Trailer for Sucker Punch

I've been following Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch' ever since Emily Browning was confirmed as the lead. Early on, he described the film as "Alice in Wonderland with Chainsaws" so I knew it was going to be something different. Now that the trailer is out, It's something I never expected at all. I love it. It looks different and fun. Plus with great actresses like Browning, Abbie Cornish and Jena Malone. How can you really fail? The only one I'm not sold on is Vanessa Hudgens. But hey, she was in 'Thirteen'. That was a fantastic film, maybe she'll surprise here too.

Sucker Punch hits theaters in 2011. Trailer is via Film School Rejects

Review: Cyrus

When bad advertising happens to a good film.

I read tons of reviews on this when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. I got the impression that it was a drama, with some well placed comedic parts. You wouldn't know that just by the previews. This film is being advertised like it's Step Brothers 2.0. It was so off that I rolled my eyes at what I thought was going to be another Jonah Hill performance where he plays the same character every time.

Luckily for me, I was wrong. Cyrus follows John (John C. Reilly) a divorcee of 7 years that hasn't quite gotten back into the dating game. His ex wife, Jamie (Catherine Keener) is still in his life. She's his best friend and she's about to get re-married. She forces John to go to a party with her where he meets Molly. (Marisa Tomei) They immediately hit it off and eventually John finds out that Molly's needy 22 year old son Cyrus (Jonah Hill) still lives with here, and doesn't like the new intrusion.

This is where I'm thankful for the bad advertising. I was expecting another smart ass performance from Hill, and he ended up showing a little depth. His character is complicated, and he played it well. John C. Reilly was a real treat. I recently saw The Promotion for the first time and I just felt sorry for him through out that movie. I loved him in this, he was so genuine and you really rooted for him. Keener and Tomei are perfectly cast, like always.

I enjoyed the film. It had that great "indie feel", which I love. I wish it would be advertised that way. I suppose their marketing campaign isn't bad. It'll get people out there, but hopefully they will be surprised with Hill like I was. I hope they enjoy the little quirks about the film, like the impromptu dance session John starts at a party and don't expect it to be back to back funny lines. It has it's funny parts, it's very funny parts, but it's also got it's deep ones. The sad ones. All of those together make this a very enjoyable film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I just had some jockage!" - John (John C. Reilly)

It's Gus Van Sant's Birthday!

It's Anna Paquin's birthday today too, but I know Van Sant's filmography better, so he's who I'm going with.

Happy Birthday to the King of the looooooooooooooooooooooooong takes.

Favorite Film: Milk Van Sant is one of those directors I just love. I'll see anything directed by this guy, even though some of his films are duds. Milk is my favorite because of it's phenomenal cast. Oscar Winner Sean Penn (whether you like him or hate him) was perfect as Harvey Milk. The supporting cast of James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Joseph Cross and Alison Pill were the icing on the cake. I also loved the music in the film. It fit so well. It told a great story.

Least Favorite: Psycho This was a toss up between this and Elephant. (FYI Aussie film 2:37 is better, everyone always compares the two.) A masterpiece like Psycho didn't need a shot for shot remake. Even the decent cast couldn't save this mess.

Most Bizarre/Random/Fun: Paranoid Park A word that I noticed that gets tossed around with this movie is "Art House Film." That's a pretty broad description. This little seen film was about a skateboarder that accidentally involved in a security guard's death. While I think Van Sant over used the "long shot" in this one, it was definitely different from most of his prior work. It was darker, shakier. It was obvious most of the cast had never acted before. Hell, one of the actresses in the film stares at the camera EVERY time. Maybe the imperfections are what sets it apart.

Most Underrated: My Own Private Idaho This is my other favorite Van Sant film. It was a tricky story for it's time and had wonderful performances from Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix. Watching this film now makes me a little sad. I can only imagine what kind of actor Phoenix would've been had he not died of a drug overdose. Would he have cleaned up and been today's Leonardo DiCaprio? Maybe.

