Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Indie Spirit Winners

My picks for winners are in bold. The winners say winner. I will update as I watch these.

Best Feature


The Artist (2011)-WINNER

50/50 (2011)

Beginners (2010)

Drive (2011)

Take Shelter (2011)

Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose for Think of Me (2011)
Rachael Harris for Natural Selection (2011)
Adepero Oduye for Pariah (2007)
Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn (2011)-WINNER

Best Male Lead
Demián Bichir for A Better Life (2011)
Jean Dujardin for The Artist (2011)-WINNER
Ryan Gosling for Drive (2011)
Woody Harrelson for Rampart (2011)-Why wasn't nominated for an Oscar?
Michael Shannon for Take Shelter (2011)

Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain for Take Shelter (2011)
Anjelica Huston for 50/50 (2011)
Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs (2011)
Harmony Santana for Gun Hill Road (2011)
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants (2011)-WINNER

Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks for Drive (2011)
John Hawkes for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Christopher Plummer for Beginners (2010)-WINNER
John C. Reilly for Cedar Rapids (2011)
Corey Stoll for Midnight in Paris (2011)

Best Director


Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist (2011)-WINNER

Mike Mills for Beginners (2010)

Jeff Nichols for Take Shelter (2011)

Alexander Payne for The Descendants (2011)

Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive (2011)

Best Screenplay
The Artist (2011): Michel Hazanavicius
Beginners (2010): Mike Mills
The Descendants (2011): Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash-WINNER
Footnote (2011): Joseph Cedar
Win Win (2011): Thomas McCarthy

Best First Screenplay
Another Earth (2011): Mike Cahill, Brit Marling
Cedar Rapids (2011): Phil Johnston
50/50 (2011): Will Reiser-WINNER
Margin Call (2011): J.C. Chandor
Terri (2011): Patrick Dewitt

Best Cinematography
The Artist (2011): Guillaume Schiffman-WINNER
Bellflower (2011): Joel Hodge
The Dynamiter (2011): Jeffrey Waldron
Midnight in Paris (2011): Darius Khondji
The Off Hours (2011): Benjamin Kasulke

Best First Feature
Another Earth (2011)
In the Family (2011)
Margin Call (2011)-WINNER
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Natural Selection (2011)

Best International Film
The Kid with a Bike (2011)
Melancholia (2011)
A Separation (2011)-WINNER
Shame (2011)
Tyrannosaur (2011)

John Cassavetes Award
Bellflower (2011)
Circumstance (2011)
The Dynamiter (2011)
Hello Lonesome (2010)
Pariah (2007)-WINNER

Someone to Watch Award
Simon Arthur for Silver Tongues (2011)
Mark Jackson for Without (2011)-WINNER
Nicholas Ozeki for Mamitas (2007)

Producers Award
Chad Burris for Mosquita y Mari (2011)
Sophia Lin for Take Shelter (2011)-WINNER
Josh Mond for Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Snowed In-New Year's Day 2011 Movie Marathon

In light of the fact that I have not gone anywhere for the holidays, I thought the theme for this years New Year's Day Movie Marathon should be vacations with snow. Plenty of genres for anyone's taste. Let me know if you watched any of these. Happy New Year everyone!

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)The Golden Compass (2007)Groundhog Day (1993)Ice Age (2002)

Hot Tub Time Machine- (Comedy)Disappointed at the way their lives have turned out, four longtime friends reunite at the ski resort where they used to party and find themselves transported back to the year 1986 by a magical jacuzzi. A bit raunchy, but very funny despite such a ridiculous set-up.

The Golden Compass- (Fantasy)After overhearing a shocking secret, precocious orphan Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) trades her carefree existence roaming the halls of Jordan College for an otherworldly adventure in the far North, unaware that it's part of her destiny. I've never seen this, but it looks absolutely beautiful.

Groundhog Day- (Comedy) Phil, a self-centered weatherman & his crew are sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA, where the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow. Phil is eager to beat a hasty retreat, but when a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. Soon, no matter what he does, he's stuck in February 2, 1992. One of my all time favorite movies.

Ice Age- (Animated Family Film) With the impending ice age almost upon them, a mismatched trio of prehistoric critters find an orphaned infant and decide to return it to its human parents. Funny (I love Scrat), but also surprisingly moving.

Winter Passing (2004)The Day After Tomorrow (2004)Stephanie Daley (2006)Out Cold (2001)

Winter Passing- (Drama) Upon learning that a New York City publishing agent (Madigan) will pay dearly for the love letters her novelist father (Harris) wrote to her late mother, a desperate Reese Holden (Deschanel) returns to Michigan after seven years away from home. I've never seen this, but I'm a huge Zooey Deschanel fan and am determined to see all of her movies.

