Green Lantern: Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:23.1

Mean, green, interstellar justice machine: Ryan Reynolds is the GREEN LANTERN.
Mean, green, interstellar justice machine: Ryan Reynolds is the GREEN LANTERN.

Somebody notify Kermit: Being green just got a little easier. That’s what happens when the all-powerful will of the universe taps test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to be its latest defender, and a dying alien bequeaths him a ring that turns him into the GREEN LANTERN, a mighty force for good with a bitchin’ emerald wardrobe and the ability conjure anything that can be imagined into reality. The new film is Hollywood’s latest attempt to take the comic book movie back to its purer roots, when heroes were heroes, bad guys were malevolent, and the galaxy had the colorful vividness of a two-page splash. Does GREEN LANTERN earn its stripes as simple summer fun? Do Reynolds and Blake Lively (playing Jordan’s boss, wingman, and love interest Carol Ferris) make an appealing screen couple (even as the kids are going, “Yick”)? And what the hell’s going on with Peter Sarsgaard’s forehead? Listen in as Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons discuss these and many more issues.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Cinefantastique Spotlight 2:19.1

When Eyeshadows Collide: Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz glam it up in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.
When Eyeshadows Collide: Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz glam it up in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES pulled into port this weekend, plundering $90+ million from eager audiences. And that’s no surprise: People just love that incorrigible rapscallion (rapscallion?) Capt. Jack Sparrow — as portrayed by Johnny Depp — and apparently have a bottomless hunger for his adventures in a world where history and magic meld smoothly into one sumptuous, sea-going epic. Is the latest installment’s quest for the legendary Fountain of Youth a fitting follow-up to the previous chapters — or even better? Is Sparrow’s reunion with his old (and now-fully-mortal) nemesis Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) worth the wait? And do Ian McShane as the fearsome pirate Blackbeard and Penelope Cruz as his comely daughter (and potential Sparrow love-interest) worthy additions to our hardy crew? Listen in as Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons set sail by the North Star, brave the surging waves, and guide their podcast past the rocky shoals and in for a safe landing.
And in conclusion: Arrrrrrrr. There, that’s got it covered.

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'Green Lantern' 3-D Trailer

Geoffrey Rush (Tomar-Re) narrates this latest (and very cosmic) GREEN LANTERN Trailer.
Directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line, Geoff Johns, Executive Producers: Andrew Haas
Donald De Line, Screenplay: Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green, Greg Berlanti, Michael Goldenberg .
Due in theaters June 17th, in standard and 3-D versions.
From Yahoo via kino.com

The Warrior’s Way Review

The Warriors Way posterIn many ways, there’s no movie concept more juvenile, more basic, or more ridiculous than Cowboys Vs. Ninjas. They come from opposite sides of the globe, of course, and certainly the loose, devil-may-care murderin’ style of a cowboy’s gun is no match for the stealthy throat-slitting sword of a trained assassin. On top of all that, what do they have to fight over? Ninjas never really seem to like brothels, and honor isn’t worth much on the dusty plain.

Despite (or possibly because of) all these limitations, Korean writer-director Sngmoo Lee’s THE WARRIOR’S WAY (2010) proves to be a stylish and aesthetically wonderful action film that takes pride in its B-level plot. There’s not much missing from the title for me to tell, except perhaps some of the characters names. Yang (newcomer Dong-gun Jang), we are told by both a narrator and subtitles, is the most powerful swordsman in the history of mankind – we know because he kills the former most powerful swordsman in the history of mankind. Yang is a member of the Sad Flutes (“The sound made when the throat is slit” he explains), and it is this ninja squad that he betrays by refusing to kill little April, the last living member of a rival clan.

Seeking solace and safety, Yang travels way out west to the town of Lode, population 500, where drunkards, clowns, midgets, and world-class beauties fend off a tribe of cowboy-bandits led by Danny Huston’s intimidating Colonel. Huston, whose father and sister each hold a place in the Hollywood Hall of Fame, is just one member of an A-list cast doing their best to seem serious here. Indeed, certain inhabitants of the squalid town are played by Kate Bosworth as the requisite love interest and none other than Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush as the never-not-drunk Ron, who (as fate would have it) turns out to be a master gunslinger. This cast elevates what could have been a typical New Zealander-American-Korean swords-and-bullets love story into a slightly less typical New Zealander-American-Korean swords-and-bullets love story.

The Warriors Way high-flying martial arts actionAlthough taking potshots at the plot of THE WARRIORS WAY is easy, the style and atmosphere  are wholly different matters. The action sequences are relatively standard for any film with ninjas, but they appear completely fresh because of their visual beauty. Lee has an eye for angles and colors, using intensely vivid CGI and a lot of green screen to wring out as much adrenaline as he can from the genre. Almost from the beginning, the Cowboys vs. Ninjas  set-up seems contrived, but the various gunshots, knife-throws, and dynamite explosions bring out an impressively original group of scenes. One of my particular favorites has very little to do with visual effects or style, but really just with a line by Colonel: “See you in hell, little girl. Wear something nasty.”

Rush, Huston, and Bosworth all know what they have gotten themselves into, and it is a true pleasure to see talented actors have a little fun. Rush is getting rave reviews as we speak for Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, but who would rather see a stuffy British drama then a nearly-scriptless bloodbath on a Friday night? Bosworth’s last big foray into sci-fi was Bryan Singer’s lukewarm SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006), but here she makes a bit more of an impression playing someone with a backbone and a deadly glint in her eye. What’s more, just for the men in the audience who don’t get enough of a rush from the blood spurting out in glass clouds, she spends the final act of the film in a corset while kicking ass. Huston hits more familiar notes than even the nearly-silent Yang, and here he recycles bits and pieces of his more intimidating roles – films like THE PROPOSITION and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT spring powerfully to mind. But this sort of character is his specialty, and as a Jonah Hex-style cowboy, he adds  pizzazz to a role that we know is pretty easy to butcher (just ask Josh Brolin).

Small side-note: the film’s score seemed much more impressive to me than the film itself, utilizing everything from electric and Spanish guitars, quiet flutes, and full orchestras. I did not realize until the end credits that the master behind PAN’S LABYRINTH, Javier Navarrete, composed the original music – someone give this man a franchise.

THE WARRIRORS WAY (Rogue, December 3, 2010). Written and Directed by: Sngmoo Lee. Original music by: Javier Navarrete. Cast:

  • Yang – Dong-gun Jang
  • Ron – Geoffrey Rush
  • Lynne – Kate Bosworth
  • Colonel – Danny Huston
  • 8-Ball – Tony Cox
  • Saddest Flute – Ti Lung
  • Baby April – Analin Rudd

First Pic Of Penelope Cruz in Pirates 4

Penelope Cruz in PIRATES 4Reaction to the announcement that the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise would get a 4th film has been met with great fanfare from the hardcore “Sparrowheads”, and a more shoulder-shrug reaction from the rest. But despite which of these camps you fit into, the buzz machine keeps on rolling as today saw the release of the first on-set picture of Johnny Depp’s co-star Penelope Cruz. Cruz is just one more addition to a cast already chock full of amazing actors including Geoffrey Rush reprising his role as Barbossa, and Ian McShane making his debut as the infamous Blackbeard.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES is currently filming and is slated to be released May 20th, 2011.
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