Film to See: Drugstore Cowboy I've never gotten around to seeing this film. I feel like I should, I've seen more of Van Sant's later work than his older. I also need to re-watch The Last Days. It's been awhile, and I really enjoyed Michael Pitt in it.

What are your favorite/least favorite Gus Van Sant films? Any film suggestions for me?

It's Robin Williams' Birthday!

You know the drill, if not please see the "Birthday Posts" bulletin at the top of the page.

Happy Birthday Robin Williams! Whether you like him or hate him, there's no doubt that this man is good at making people laugh, and making people cry. Sometimes in the same movie.

Favorite Film: Good Will Hunting. This was a flick that was just good all around. The entire cast did a great job. Williams was the veteran and not only did he make himself look great, he made the rest of the cast (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, etc.) look great as well. That's a true performer, one that can help himself and help other. I appreciate that. My 5 year old self likes Aladdin the best.

Worst Film: Jack This film was supposed to be touching and ended up depressing. Williams played a boy with an (exaggerated) condition that made him look older. It missed every chance to be charming and felt a lot longer than it's 113 minute run time. It's strange to think this was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who's usually always spot on. Death to Smoochy is a runner up..yes I actually saw that.

Most Bizarre/Fun/Random: One Hour Photo When I first saw this film, I was still used to funny Robin Williams. I thought of Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, Jumanji. Seeing him as this creepy stalker was a shock to me, but a nice shock. It was different.

Most Underrated: House of D Underrated and Robin Williams don't really go together. He's always front and center of everything he does, so this was hard to pick. I liked David Duchovney's directorial debut. Not very many people saw it. If you haven't, it's definitely work checking out.

Film to see: Dead Poet's Society We watched this when I was in High School..and I didn't pay attention. I tried watching it again on my own time..and got side tracked. For some reason this film cannot hold my attention. It's unfortunate because so many people have such great things to say about it. I definitely need to give it another chance, just to see what I'm missing.

Suggestions are always welcome! What is your favorite? Lease favorite?

Review: Inception

Christopher Nolan knows how to make a good film. He may be one of the best directors of all time. I think he is, and this movie is just another reason to believe it. Before going in, just know that Nolan didn't let Hans Zimmer see the film before he scored it. It's amazing how fitting the music is.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is skilled in Extraction: A work of manipulating a dream. He goes into your subconscious and steals your ideas. Cobb is a very troubled man, so when powerful Saito (Ken Wantanabe) offers Cobb a job he can't refuse, he jumps at the idea. The job is called Inception, instead of stealing an idea, they will go into the subject's mind and plant one. The subject is Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy) a soon to be owner of a rival company of Saito's. Cobb, along with his team, Arthur, (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) his point man that helps him navigate. Newly recruited Ariadne, (Ellen Page) an architect that's going to build the world of the dream. Eames, (Tom Hardy) the forger, Yusuf (Dileep Rao) and Satio go deep into Fischer's dream and attempt their plan. The film also stars Marion Cotillard, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

First off, the cast is outstanding. Every person does a fantastic job and there are no weak links. This is one of the best ensembles I've ever seen. The visual effects are stunning to say the least. One thing I worried about was that the intricate plot may get confusing (as some early reviews stated) but that wasn't the case at all. Nolan's pacing in this film is perfect and easy to follow. When Cobb is explaining everything to Ariadne, he's explaining it to the audience as well. It keeps you hooked until the very end. I'm glad I set my expectations high for this film, because Nolan met every one of them and gave me more. I honestly can't find a flaw in this film, it's just a wonderful piece of work.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "Can you tell your subconscious to ease up a bit? - Ariadne (Ellen Page)

DVD Review: Nobel Son

Continuing on with my Alan Rickman kick, I picked up 'Nobel Son'. A 2006 indie heist film about a man named Barkley (Bryan Greenburg) who lives with his parents and is trying to finish his thesis paper on cannibalism. During all of this we find out his arrogant father Eli (Rickman) has just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Eli misses his flight to Stockholm with his parents and winds up kidnapped by Thaddius, (Shawn Hatosy) who is demanding 2 million dollars in ransom. This also happens to be the prize money for winning the Nobel prize, so Eli refuses.

