While this summer is packed with superhero and comic book movies, including Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, there still is room for Hugh Jackman to reprise his role as one of the most popular mutants around, Wolverine. The Wolverine is the latest adventure for old man Logan, taking place after the events of all of the previous X-Men films and setting itself in Japan. The story is based in part on one of the most famous comic arcs for the character, developed by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. While X-Men Origins: Wolverine left many fans disappointed, The Wolverine looks like a step in a much better direction. Continue on to see the new trailer as well as a batch of very cool, character-based posters.
Archive for the 'Aaron Neuwirth' Category
Following the special screenings and Q&As for The Mist and the double-dose of Guillermo del Toro features, I was then able to catch a screening of the horror remake Maniac at the Hero Complex Film Festival in LA. Maniac is a remake of an 80s horror feature of the same name and features the same basic story of depravity, as we follow a serial killer around and watch him scalp his female victims. The separating factor for this version is how stylish it is. Along with the 80s synth-infused soundtrack, Maniac is almost completely shot from the perspective of the killer, bringing a lot of credence to the challenging filmmaking techniques used to accomplish this. However, deciphering between which is great, the style or the overall effectiveness of the film, is where the challenge in accepting Maniac really lies.
Following The Mist, I was also able to attend another very entertaining scheduled event at the Hero Complex Film Festival, a back-to-back screening of the The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. Both are films written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, who provided an hour-long Q&A in between features. For anyone who is familiar with Guillermo del Toro, they would know that he is one of the most entertaining directors to listen to, as he is always full of passion for his projects and isn’t one to censor himself (not to mention his wonderful Mexican accent). This entire conversation has been recorded and provided in a link. Read on to learn more about what he had to say about his past films, his career as a filmmaker, his personal life, and his upcoming feature films, most notably Pacific Rim (Post Updated with latest Pacific Rim trailer).
I was happy to be able to attend the Hero Complex Film Festival in Hollywood this year and check out a few of the events that were on the lineup. For me, the first scheduled event that I took part in was a screening of The Mist (an original 35mm print) followed by a Q&A. Initially I was led to believe that only writer/director Frank Darabont would be in attendance, but I was happy to see that star Tom Jane was also on hand to discuss this 2007 horror film. As a big fan of The Mist, I was very excited to check out the film with an audience, my first time on the big screen since Thanksgiving 2007 (an amazing release date for this of all films). Read on to learn more about what went down at this Q&A, as well as find the entire recording of this conversation.
I have already reviewed the Closing Night film of the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival (the very entertaining The Way Way Back), but this is my final article in regards to the films I saw on Thursday night, closing out my time covering the festival. It has been an exciting and exhausting experience, but I have been very pleased with the amount of coverage I have been able to provide this year and look forward to continuing to cover the festival next year. The final round of films I will be reviewing here are very different from each other, but have their merits. The Iceman is a crime drama based on true events that recounts the story of one of America’s most notorious contract killers. Ghost Team One is a pseudo-documentary made in the vein of Paranormal Activity, but handled with a very comedic touch. I was looking forward to both of these features and can now delve into what I thought about them.
The closing night film for the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival is a real audience pleaser. The Way Way Back is a fairly standard coming-of-age story about an introverted boy opening up to others thanks to good-natured people he befriends, away from his family. The film is not breaking any new ground nor is it taking a familiar story to the next level in the way a film like Adventureland did, but it is incredibly likable, thanks to some key performances and a winning level of energy. Not every film needs to be something new and in the case of The Way Way Back, it succeeds by going back to the basics and letting us enjoy a traditional tale.
Compared to my Tuesday night at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival, Wednesday was a much lighter affair. While The Hunt is still my favorite film that I have seen at the festival this year, both Geography Club and Paris Manhattan were much cheerier films that I can imagine would win over many audiences. While neither is necessarily great, I would say that there is much to enjoy in each and they served as a nice turnaround from some of the darker films that I have been watching at the festival. Geography Club is a light high school comedy-drama about a student facing a truth that will affect his social standing. Paris Manhattan is a French romantic comedy that would make a certain New York filmmaker proud. Considering the breeziness of both features, it was easy enough for me to let the charm of them have an effect.