The Day After Tomorrow- (Adventure) After years of unabated global warming, the greenhouse effect is wreaking havoc all over the globe in the form of catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and, most ominously, the beginning of the next Ice Age. Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) tries to save the world while also shepherding to safety his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal), who was in New York when the city was overwhelmed by the beginnings of the new big freeze. I put this in the so bad it's good category. A lot of fun to watch.

Stephanie Daley- (Suspense) Stephanie Daley (Tamblyn) is a 16-year-old girl who while on a school-sponsored ski trip collapses in a puddle of blood; a medical examination reveals that Stephanie has recently given birth, and in a nearby bathroom a newborn child is found dead. While Stephanie insists the child was stillborn and she had no idea she was pregnant, she is charged with killing the infant, and court-appointed psychologist Lydie Crane (Swinton) is assigned to interview the teenager. This looks to be a very dark film, so I'd stay away if you're in a grumpy mood.

Out Cold- (Comedy) A band of snowboarding dudes live life to the fullest on Alaska's Bull Mountain. But their girl-chasing, party-hearty days will soon end if the new landowner (Lee Majors) follows through with plans to build a chic resort, leaving the boys out in the cold. It's up to the dudes to derail the development! I've heard this movie is funny. I'm a huge Zach Galifianakis fan since the good ole stand up days.

New in Town (2009)The Donner Party (2009)

New in Town- (Romantic Comedy) High-paid consultant Lucy Hill (Zellweger) is sent from her home base in South Beach, Fla., to a small Minnesota town to improve the productivity of a local manufacturing plant. The town's residents also take some getting used to, especially the ruggedly handsome union boss (Connick Jr.) who's doing his darnedest to make sure that Lucy doesn't cut any jobs. I needed to add a romance into the mix, and I haven't seen this one yet.

The Donner Party- (Period Piece) When pioneers traveling to California become stranded by a snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, tensions run high as food supplies dwindle. Soon, they must choose between their principles and survival, as they're forced to resort to cannibalism. Again a very dark film. Tread lightly.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Best to Worst Movies & TV

Limitless (2011)Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)The Adjustment Bureau (2011)In Time (2011)Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Adjustment Bureau
In Time
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Battle Los Angeles
The Razzle (Short)
Source Code
Winnie the Pooh
Red Riding Hood
The Roommate
Cedar Rapids
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Scream 4
No Strings Attached
The Beaver
The Mechanic
Bad Teacher
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
X-Men: First Class
Captain America: The First Avenger
Final Acts (short)
Just Go with It
Super 8
Reel Steel
Superhero (short)
The Speed of Thought
Fast Five
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Sucker Punch

New Girl PosterAllen Gregory PosterThe Glee Project Poster

New Girl
Project Accessory
Allen Gregory
Extreme Couponing
The Glee Project
Platinum Hit
Once Upon a Time
Love Bites
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas
Dina's Party
Harry's Law
Hart of Dixie
Mad Love
State of Georgia
Pan Am
Web Therapy
Coming Home
The Voice
Carson Nation
The Secret Circle
Breaking In
Ultimate Proposal
Live to Dance
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

Sunday, November 20, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/22 The Devil's Double, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special, Super 8, Prep & Landing & more