There's a lot of recognizable names in this cast. Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman, Ted Danson, Danny DeVito and Eliza Dushku to name a few. What could've been a well crafted heist film turns into a mess with all the "twists" director Randall Miller throws at you. We are supposed to be rooting for Barkley and despise Eli. The way this film plays out you end up doing just the opposite. Eli was my favorite character. (Rick owns the screen every time he's on it) He was a bad man, but he ended up being a lot less annoying than the rest of the characters. The ending is meant to be a surprise, but it ends up feeling like a cluttered mess. The film nosed dives from the interesting opening to just another film with too many "but wait...there's more!" moments.

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "You do D work you get a D Grade" - Eli Michalson (Alan Rickman) This quote was funny to me because of the action he's performing when he says it.

Review: Predators

Adrian Brody has moved on from having sex with aliens to trying to kill them. Way to use that Oscar, buddy!

I went into this film with horrible expectations. Every review I read ripped it, the synopsis I read made me think this movie was going to have the same plot as 'The Condemned'. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this one almost as much (if not more) than the first.

The film revolves around a group soldiers, criminals and mercenaries that are dropped off on a tropical planet only to figure out that they are being hunted by strange alien creatures. They try to band together to survive, but with their different lifestyles, we know this is going to get ugly.

What I loved most about this film was that it actually felt like a 80's horror flick. It's ridiculously gory, has quick camera movements and cheese ball dialogue. The entire cast looks quite hilarious on paper. Adrian Brody (great as our tough, dark, leading man) Alice Braga (I Am Legend) Danny Trejo, (Machete!) Laurence Fishburn, (Morpheous!) Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, (seriously, that's his name) Derek Mears (Jason Vorhees!) and Topher Grace (Eric Forman!) At first I thought Grace seemed out of place, but he's the main source of intentional comic relief throughout the film. After viewing the whole thing, I thought he fit in just fine.

Director Nimrod Antal actually made an attempt to acknowledge the events from the first film. I appreciated that, it made it feel more complete. Is this a 5 star classic? No. Did Predator even need another sequel? No. Was it an uber-gory yet enjoyable popcorn flick? Yes. It doesn't have to be taken too seriously, just sit back and enjoy the fun.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I want to know who threw me out of a fucking airplane." - Adrian Brody

Emmy Nominees + 10 Likes and dislikes

This isn't a complete list of nominees, just the bigger ones. For a full list, I'd recommend

10 Things I liked
1) Jim Parsons gets his 2nd consecutive nom for 'The Big Bang Theory'. He's the best part of the show and deserves the nomination, hell I'd even go as far to say he deserves the win. Sorry Alec Baldwin, you're good..but Parsons is fantastic

2)True Blood gets a Best Drama Series nomination. Vampire stories have a really bad rap nowadays. 'True Blood' is the exception. I'm disappointed there's no love for the cast, but to see it being acknowledged in the drama car was a nice surprise.

3)South Park gets it's 10 nomination for best Animated Series. You see what happens when you poke fun at Mohammad? You get rewarded. South Park is the best adult cartoon out there, even though creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker may shun the Emmys, they still deserve all the praise they can get.

4)Conan O'Brien's revenge nom. Clearly the Emmy's are with CoCo..

5)'Lost' gets it's goodbye love. 'Lost' was probably the most confusing series ever to air on television. They went out with a bang, albeit a strange and still heavily debated bang. This is the icing on the cake for the series. While Matthew Fox is a questionable candidate for Best Actor, it deserves all the love.

6)Betty White gets a nomination for a cameo on SNL. Yep, everyone loves Betty.

7)Modern Family got a lot of love. Wow, 3/4 of their cast were nominated, that's pretty good for a freshman series. I've never seen Modern Family (I did laugh pretty hard at the Kobe TV spot) but I've got friends who love it. They were happy to see get some attention, and I suppose I'm happy for them.