Tuesday night at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival was a bit of a dark one, as both films settled into dramatic territory, with one pulling this off way more effectively than the other. To put it bluntly, on this night I saw both my worst film of the festival so far and my best film of the festival so far. Rushlights was a silly crime thriller that amounted to nothing special, while The Hunt was a compelling drama that needed no more than characters and dialogue to keep it effective throughout. The night could be deemed bittersweet, in a way, as I only saw one good film, but the fact that The Hunt was the film I ended my night of screenings on is bittersweet in and of itself, as the movie was very good, but deals with intense subject matter that really had me riled up at points. Regardless, I at least have the chance to share my thoughts on these films and why one of them should be sought out.
Monday night at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival put me right back on schedule for viewing two films a night for the remainder of the week, possibly seeking a bit of solace (and food) at the wonderful after parties, and then stationing myself back at home, where I can deliver my thoughts on the various films I had a chance to view amongst audiences. On this night, I was able to see two movies and a short film. The films were Wasteland, which was preceded by the short film Fruit of Labor, and Gus. Each film was decidedly different from the other, but I would say I ended up having a good time overall, with Wasteland serving as the standout of the night.
Saturday at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival was a busy day. I specifically planned it that way, as I wanted my Sunday to be more relaxed. So I ended up seeing 4 different films, none of which were similar in any way. It was a full schedule and I have thoughts on three of them. I say three, because the first film of the day was a retrospective screening of the John Wayne western, The Searchers. This classic film was preceded by an interview with author Glenn Frankel who recently released “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend”, essentially making it unnecessary for me to write anything about the film. Unfortunately (and this really upset me), the recording of this conversation has been lost on my part. Still, while many have written about The Searchers already (and it is a great film), I would rather spend my time sharing my thoughts on three new films that have been largely unseen by general audiences: Greetings from Tim Buckley, Isolated, and Welcome to the Jungle.
Friday night at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival allowed me the chance to see two films. One was a romance drama with a twist called Blood Type: Unknown. The other was a dramatic thriller called A Single Shot. I was very pleased with one of these films, but still enjoyed my time at the festival, as per usual. For my regular festival coverage this year, starting with this post, I am going to try something a bit different and write a little about all the films I see during one day at the festival, rather than exhaust myself and try to write full reviews for every film, as I have been doing in years past. Hopefully I will provide the same level of insight, albeit in a more abridged version.
Opening Night at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival felt like quite a success, as I was happy to enjoy the film that kicked off this week-long event. Broadway Idiot is a documentary that covers the process of turning a hugely successful Green Day album into a Broadway musical. Unless one simply cannot stand Green Day for whatever reason, the film is highly enjoyable and a breezy look at what it is to show a rock band taking on a new direction in their career by way of theater, of all things. The best compliment I could give would be that the documentary made me want to see the actual show performed live. Given that I am more a fan of the earlier music by Green Day, I would say that is a strong enough statement. Regardless, the documentary was an enjoyable watch and really kicked things off for the film festival rather nicely.
Friday night at WonderCon, audiences got to witness premiere of the new animated Superman film, Superman: Unbound. This is another entry in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series, presented by Warner Bros., which has previously released films such as Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Wonder Woman. For the most part, these animated adaptations of various DC superheroes and some of their most well-known stories have been pretty good, so I was excited to check out this new feature. I say that in a somewhat surprising manner for myself, because Superman is not a character I tend to enjoy that much. I only believe the character to be as interesting as the story that is written for him, so the fact that this film would revolve around Brainiac, one of Superman’s greatest foes, had my curiosity for sure. Fortunately, this was a mighty enjoyable film, thanks to the work done by many involved.