The Devil's Double (2011)Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special (2011)Super 8 (2011)The Family Tree (2010)
The Green (2011)Prep & Landing (2009)Sarah's Key (2010)
The Devil's Double 2011 Biographical Drama Starring: Dominic Cooper (My Week with Marilyn). Directed by: Lee Tamahori (Along Came a Spider). Written by: Michael Thomas ("Crash") based on the novel by Latif Yahia. Plot: Cooper stars as Uday Hussein -- Saddam Hussein's elder son -- and as Latif Yahia, the army lieutenant forcibly drafted to be his body double, in this drama based on Yahia's autobiographical novel. With his family's fate on the line, Yahia surrenders his identity to embody the hated figure but gains a conspirator in Uday's concubine, Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), as he plots his escape. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi4213939481/ Review: This movie looks like it might be an Oscar contender. It's an incredibly fascinating story that I'm really looking forward to watching. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special- 2011 Animated. Voiced by: Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (Chicago), 4X Emmy nom Denis Leary (Recount (TV)), Emmy winner John Leguizamo (Freak (TV)) & 3X Emmy winner Ray Romano ("Everybody Loves Raymond"). Plot: When Sid (Leguizamo) accidentally destroys Manny's (Romano) heirloom Christmas rock and ends up on Santa's "naughty list," he leads a hilarious quest to the North Pole to make things right and ends up making things much worse. Now it's up to Manny and his prehistoric posse to band together and save Christmas for the entire world. Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfR4EtTCl7A Review: I loved the first film. The second film was enjoyable. I haven't seen the third. This is a TV special. We'll see if it's good. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Super 8 2011 Sci-Fi Thriller Starring: Gabriel Basso ("The Big C"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Jessica Tuck ("True Blood"), Ron Eldard ("Law & Order: SVU"), Amanda Michalka (Secretariat), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Noah Emmerich ("The Walking Dead"), Richard T. Jones ("Grey's Anatomy"), Amanda Foreman ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior"), David Gallagher ("The Deep End"), Indie Spirit winner Bruce Greenwood (I'm Not There), Michael Hitchcock ("Glee") & 2X Saturn nom Greg Grunberg ("Heroes"). Written & Directed by: 2X Emmy winner J.J. Abrams ("Lost"). Plot: With a nod toward producer Spielberg's landmark sci-fi films of the 1970s and '80s, writer-director Abrams crafts a supernatural tale about six kids who witness something incredible while shooting a movie with their Super 8 camera. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi548707353/ Review: The kids are the stars, and the opening train accident scene is stellar. Other than that, this movie could've been about anything. This film never felt like a sci-fi film, until the very end when the alien is revealed. By that time, I didn't care anymore. With all that waiting, the ending needed to blow me out of the water. It didn't. I'm all for nostalgia, but this movie felt more like a derivative knock-off then a homage. I instantly forgot this movie the second I walked out of the theater. I'm way more interested in seeing the movie the kids were making. Don't waste your time. If you wanna a Spielberg style film, rent the real deal. Rating: Stamped out so why bother. Watch instead: Son of Rambow.

The Family Tree 2011 Indie Comedy Starring: 2X Emmy nom Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"), Dermot Mulroney (J.Edgar), Gabrielle Anwar ("Burn Notice"), Britt Robertson (Scream 4), Rachael Leigh Cook ("Ghost Whisperer"), Madeline Zima ("Royal Pains"), Selma Blair ("Web Therapy"), Emmy winner Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Indie Spirit winner Hope Davis (Syecdoche, New York), John Patrick Amedori (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) & Evan Ross ("90210"). Directed by: Vivi Friedman. Written by: Mark Lisson. Plot: Tragic but comic tale of wife and mother Bunnie Burnett (Davis), a woman who loses her memory and conveniently forgets all her problems -- including her interracial affair with a neighbor (Chi McBride). Mulroney plays Bunnie's husband, Jack, with Blair co-starring as a lesbian high school teacher embroiled in an affair with one of her students. Review: The cast is great, and the story seems quirky but intelligent. It's on my queue. I will update after I watch it. Trailer: http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/492098 Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Green 2011 Social Issue Drama Starring: Cheyenne Jackson ("Glee"), Emmy winner Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin (TV)) & Emmy nom Illeana Douglas ("Six Feet Under"). Directed by: Emmy nom Steven Williford ("All My Children"). Written by: Paul Marcarelli. Plot: Michael (Jason Butler Harner), an idealistic drama teacher, moves to Connecticut with his partner, Daniel (Jackson), but their idyllic life is shattered when a troubled high school student accuses Michael of molestation and everyone, including Daniel, assumes that he's guilty. Trailer:http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/525820 Review: The bigoted assumption of many people that homosexuality equals pedophilia is the exact reason this film interests me. The fact of the matter is that the majority of pedophilia cases involve opposite sex victims. A pedophile cannot have sexual interest in someone their own age. That's precisely why the only "cure" is chemical castration. I've read too many stories about gay men, for example, being fired from children's organizations like The Boy Scouts for the notion that they can't be trusted with young boys. That's preposterous. OK I'm off my soapbox, at least until I've seen this film and have garnered many more opinions. I'm glad a film like this is being made. Let's see if it holds up to my ideals. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Prep & Landing 2009 4X Emmy winning animated short Voiced by: 4X Emmy nom Dave Foley ("Kids in the Hall"), Sarah Chalke ("Mad Love"), Mason Vale Cotton ("Desperate Housewives"), David DeLuise ("Gilmore Girls"), Peter Jacobson ("House M.D.") & Derek Richardson ("House M.D."). Written & Directed by: 2X Emmy winner Kevin Deters & 2X Emmy winner Stevie Wermers. Plot: Wayne (Foley) gets a new rookie partner, Lanny (Richardson), after his previous partner got the promotion he wanted. Lanny has to remind Wayne of the Spirit of Christmas and the importance of being an elf in Santa's Prep and Landing elite unit. Trailer: http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/471384 Review: I love the premise of this, and I'm a sucker for Christmas specials. This one looks good. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Carjacked 2011 Crime Thriller Starring: Indie Spirit nom Maria Bello (Downloading Nancy), Stephen Dorff (World Trade Center) & 2X Emmy nom Joanna Cassidy ("Six Feet Under"). Directed by: John Bonito. Written by: Michael & Sherry Compton. Plot: A single mother (Bello) and her son are forced to take a dangerous detour when a bank robber (Dorff) carjacks their vehicle and keeps them as unwilling hostages. But the deadly trip soon pushes each party to fight for their own survival. Trailer: http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/532487 Review: I love these everyman fight for survival movies. It's amazing what people are capable of when they are pushed to the breaking point. Looking forward to this, but Bello's been a little off her game lately in terms of performance level. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Sarah's Key 2010 French Drama Starring: Oscar nom Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) & 2X Emmy nom Aidan Quinn (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (TV)). Directed by: Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Written by: the director & Serge Joncour based on the novel by: Tatiana De Rosnay. Plot: In the midst of researching an article about the roundup of Jews that took place in Paris in 1942, American-born journalist Julia Jarmond (Thomas) uncovers a sobering connection between her story and the home she shares with her boorish French husband (Frederic Pierrot). Inspired by actual events. Trailer: http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/497614 Review: This looks to be a very involved mystery. The film is actually partly in English & partly in French. This looks intriguing. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Commit. 2007 Indie Comedy Written & Directed by: Mickey Blaine. Plot: After spending time chatting with each other on the Internet, cynical part-time teacher Trista (Nicole Blaine) and New York beat cop Perry (Forest Erickson) meet in person to finalize the plans they've hatched to commit suicide together. But when the pair hits it off over a long cup of coffee, they begin to wonder if they can truly carry out their grim scheme. Trailer: http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/catalog/movie/trailer/395164 Review: The premise seems really dark, but the trailer shows otherwise. It seems quirky. That's right up my alley. I hope these two hit it off and decide there's something to live for. The ending will ultimately determine whether or not I like this film. Will update. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dream A Little Dream of Me