8)Courteney Cox didn't get nominated for 'Cougar Town'. Every Emmy prediction I read had her on the list and when her name wasn't read I was sort of relieved. I don't think she's all that funny and the whole "cougar" thing is getting really, really old.

9)Stewart/Colbert Nation. Both shows got nominations for Best Variety Program and for writing. They deserve it, their main purpose is to make people laugh, but they tend to make real journalists/news casters (ie all of Fox News) look 2nd best compared to them. I love these guys. You get a laugh and learn something at the same time. That's perfect.

10) Christine Baranski gets a nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy for her role as Leonard's mom in 'The Big Bang Theory'.

10 Things I didn't

1) NO Rescue Me love!? I wish someone would just tell me there was some weird loop hole and they aren't eligible but I know they are and I can't believe the Emmys have snubbed both their cast and writing since 2005-2006. (Yes they've gotten Guest Actor noms here and there, but they deserve more) A good friend pointed out that Seinfeld was awesome and it never got any love. It doesn't make it any less awesome. Yes, that's true, but some recognition would be nice...

2)Friday Night Lights is overrated. There, I said it. The biggest surprise to be was their lead actor and actress getting nominations when they are usually (and rightfully so) ignored. I don't get what everyone sees in this show. Every episode I've seen has been cliche and melodramatic. I tried so hard to watch seasons of this because my co-workers would not stop talking about it, but I can't. I can't sacrifice my taste. FNL didn't get robbed from a Best Drama Series nomination by True Blood, trust me.

3)No Mary Louise Parker nomination for Weeds? She's golden in that show. You cannot tell me Lea Michele (Glee) is better than Mary Louise Parker. Michele has an amazing voice, but acting wise? No.. I suppose it doesn't matter. This cat is Tina Fey's or Toni Collette's.

4)Tony Shalhoub for Monk. Is that still on?

5)The Emmy clearly jumped on the 'Glee' bandwagon. I haven't become a "Gleek" yet. I love Jane Lynch, and I'm happy for any nomination that comes her way, but everything else just seems like Glee overload. I'd expect this from the Golden Globes, but not the Emmys.

6)Sharon Glass for Burn Notice is the biggest "wtf" nomination in my opinion. My husband is into that show, I'm not. I think all dramas on USA look the same. This brings me back to 'Rescue Me'. Callie Thorne and Andrea Roth had plenty of material to work with, couldn't they have snuck in there? Or Jennifer Carpenter for Dexter?

7)Only 2 mini series nominations? Maybe there wasn't a lot to chose from, but you really couldn't pick more than two?

8)Hugh Laurie is not the only thing good about House. I'm just saying, Laurie gets all the credit when his cast is just as good. Share the love.

9)No Big Bang Theory for best Comedy Series? Oh that's right, Emmy hates anything that remotely has to do with Sci Fi. That name sort of sounds Sci-Fi right? Notice the lack of nominations for Fringe?

10)Does "Emmy Nominee Ryan Seacrest" even sound nice?

Outstanding Comedy Series
Nominees:"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000)

"Glee" (2009)

"Modern Family" (2009)

"Nurse Jackie" (2009)

"The Office" (2005)

"30 Rock" (2006)

Outstanding Drama Series
Nominees:"Breaking Bad" (2008)

"Dexter" (2006)

"The Good Wife" (2009)

"Lost" (2004)

"Mad Men" (2007)

"True Blood" (2008)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Nominees:Endgame (2009/I)

Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Moonshot (2009) (TV)

The Special Relationship (2010) (TV)

Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Outstanding Miniseries
Nominees:"The Pacific" (2010)

"Return to Cranford" (2007)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)

Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)

Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000)

Matthew Morrison for "Glee" (2009)

Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory" (2007)

Tony Shalhoub for "Monk" (2002)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees:Kyle Chandler for "Friday Night Lights" (2006)

Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

Matthew Fox for "Lost" (2004)

Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)

Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominees:Jeff Bridges for A Dog Year (2009)

Ian McKellen for "The Prisoner" (2009)

Al Pacino for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Dennis Quaid for The Special Relationship (2010) (TV)

