Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hangover: Part 2 Review

Directed By: Todd Phillips
Produced By: Todd Phillips, Daniel Goldberg
Written By: Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong, Craig Mazin
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis 
Edited By: Debra Neil-Fisher, Mike Sale
Music By: Christophe Beck
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: R for "pervasive language, strong sexual content, including graphic nudity, drug use and brief violent language"


Director Todd Phillips not wanting to mess with the winning formula (thinking if it ain't broke, don't fix it) reintroduces the same characters and the very same scenario that made The Hangover a box office hit. This time around it’s Stu (Ed Helms) getting married; not to the lovely stripper with the heart of gold from Part I (which personally made me sad after all the bonding that went on at the end of the first film) but to some random girl named Lauren (Jamie Chung) who basically says hi and then bye; which is the most character development you get out of her or any of the other women in the cast. The wedding and the overall setting takes place in the exotic local of Thailand in an effort to appease Ed’s Thai in-laws to be. Cautious from the hellish series of events that took place in Las Vegas two years prior, Stu even decides to play it safe with just an IHOP brunch. However not even ten movie minutes later, he is convinced that one beer bottle toast wouldn’t hurt and BAM let the games begin. Lo and behold, the “Wolf Pack” is back at it again. 

Spoilers after the break!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Coming to a Theatre Near You…

Spiderman.  The Lion King.  Shrek.  Billy Elliot.  Legally Blonde.  All movies, seemingly disconnected, correct? Wrong.  All five, as well as countless others are in fact musicals that at one time or another have graced the Broadway stage in New York. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

HTTProfiiles: House, Season 1

With it being announced that the TV series House is ending next year after an 8 season run, I decided to write an article on what I think the show means and other various things. We’ll start from Season 1 and continue on until we hit the end of Season 7, in a series of articles.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Five Antagonist of Films that you Can’t Help but Love.

This is a list of the top five antagonist in films made form the 90s to the present that you can’t help but love. The meaning behind that is that these antagonist are not your run of the mill bad guy. These antagonist are different, whether it be just great writing on part of the writer that makes this villain a step above the rest or the actor who plays this antagonist or both. These five antagonist are just simply known for equal or in some aspect more likeable than their protagonist counter parts. Lets start the show.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Movie Marketing Part I: Going Viral

Friday marked the opening of the viral campaign for Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, and already it shows itself to be something to follow. The viral campaign for The Dark Knight remains, in my opinion, the best ever marketed by a studio, so I am very excited about following Nolan's 2012 production along these coming months. In light what's to come, I've decided to start a new multi-part series. In this new age of constant journalism, internet rumors, spoilers, and leaks, keeping secrets in the movie business is harder than ever, especially when working on such highly publicized productions like superhero movies. Hundreds of websites and blogs across the internet are dedicated to movie rumors (including my favorite: SuperHeroHype), along with those internet followers who are always willing to leak anything they can just to show dominance.

Chris Nolan, Jim Cameron, JJ Abrams, and Zach Snyder are all noted for their notoriously tight-lipped productions, but this series will focus less on the people and more on the styles through which studios market films. The mystery behind a project is, after all, one of film's greatest allures. More often than not, though, this marketing campaign is the product of the studio rather than the director. One of the newest forms of movie marketing came along with the rapid expansion of the internet in the past half decade by way of viral marketing, made even more prominent in the past few years with social networking media. It amazes me the extent to which a studio can go to get people involved with the marketing of a film, all as a way of both giving in to their demands to be kept informed while also distracting them from the real rumors. Nearly all movies nowadays create Facebook pages and Twitter trends and Tumblrs as a way of spreading themselves around the internet, but none have taken the possibilities to the extend of Nolan's Batman trilogy, led by the company 42 Entertainment (at least for TDK - DKR's company has not been made public).

--Be advised that an official promotional photo of Bane is shown after the break and is considered a LOW-LEVEL SPOILER--

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top five TV shows and Why I Love Them

What is the greatest thing that an artist can do?

Is it create a masterpiece that survives the times? Is it to inspire hope in desolate times? Or is it to show a side of something that no one ever considered?

Personally, I think the greatest thing an artist can do is create.