Skipping to :42 to gets you straight to the song. This was a video I sent to my husband when he was deployed in the Middle East last year. I felt like this song had the absolutely perfect lyrics for what I was feeling at the time. It's the perfect deployment love song.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/15 Flypaper & more

Flypaper (2011)The Open Door (2010)Griff the Invisible (2010)

Flypaper 2011 Action Comedy Starring: Emmy nominee Patrick Dempsey ("Once and Again"), Emmy nom Ashley Judd (Norma Jean & Marilyn (TV)), Octavia Spencer ("The Looney Tunes Show"), 6X Emmy nom Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development"), Emmy winner Pruitt Taylor Vince ("Murder One"), Mekhi Phifer ("Torchwood"), Indie Spirit nom Tim Blake Nelson (Eye of God), Curtis Armstrong ("American Dad!") & Matt Ryan ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior"). Directed by: rob Minkoff ("Leverage"). Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover) & Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). Plot: Two gangs unwittingly attempt to rob a bank at the same time, catching innocent Tripp Kennedy (Dempsey) in the middle of the action. In the midst of the melee, Tripp saves bank teller Kaitlin (Judd), and together they scheme to stay alive. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V03YB2-OFYQ Review: Ashley Judd is my favorite actress. I also love heist films. Those are the two reasons I added this movie to my queue. It looks a bit convoluted. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Open Door 2008 Supernatural Horror Written & Directed by: Doc Duhame. Plot: Mad at the world, a high school beauty (Catherine Munden) vents her frustrations and reveals her secret desires during a phone call to a mysterious radio host claiming to have special powers -- and her wishes soon start coming true in unexpectedly diabolical ways. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_D4SaDGIlE Review: Interesting premise, but I'm not sure about the acting. It's on instant queue now. Will watch soon. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Griff the Invisible 2010 Indie Australian Comedy Starring: Ryan Kwanten ("True Blood"). Written & Directed by: Leon Ford. Plot: Office peon Griff (Kwanten) is mocked by his co-workers, yet at night, his superhero alter ego takes to the air, defending Melbourne against menaces to society. Griff trusts no one with his secret -- that is, until he meets brilliant scientist Melody (Maeve Dermody). Beautiful, strange and a true believer, Melody is one kindred spirit in a million. But can their eccentric connection survive in a cold and unimaginative world? Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NBxXbbmk0 Review: A lot of these original superhero movies have come out the last couple of years. Most of them have been good. This looks great by the trailer. It's in my queue. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Glee Audition

Check out my audition for Glee! ...Help me out with your views, likes and comments.