Recently, we have seen films like 2012, Melancholia, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and even Children of Men, to an extent, depict what it would be like to see the world come to an end. Just to round things out, I guess, we now have the version of that story in a movie that stars comic actors Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, and many more. WonderCon had a panel devoted to This Is The End, an apocalyptic comedy starring all of these guys as themselves, written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Read on to find out what went on at this hilarious panel. Now updated with new trailer.
Many of my friends know that I love The Evil Dead trilogy, the cult horror films from director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Oz The Great and Powerful) and star Bruce Campbell. I watch all three films (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness) back-to-back-to-back every year in October, involving as many people as I can in the process. The idea of remaking The Evil Dead could seem like something that I would be entirely against, but I was willing to hear it out, as Raimi, Cambpell, and producer Rob Tapert were the ones that wanted to do it. Essentially, if it had their blessing, I would be down for a new take on “The ultimate experience in grueling terror” (original tag line for the first film). Fortunately, everything I have been seeing and hearing so far has me quite excited, which is why I was looking forward to this panel for the film, taking place a week before its theatrical release. Read on to learn more about what went down at this WonderCon panel.
Saturday was considered the most important day for WonderCon, at least as far as movie geeks were concerned, but the presentation for the new film from director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), the giant robots versus giant monsters movie known as Pacific Rim, was easily one of the most anticipated events of the whole weekend. While the no one from the cast made an appearance, people familiar with Guillermo del Toro should know well enough that he does not need a whole lot of help from others to really have him deliver an entertaining panel, given his charismatic personality, wonderful Mexican accent, and his hilarious use of swear words when talking about his passions. Read on to learn more about what audiences were treated to as far as Pacific Rim is concerned, with its summer release date looming on the horizon.
A quick introduction, as this is my first WonderCon 2013 article, I will have been in attendance all weekend for WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California and hope to bring plenty of cool info regarding several upcoming films. First up is the new film from director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) called The Conjuring. This film is a supernatural horror movie based on a true story and James Wan came to Anaheim to present his thoughts on the film and show off some footage. He also brought with him the actual people whom this story is based on. Read on to learn more about this upcoming horror film, arriving in theaters this summer.
Iron Man 3 is getting closer and closer to its May 3rd release date and with all that anticipation bubbling to the surface, here is the latest and final theatrical trailer for the film, which sees Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) facing off against a powerful foe known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). True to form, Marvel Studios is going all out to make this look like one of the action events of the year and I would be hard-pressed to argue against that, given how exciting this film looks to be. I just hope it is still hope that there is plenty of fun to be had, given Stark’s attitude and chemistry with the rest of the cast, along with knowing writer/director Shane Black’s (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) filmmaking sensibilities. Continue on to check out the brand new trailer.
[Note: This is an essay that potentially spoils everything that has so far happened on Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.]
With just a few weeks left until The Walking Dead returns to TV screens with all new episodes, I decided to write a little something to help express my thoughts on the show thus far and what I hope can come from the rest of this season. Yes, there are concerns regarding the series’ budget, the number of remaining episodes, and possible behind-the-scenes drama, but while this may be more of a ‘wish list’ overall, I still think I have a reasonable number of ideas concerning how the show can be even better, considering that this current season has done so much to improve upon itself, as a whole, already. So now, here are five items that I believe can contribute to the show being better overall.
Now it is time to dig into the list of what I consider to be my favorite films of 2012. I have to say that this was not the easiest list to put together. Theatrically, I have seen 120+ films this year, so there were a lot of films to give praise to and consider how to reference in terms of their placement on this list. Some of these films certainly affected me more than others, but there were plenty that were easily strong enough to potentially wind up on my year end list. As a result, the only course of action was to take, was to do my best to give praise to the other films on this list by being sure to have honorable and special mentions for all the films that were in contention. Still, I am very satisfied by this final list that I have put together, mainly because it is my list and it contains films that I really enjoyed the most this year, for various reasons. So here we go (by the way, lots of Easter Eggs hidden in the pictures):