the past week and as well as upcoming releases.

This week in film I had the opportunity to catch a few movies. One about a Kung Fu Panda, another about 2 hit man taking a vacation In Bruges, and an impressive Hellboy sequel from visual director Guillermo Del Toro. Also a sneak peek at the most anticipated film of the year which is already garnishing huge critical acclaim.

First time director Martin McDonagh begins his hopefully long lasting career with one of the most entertaning films i have s een all year. In Bruges stars Colin Ferral and Brendan Gleeson as hitmen lying low after a job gone wrong back in a London church. The paring of Ferral and Gleeson easily is the best since John Travolta and Samual L. Jackson back in 94 in Quentin Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction. Both Actors turn in their best work and provide the audience with numerous laughs and tension filled suspense and action. Martin McDonagh, who not only directed it but wrote it as well is a master at dark and comical dialog. The films is a critical hit as well. Holding a strong 79% with a 70/100 average rating on Rottentomatoes.

Brooding, tense, allegorical, quirky, tragic and unbelievably funny, In Bruges may be the most intelligent, introspective and bizarre gangster thriller in quite some time, perhaps ever.” – Prairie Miller from NewsBlaze.

Ken: We shall strike a balance between culture and fun.
Ray: Somehow I believe, Ken, that the balance shall tip in the favor of culture, like a big fat fucking retarded fucking black girl on a see-saw opposite…a dwarf.

Perhaps without watching the film its self, this little bit of dialog featured in the film may come across as rude and offensive but the character Farrel ( Ray) is such a morose and withdrawn character and played brilliantly by Farrel that it only adds to the humor. This is without a doubt one of the most original and purely enjoyable films to be released this year and has a sure spot on my list of the best films of 2008. In Bruges is now on DVD and is SO worth your 5 dollar rental fee.

While Kung Fu Panda doesn’t reach the same level as Pixar’s Wall-E did, nothing probably ever will. This doesn’t mean at all that there isn’t a lot of fun to be had. I had the luck of getting to see this little animated film from the studios of Dreamworks who are best known for their Shrek films last night before its run at the local theater came to an end. I am so glad i did. Kung Fu Panda is brilliant and is a strong competitor with Wall-E for this years Animation Oscar nod. It seems to be the year of the animated films because just like Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda is one the best reviewed films of the year. Holding a solid 87% on the Tomatoer with over 120 positive reviews. Filled with impressive animation and engrossing choreography, Kung Fu Panda is a wonderfull, and hilarious film to take your kids to but at the same time doesn’t provide laughs threw pop culture jokes, but uses more physical comedy. It’s also respectable to it inspiration. It doesn’t poke fun at Asian cinema but respects it.

The newest creation from visionary director Guillermo Del Toro, most famous for his work in the Oscar winning Pan’s Labyrinth returns once again in the directors seat for the new sequel to 2004’s underrated comic book film Hellboy. Hellboy II: The Golden Army is an impressive sequel that is actually superior to it’s predecessor but still isn’t without its many flaws. While the film is wonderful to look at, the story this time isn’t anything new and brings the film down a notch. You can’t deny the hard work Guillermo Del Toro put into creating such visually inventive monsters but more time should of been used to create a far better story and script. How ever, the visuals alone make this film worth recommending and its nothing short entertaining threw out. I wouldn’t be surprised to find this film nominated in a couple of categories at this years Oscars. Mainly for make up and visual effects.

the film is getting rave reviews from critics everywhere. It’s right up there at 88% with an average rating of 73/100 on rottentomatoes.com. Many are calling it “a comic-book movie with a heart, a soul, a brain and a personality of its own” . while i don’t agree 100% with many of the comments being made for this film its never less a strong addition to the comic book series and is a sheer delight for the eyes.

Here’s a look at the newest Batman film which stars Christian Bale as Batman and the incredible Heath Ledger as The Joker. This is Christopher Nolans second time behind the camera to direct the newest batman films. The film is gaining huge Oscar buzz for its villain played by Heath Ledger in his finale performance of his career. This film is released July 18.

Drivers Beware

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2008 by brettjm16

July 9th, 2008. The Day I, Brett J-M passed his road test.