Monday, November 7, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/8 The Change-Up, Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Life in a Day & more

The Change-Up (2011)Atlas Shrugged Part I (2011)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll (2011)
Born Bad (2011)Life in a Day (2011)13 (2011)

The Change-Up 2011 Comedy Starring: Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Emmy nominee Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development"), Leslie Mann ("Allen Gregory"), Olivia Wilde ("House M.D."), Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Craig Bierko ("Damages") & Orlando Vargas Diaz (Fast Five ). Directed by: David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). Written by: Jon Lucas (The Hangover) & Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). Plot: In this contemporary reality-warp comedy, single playboy Mitch (Reynolds) and responsible husband-father Dave (Bateman) are best buddies who want each other's life -and they get the chance when they magically swap bodies after a night of drunken revelry. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2848300057/ Review: Been there done that premise, but I just happen to like that premise coupled with my husband's approval made me add this to me queue. Haven't watched it yet. Will update when I do. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Atlas Shrugged Part 1 2011 Sci-fi Starring: Taylor Schilling ("Mercy"), Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class), Armin Shimerman ("Leverage"), Patrick Fischler ("Criminal Minds") & Annabelle Gurwitch ("Boston Legal"). Directed by: Paul Johansson. Written by: John Aglialoro & Brian Patrick O'Toole based on the novel by Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead). Plot: Dagny Taggart, a fiercely independent railroad tycoon, is determined to use innovative technology and enterprising partners to revive her business, no matter the personal cost. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W07bFa4TzM Review: This book is apprantly referenced by and treasured by the Tea Party movement nowadays. What interests me is the fact that this movie seems to go against the very popular Liberal political beliefs of Hollywood. It makes me wonder how this movie got made. Not too surprisingly, even though it's gotten rave reviews, it will undoubtedly be overlooked Award season. It's also only gotten limited release, when it could've been a summer blockbuster hit. I'm a big supporter of the underdog in life. I hate it when something is overlooked because it goes against what's deemed popular. Just because it's popular doesn't make it right. I also interested in the Sci-fi aspect of the film. I love a good, intelligent sci-fi film. I'm not a full believer in the author's objectivist ideology from what I've read. There are other aspects, however, that I can agree with. I won't know fully until I watch this film. I will let you know after I watch. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2-Please watch my video review here http://moviemavenmemoirs.blogspot.com/2011/08/harry-potter-and-and-deathly-hallows.html

The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll 2009 Indie Showbiz Drama Starring: Kevin Zegers ("Gossip Girl"), Jason Ritter ("Mercy"), Taryn Manning (The Speed of Thought), Lukas Haas (Red Riding Hood), Lauren Holly ("Flaspoint"), Indie Spirit nom Kelly Lynch (The Beans of Egypt, Maine), Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4) & OScar nom Ruby Dee (American Gangster). Directed by: Scott D. Rosenbaum. Written by: the director & Jasin Cadic. Plot: After his second album fails, famous rocker Spyder (Zegers) returns to his hometown to lick his wounds. There, he reunites with his former best friend (Ritter), a fellow musician and son of a legendary punk rocker. Soon the two set off on a road trip. As they travel historic Route 66 with a new band, they find themselves confronting their past and the choices they've made. DVD Features: behind-the-scenes featurette; deleted scenes; extended scenes; short film. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1593089049/ Review: Being a singer, I love music about the biz. I'm wondering if Zegers can sing tho. Manning can. Ritter can't. That will be a mitigating factor in whether or not I like this movie. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Born Bad (V) 2011 Crime Thriller Starring: Meredith Monroe (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) & Michael Welch ("Criminal Minds"). Written & Directed by: Jared Cohn. Plot: A girl (Bonnie Dennison) sticks it to her conservative parents (Monroe & David Chokachi) by hooking up with a handsome stranger (Welch) passing through town. Little does she know that the man is a ferocious predator looking for his next victim. DVD Feature: making-of featurette. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRB2gtjJhmY Review: I always enjoy these "love interest goes crazy" kind of movies. Even when they're bad, they're always entertaining. This one is a Made For TV Lifetime movie so I'm leaning toward bad. I will let you know after I watch it. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

Life in a Day 2011 Documentary Directed by: Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September). Plot: After thousands of people around the world joined together to record banal and remarkable everyday events on July 24, 2010, director MacDonald led a team of editors to condense more than 4,500 hours of video into this picture of life on Earth. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3867843609/ Review: This docu looks really interesting. It's coming soon to Instant Queue so I will watch it soon and report back. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

13 2010 Violent Crime Thriller Starring: Jason Statham (The Mechanic), Alexander Skarsgård ("True Blood"), Oscar nom Mickey Rourke (The Wrester), Oscar nom Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), Emmanuelle Chriqui ("Entourage"), 50 Cent (Home of the Brave) & Gaby Hoffmann ("Homeland"). Directed by: Sundance Special Jury prize winner Gela Babluani (L'heritage). Written by: the director & Greg Pruss based on the screenplay "13 Tzameti" by Babluani. Plot: After assuming the identity of a dead person, a callow young man is quickly sucked into a dark and violent underworld where powerful men gamble on human lives in very high-stakes games of Russian roulette. DVD Feature: behind-the-scenes featurette. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1765841945/ Review: Interesting premise doesn't really seem original, especially given the casting of Statham. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