Create? Isn’t that the entirety of an artists job description? Isn’t that what they do anyways, regardless of the quality of the creation?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Talking Animals in Film

I recently watched the Zach Snyder film Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole and found myself fascinated not by the movie so much as by audience's ability to make non-human characters so lifelike, in an odd turn of phrase. It's an animated family film in all sense of the phrase, and I wasn't expecting much from it. The main reason I was watching it at all was because I'm a Snyder fan and felt the need to see even his strange picks of direction. As can probably be expected since I'm writing this post, it was a surprisingly good movie. There wasn't anything groundbreaking in it, from the typical three-act narrative and redemption plot of the young owl Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess of 21 and Across the Universe) as he seeks to find the ancient Guardians and save the land. Everything is quite predictable, but that didn't stop me from being entertained.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

YouTube: New Canvas

©NITVShorts - "New Boy"
Standing in line for a movie ticket is a lot like standing in line for a Big Mac. Do you want the action movie with a side of comedy or the thriller with extra gore? It’s not a secret nor a surprise that Hollywood regurgitates its story lines. With over 600 movies released each year you can’t expect each one to be a flourishing garden of artistic creativity. I don’t expect it, and neither does the rest of America. Thoughtful poignant movies bite it at the box office. In 2009, Robin Williams starred in the movie “World’s Greatest Dad” which was a hit at Sundance, had a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 88%, and was rated three out of four stars by Roger Ebert, but it grossed less than $250,000. Compare that to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Last Airbender” which received a 6% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and was described by Ebert as “an agonizing experience in every category”, but grossed over $319,000,000, and you can see the difference that I’m trying to point out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Going outside the camera

Personally, I pride education, intellect, and rationality over all things. The one thing that I cannot understand is people who refuse higher education. There is nothing more stimulating that conquering an intellectual task, at least to me. For this reason, I find that actors that go outside the boundaries of film to study other things to be incredibly inspirational, speaking specifically of Natalie Portman and James Franco.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marvelous Money

This, like just about every summer for the past several years, will be a summer filled with comic book movies. Thor was released in theaters a few days ago and the Captain America is set to come out in a few months. With Marvel pumping out a minimum of comic book movies every year showing that there is a audience for these types of movies one must ask the question, what is the real point to a comic book movie?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

HTTPreview: Thor

Rating: 7/10

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
Produced By: Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios)
Written By: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Edited By: Paul Rubell
Music By: Patrick Doyle
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

Runtime: 114 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for "sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence"

Setting up another character for the upcoming epic The Avengers, Thor not only successfully establishes the mythicism of Asgard but does it within the realm of the Marvel movie universe, reminding us that hundreds of miles away Stark, Banner, Rogers, and others are but waiting to join forces. In the meantime, we're treated to a visually and emotionally entertaining joy ride split between two worlds that leaves you wanting more, and knowing Marvel will soon deliver.

Check out our in-depth review after the break; BEWARE MINOR SPOILERS!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2011: Sequels Galore!

(©SequelBuzz: Because One is Never Enough!)

I came across an interesting article back in January about all the movies slated to release this year, and as this jam-packed summer starts up I thought it relevant to talk about as a jumping off point from my previous discussions of originality to all future discussions we'll have throughout the summer in reviews. 2011 has the most movie sequel/prequel/whatevers of any year previous, with a grand total of 27. Definitely check out the article, but for a quick rundown there are: nine #2, five #3, five #4, five #5, two #7, and one #8 in the form of Deathly Hallows Part 2. To compare, 2003 was the previous record with 23 while 2010 had 19, so definitely a leap.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Last week I spoke about censorship in a broad sense, but as my deadline grew closer, I felt that I had more to say about the topic. Specifically, the MPAA.

The MPAA is not the most rational or democratic organization in the US. They keep their board members secret, and refuse to elaborate on why they gave a particular rating to a particular movie. They leave it up to the filmmaker to decide what parts of his movie to cut, which can lead to unnecessary and damaging deletions. They also, bizarrely enough, refuse to adhere to any standards.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Every single year movie theaters play tons of remakes of past movies that were successful enough that if they remade it, they would be able to turn a profit off of it. Usually the response from audiences are that though it was a good movie they thought that the original was the better. Why is this so? Just because someone tells you the story first that means that any other attempt at telling this story is going to fail in comparison simply because they were not first?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

HTTPreviews: Fast Five

Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson
Music By: Brian Tyler

Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language"


This weekend, I went and saw ‘Fast Five’. I had medium expectations for this movie, mostly because the reviews from places like RottenTomatoes and Metacritic were very positive, which were the highest of the series at 78%. Once again, this is a series movie within a series that I love, so hopefully I don’t slant this too much.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, mainly because of the action scenes. They were fantastic, and I’m really underselling it here. There was a badass fistfight between Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and it was the most epic, knock down, kick in the face fight of all time. Two massive, scary ass dudes just punching it out for at least three minutes. It was just... Ugh. Just so fantastic. I loved it. All the action scenes were like that, though. Justin Lin has a really good idea of how to create suspense and power within the scenes. Fantastic.