Michael Sheen for The Special Relationship (2010) (TV)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Toni Collette for "United States of Tara" (2009)

Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie" (2009)

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (2006)

Lea Michele for "Glee" (2009)

Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation" (2009)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees:Connie Britton for "Friday Night Lights" (2006)

Glenn Close for "Damages" (2007)

Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)

January Jones for "Mad Men" (2007)

Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominees:Joan Allen for Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Claire Danes for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Hope Davis for The Special Relationship (2010) (TV)

Judi Dench for "Return to Cranford" (2007)

Maggie Smith for Capturing Mary (2007) (TV)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Ty Burrell for "Modern Family" (2009)

Chris Colfer for "Glee" (2009)

Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson for "Modern Family" (2009)

Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother" (2005)

Eric Stonestreet for "Modern Family" (2009)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees:Andre Braugher for "Men of a Certain Age" (2009)

Michael Emerson for "Lost" (2004)

Terry O'Quinn for "Lost" (2004)

Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

Martin Short for "Damages" (2007)

John Slattery for "Mad Men" (2007)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominees:Michael Gambon for "Emma" (2009)

John Goodman for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Jonathan Pryce for "Return to Cranford" (2007)

Patrick Stewart for Hamlet (2009) (TV)

David Strathairn for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Julie Bowen for "Modern Family" (2009)

Jane Krakowski for "30 Rock" (2006)

Jane Lynch for "Glee" (2009)

Holland Taylor for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)

SofĂ­a Vergara for "Modern Family" (2009)

Kristen Wiig for "Saturday Night Live" (1975)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees:Christine Baranski for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Rose Byrne for "Damages" (2007)

Sharon Gless for "Burn Notice" (2007)

Christina Hendricks for "Mad Men" (2007)

Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men" (2007)

Archie Panjabi for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominees:Kathy Bates for "Alice" (2009)

Catherine O'Hara for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Julia Ormond for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Susan Sarandon for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Brenda Vaccaro for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
Nominees:"The Colbert Report" (2005)

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (1996)

"Real Time with Bill Maher" (2003)

"Saturday Night Live" (1975)

"The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" (2009)

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
Nominees:"The Amazing Race" (2001)

"American Idol" (2002)

"Dancing with the Stars" (2005/I)

"Project Runway" (2005)

"Top Chef" (2006)

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality - Competition Program
Nominees:Tom Bergeron for "Dancing with the Stars" (2005/I)

Phil Keoghan for "The Amazing Race" (2001)

Heidi Klum for "Project Runway" (2005)

Jeff Probst for "Survivor" (2000)

Ryan Seacrest for "American Idol" (2002)

Indie Gems: The Cake Eaters

You can have your cake and eat it too. That's what this film is trying to tell us. It has every chance to be a cliche, melodramatic mess (sick kid, broken families, dark secrets) but surprisingly doesn't go in that direction.

Beagle (Aaron Sanford) has just lost his mother. He's a shy 20 something that has been caring for her in her later years. His father (Bruce Dern) couldn't bare to do it. Through his father he meets Georgia (Kristen Stewart) a terminally ill teenager who has Friedreich's Ataxia. She's just looking for love before it's too late. We watch these two form a relationship, and we also see the strained relationships of their family members. (including Melissa Leo as Georgia's mother)

There's credit due to Kristen Stewart. It's nice to see her play a teen that for once isn't "angsty". She did a good job with Georgia, she was sweet. While there was still some signature crabbiness in her performance, it was good. Stewart is the reason this movie even made it to DVD. It sat in limbo for two years before it was released (with Stewart's picture taking over the DVD, when she's really a supporting character) It's unfortunate that it basically took 'Twilight's' success to get this film to light. I enjoy watching Sanford on screen, he hasn't done a whole lot since the success of 'X-men' but hopefully that changes. It was nice to see Oscar nominee Leo in it as well. Although her part was small, she's always a joy on screen.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote" "Is that why you talk like you're drunk?" - Beagle (Aaron Sanford)