Sunday, November 6, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 11/01 Crazy, Stupid, Love. The Nutcracker in 3D, Cars 2, The Craigslist Killer & more

Love stories, Christmas classics, sequels, serial killers, math & tabloid gossip.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)Cars 2 (2011)The Craigslist Killer (2011)
An Invisible Sign (2010)Tabloid (2010)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. 2011 Romantic Comedy Starring: 6X Emmy nominee Steve Carell ("The Office"), 2X Oscar nom Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), 4X Oscar nom Julianne Moore (Far from Heaven), Emma Stone (The Help), Analeigh Tipton ("America's Next Top Model Cycle 11"), Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny), Indie Spirit nom Kevin Bacon (The Woodsman), Josh Groban ("American Dad!"), & Mekia Cox ("90210"). Directed by: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. Written by: Dan Fogelman (Tangled). Plot: When Cal Weaver (Carell) discovers that his wife (Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal's adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Tipton)-but is she more interested in Robbie's recently unwed father? Trailer Review: I've been wanting to see this movie for a while. It's taken soo long for it to come out on DVD. It's at the top of my queue now. Great cast too btw, including Tipton who was a favorite of mine on America's Next Top Model. She seems to have quite a budding acting career. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) Family Fantasy Starring: Elle Fanning (Super 8), 3x Emmy nom Nathan Lane ("Modern Family"), Emmy winner John Turturro ("Monk") & Shirley Henderson (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day). Directed by: Emmy winner Andrey Konchalovsky (The Lion in Winter (TV)). Written by: the director & Chris Solimine. Plot: Set in 1920's Vienna, this a tale of a little girl (Fanning), whose godfather gives her a special doll one Christmas Eve. Trailer Review: This got nominated for a Razzie, and they were right. I love The Nutcracker. I used to go see it every year as a little girl. I had high hopes for this because of Fanning and the amazing look of the film. It was pretty to watch but that's about it. First of all, it's the not the story we've grown up with. This is the "untold" story. Untold as in made the fuck up. The story was convoluted. They stole from jsut about every fairy tale & Disney movie they could. The songs (yes there were musical numbers) were awful. Is there a need to ruin Tchaikovsky with lyrics? The singing was awful other than the mother. The animation was terrible. This is the 21st century. Other films have CGI characters blending seamlessly with real life. This movie did not do that. It's as if they spent all their budget on the costumes & set design, which were beautiful, that they ran out of money for post-production. To top it off Nathan Lane played Einstein. It was the worst portrayal I've ever seen. This movie isn't even suited for kids. Rating: Rather stab a pen in my eye than ever watch this again. Watch instead: Enchanted & Bedtime Stories.

Cars 2 2011 Family Comedy Voiced by: Larry the Cable Guy, Oscar nom Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), 2X Oscar winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules), Indie Spirit winner Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing), 2X Emmy winner Eddie Izzard (Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (V)), Emmy winner John Turturro ("Monk"), 3X Emmy nom Joe Mantegna ("The Starter Wife"), Emmy nom Bonnie Hunt ("Life with Bonnie"), 3X Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub ("Monk"), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), Bruce Campbell ("Burn Notice"), Jenifer Lewis ("State of Georgia"), Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia) & Cheech Marin ("Lost"). Directed by: Oscar winner John Lasseter (Toy Story) & Emmy winner Brad Lewis (The Last Halloween (TV)). Written by: Ben Queen ("Drive"). Plot: Sequel to the animated hit Cars. When Lightening McQueen (Wilson) heads off to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix, he also rolls straight into a case of international intrigue. Trailer Review: I still haven't seen the first one. I have to watch that one first before I see this one. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Craigslist Killer 2011 Thriller Starring: Indie Spirit nom Agnes Bruckner (Blue Car), Julia Campbell ("Criminal Minds"), Kevin Kilner ("Damages"), & William Baldwin ("Gossip Girl"). Directed by: Stephen Kay ("My Generation"). Written by: Donald Martin & Stephen Tolkin ("Summerland"). Plot: Based on the harrowing true story, this thriller tells the story of Philip Markoff (Jake McDorman), an engaged medical student in Boston whose seemingly perfect life is a cover for his murderous pursuit of women who advertise erotic services on the Internet. Trailer Review: Haven't seen this yet, but I know a lot about the case. Interested in seeing this, but not expecting much as it is a Made for TV movie. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

An Invisible Sign 2010 Indie Quirky Drama Starring: Jessica Alba ("SNL"), Bailee Madison (Just Go with It), J.K. Simmons ("American Dad!"), Chris Messina ("Damages") & Emmy nom Sonia Braga (The Burning Season (TV)). Directed by: Marilyn Agrelo. Written by: Pamela Faulk (The Wedding Planner) & Michael Ellis (The Wedding Planner) based on the book "An Invisible Sign of My Own" by Aimee Bender. Plot: When a puzzling disease devastates her beloved father, math prodigy Mona Gray (Alba) deals with the pain by isolating herself from the rest of the world and turning for comfort to the reliable world of mathematics. But when she later teaches math to troubled grade school kids, Mona discovers that her gift can be a route back from her long emotional exile. DVD Feature: Trailer. Trailer Review: This movie looks adorable, but I worry that Alba isn't right for the part. She doesn't seem to be a very consistent actor. She goes from being amazing in The Killer Inside Me to being laughably awful in Machete, winning her a Razzie award ha ha. However, I'm willing to give her a shot yet again. We'll see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Tabloid 2010 Documentary Directed by: Oscar winner Errol Morris (The Fog of War). Plot: A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary. Trailer Review: I've never heard of this case before watching the trailer for this doc. Interesting case. Actual interviews with the people involved, including Joyce McKinney. Will update when I watch it. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Monday, October 24, 2011

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 10/25 Captain America: The First Avenger, Winnie the Pooh & more

Mardi Gras beads, obsessions with blood, gay cinema, killing Nazis, inventions, serial killers, & TI double G er.Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)Winnie the Pooh (2011)Faces in the Crowd (2011)<span class=
Judas Kiss (2011)The Countess (2009)Father of Invention (2010)

Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 Scifi Military Comic book movie Starring: Chris Evans (What's Your Number?"), Sebastian Stan (Black Swan), Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), Hugo Weaving (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Oscar nom Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon), Neal McDonough ("Desperate Housewives"), Indie Spirit award winner Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher), & Stan Lee. Directed by: Oscar winner Joe Johnston (Raiders of the Lost Ark). Written by: Emmy winner Christopher Markus (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) & Stephen McFeely. Plot: Marvel action-packed origin story which follows Steve Rogers (Evans) as he volunteers for a secret experiment during World War II. Transformed into a superhero named Captain America, Steve goes after the Axis. With his perfect physique and heightened reflexes -- and his sidekick, Bucky (Stan) -- Steve battles the Red Skull (Weaving), a super soldier created by Italian fascists. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2912787481/ Review: This is probably the only one of these Avenger franchise films that I've actually liked. I like the military aspect of the film because I'm a military wife. I like the story, though a bit simplistic. My only problem is that it's great the first time you watch it, but then you never feel like watching it again. It's not a movie that sits with you. It's not special or original, but it's entertaining. Rating: Stamped out but worth seeing. Watch with: DOA: Dead or Alive & the other Avenger films (Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, The Hulk, and The Incredible Hulk)

Winnie the Pooh 2011 Family film Voiced by: Oscar nom John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda) & Emmy nom Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson). Directed by: Stephen J Anderson (Meet the Robinsons) & Don Hall (writer of Princess and the Frog). Written by: the directors & Clio Chiang, Don Dougherty ("Tiny Toon Adventures"), Kendelle Hoyer, Brian Kesinger, Nicole Mitchell, & Jeremy Spears based on the works by A.A. Milne & Ernest Shepard. Plot: Winnie the Pooh and his loyal friends return to the big screen with an updated, hand-drawn adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood: helping an incomplete Eeyore find a new tail that won't be too much of a bother. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1431542041/ Review I love Winnie the Pooh. I grew up with the books and cartoons. I can't help it. I love it. BTW one of the best movie trailers I've ever seen. This movie was like hopping into a time machine. I was 7 years old again reading that old worn-out red book. This stayed true to the original adventures without trying to "hip it up" for the new generation. Why mess with a good thing? Even my hubby who joked around with me for watching a kid's movie, watched and enjoyed the end of the movie with me exclaiming that Eeyore has always been his favorite. SOmething that was updated with this movie was the music. Zooey Deschanel not only sang the original theme song, but also wrote and performed new original songs that fit in perfectly with the film. I think I will even buy the soundtrack. I highly recommend this movie for adults and kids alike. BTW be sure to wait til the end of the credits for an extra scene you don't wanna miss. So, who's your favorite character? Rating: Noteworthy. Watch with: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

Faces in the Crowd 2011 Psychological thriller Starring: Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil series),
Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead"), & Julian McMahon (Red). Written & Directed by: Julien Magnat. Plot: A woman (Jovovich) suffers from "face-blindness," the inability to
remember people's faces. With the serial killer who caused her condition still on the loose, the
woman lives in fear of his return. Trailer: http://www.moviestrailer.org/faces-in-the-crowd-movie-trailer.html Review: This is on my instant queue. It looks really interesting, and yes "face blindness" is a real neurological condition called Prosopagnosia. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Mardi Gras: Spring Break 2011 late night comedy Starring: Nicholas D'Agosto (Final Destination 5), Arielle Kebbel ("Mercy"), Carmen Electra ("House M.D."), & Regina Hall (Law Abiding Citizen). Directed by: Phil Dornfeld. Written by: Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine). Plot: Three college pals (D'Agosto, Josh Gad & Bret Harrison) disillusioned with their lackluster social lives decide they need a change of venue. So they pack up and head to New Orleans, where they find plenty of alcohol-fueled party action as they try to change their luck with the ladies. Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3994000409/ Review: This is not my type of movie, but any movie that stars my absolute favorite city of New Orleans is a movie I wanna see. I'll let you know how it is though I'm not expecting much. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD

Judas Kiss 2011 Indie Fantasy Directed by: J.T. Tepnapa. Written by: the director & Carlos Pedraza. Plot: While judging at his alma mater's film festival, failed director Zach Wells (Charlie David) has a fling with a student contestant. The following day, Zach discovers that the young man is a past version of himself, offering him a chance to improve his own future. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9bvsLKCyXE Review: This film looks interesting. It seems to be a gay film that doesn't focus solely on the fact that the title character's gay. Instead it's a fantasy film about time travel. It's about life and getting the chance to change your past. It's a film that doesn't get lost in translation if you're hetero like me. Looks good. We will see. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Countess 2009 Biopic Starring: Oscar nom Julie Delpy (Before
Sunset) & Oscar winner William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman).
Written & Directed by: Julie Delpy. Plot: Blaming a failed romance
with a younger man (Daniel Bruhl) on her advancing age, 16th-century
Hungarian countess Erzebet Báthory (Delpy) begins murdering local
virgin girls and bathing in their blood, believing that the grim
ritual will restore her youthful beauty. DVD Features: Trailer.
Trailer: http://www.cinemagia.ro/trailer/the-countess-contesa-5442/ Review: Perfect film for Halloween. This looks pretty gruesome, and it's a true story. Her body count is pretty high from what I've read of her in my Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. This film was gruesome. The gore factor wasn't as high as most horror films, but given the fact that this is a period piece, it felt like a horror film. The directing, music, cinematography, and acting were all excellent. This film felt very unique to me: part period piece, part horror. The were some problemswith the film. The multitude of different accents when all the characters were supposed to be Hungarian took me out of the film, and the narration from 2 different characters muddied the films intention. Technically it was a beautiful film with Delpy terrific as usual, and my strange love of maccabre true stories was satisfied. However, this is not a movie for all tastes and even I had some problems with it. Rating: Not the brightest crayon in the box, but sure it pretty. Watch with: The Last King of Scotland.

Father of Invention 2010 Indie Comedy Starring: 2X Oscar winner Kevin Spacey (American
Beauty), Camilla Belle (The Quiet), Indie Spirit nom Heather Graham (Drugstore Cowboy),
Johnny Knoxville (Men in Black II), Emmy nom John Stamos (The Beach Boys: An American
Family), Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville"), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), & Oscar
nom Virginia Madsen (Sideways). Directed by: Trent Cooper. Written by: the director & Indie
Spirit nom Jonathan D. Krane (The Chocolate War). Plot: Robert Axle (Spacey) is a humble, if
eccentric, genius whose flair for invention catapults him to fame, fortune and insufferable
egomania, until a terrible incident involving one of his creations brings him crashing back to earth
and into prison. Nearly a decade later, Axle is released, and he's determined to rehabilitate his
reputation and rebuild his fortune. First, he has to convince his daughter (Belle) that he's worthy
of a second chance. DVD Features: making-of featurette. Trailer:
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi269523993/ Review: I love Kevin Spacey, and the premise looked funny. I liked the part where he's trying to invent things that have already been invented, but he's been in prison so he doesn't realize it. Unfortunately, laughs like that were few and far between. Spacey was awesome as usual, but his performance seemed a bit phoned in. THe material wasn't challenging enough for him. Belle is pretty, and I love her sense of style; however, she wasn't great in this film. She wasn't in it enough so I never got to care about her character, and she never got emotional. Madsen is a great actress, but comedy is not her forte. This film suffered from a meandering script that dragged the story and a predictable conclusion. Rating: Stamped out so why bother. Watch instead: The Beaver.