Thursday, April 14, 2011

Odd Thomas film news 04/14/2011 part 2

On the lastest news today, comedian Patton Oswalt has signed on to be Oswald "Ozzie" P. Boone, the crazy artist that designs Odds supernatural pendant.

I also keep seeing Emma Stone's name everywhere but no word if she is confirmed or who she'd play. In the meantime I think we have a killer movie developing here with lots of names I could honestly see playing their parts well. In the coming months, once the cast is solid, I will do a character to actor comparison just for fun. Still waiting to hear who will play Elvis, you know it will be epic!

Odd Thomas film news 04/14/2011

The latest news seems to have a confirmed Willem DeFoe as Chief Wyatt Porter!

"The Chief helps Odd many times, acting almost as a surrogate father. He is one of the few people that know Odd sees the dead but he does not know all of Odd's secrets." ( that's right, I quote all my sources).

So I'm truly excited about this development, let's face it, DeFoe is amazing no matter what he does. Hopefully Stephen Sommers (also penned the script) recognizes his brilliance and doesn't try to hard to reign him in.

Other cast likely confirmed...
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek's Chekov, Terminator Salvation's Kyle) as Odd is an interesting choice, although I must admit, he does sort of look how I wold have envisioned Odd.

Addison Timlin (Californication's Sasha) I hate say just about any hot up and coming could play Stormy Llewellyn. So I won't.

Tim Robinson is still rumored, (Robert Thomas "Fungus Man" Robertson anyone?). But Tim and Willem in the same movie? I cannot see a problem with that.

Last bit of character news has Nico Tortorella (Scream 4) in talks to play the head of the Satanists. Not having seen Scream 4 I can't make a call. I guess I better do my homework. Since seeing I Am Number 4 though I'm really liking Jake Abel, that's twice now he's played a 'villain' (counting Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) and would really like to see him be able to go all out in a villainous role. Even if does have a Kevin Bacon face.

This movie is going all independent, Stephen Sommers (The Mummy movies and GI Joe The Rise of Cobra) took over the reigns as writer/director and all I can say on that is its about time someone did.

As for my involvement, I've already tried to make contact with those close to the production offering my services to help build the furniture they purchased in trade for seeing it get destroyed in a ball of flames. Here's hoping that works out and maybe we can even get cast and crew interviews for the Creepercast! I will, of course, keep all posted right here!

Source Code (2011)

Source Code (2011)

My Synopsis: it's RoboCop, no, wait, it's Time Cop, ummm, no, more like Total Recall! That's not it either. It's Donnie Darko, older, with more facial hair, time traveling to find the terrorist on a train, save the world, and mess with he space time continuum.

Why do I always subject myself to Jake Gyllenhaal movies? Probably for the same reason I always end up watching Shyamalan disasters. I just keep hoping all the hype is for real! Or I'm truly sadomasochistic and have to have the torture. Ok, so he wasn't that bad in this movie. But he'll never be as good as he was in Donnie Darko. But that's another movie entirely. This movie we have all seen at some point. It's like Speed and Time Cop combined. Seriously.

Or Quantum Leap, yeah. And there's a real good reason I think that is the best comparison. The entire premise of the film is based on Gyllenhaal's character traveling back in time and inhabiting another persons body. In this scenario he arrives 8 minutes before a terrorist bomb is to blow up a commuter train his host is on. His mission is to find the terrorist though, not fix things and make them right so everyone lives happily ever after as he leaps on to another host of problems. Of course he makes that his mission eventually after realizing the real him is just a brain left over from a helicopter crash. He even sort of has a Al, though he isn't a wise cracking hologram but rather a female military computer tech whose job it is to monitor his progress and seems to get the bots for him... Er... His brain (interesting play on the that whole 'love him for his brain' thing) Another difference is this point of time is written, everyone dies, Jake's only job is to find out who the terrorist is so the brains with bodies can hunt him down before he strikes again. Unfortunately for Jake he does only have 8 minutes, but he gets plenty of retries so we get to see different scenarios in which the central characters interact and blow up. A little Groundhog Day to keep us interested.

Interwoven in this tale is, of course, the ambitious scientist who developed the technology, or source code, that makes all this possible.  That is the only the technology is explained by the way. It is a merely a source code that only currently works with with Sam... Er... Jake's unique brain. The unfeeling scientist only cares for this mission to be successful so that his careers advances. I don't think I have ever hears the title of a movie mentioned so often in the film as I did coming from this guy and I still don't know what the source code is, only what it does. I've already told you by the way and it will be at least 5 more minutes before I tell you again.

Also Jake obviously has to fall in love with the female lead. This gives him the motivation to actually try and change the known future.

When asked what I thought of this movie, by a TV news anchor looking for to see on her Friday night off,  my answer was simply " it wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible." Which was apparently a perfectly good answer to her. As for you, dear readers, I was sure you expected more. Thus I would further that statement with "it's an interesting, familiar story with predictable outcomes, social commentary, and paradoxical boundary breaking." There were even some cool effects. But I usually find Gyllenhaal pretty bland as an actor so the story just felt like an old shoe that wasn't getting any new tread. Oh, but I'm almost positive the writer and director were well aware of it's comparison to Quantum Leap (as far as I know I am the first to make this correlation by the way). This is made apparent by the fact that the voice of his father on the phone was none other than Scott Bacula aka Dr. Sam Becket.

I don't want to ruin the movie for you since I didn't say it was horrible and I only ruin horrible movies. Plus I've kind of changed the way I approach these reviews by not tipping my hand to early as to what my opinion is and I think they may even be getting shorter. I've seen so many movies lately but it's hard to do a timely review win the schedule so I guess I've mellowed out some on my opinions. Trust me though, if I find a movie I feel passionate about (be it good or bad) I will not hesitate to get long winded. What I will say about the ending is Time Cop. I've probably ruined the whole movie for you now. You're welcome.

Farewell for now,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Black Death (2010)

My synopsis: God may have caused the black plague (to punish the wayward, of course) but a Celtic witch can cure it, if the people renounce God. God of course can't have that so he sends his best to put an end to it. This movie comes with a 14th century zombie!

A couple of months ago I really wanted to see a medieval movie. That is a movie that takes place or contains subject matter that takes place in a medieval age. To my sadness there wasn't really anything I could find that either interested me enough or that I hadn't seen. That was until I saw an add from our local art house theater boasting Black Death as a brilliant piece of British cinema. This is the same theater that also praised Le Horde which I reviewed around Halloween, so instead of giving them ten dollars, I found it much cheaper myself and gave it a watch. Although I was glad to save the ten dollars I'm still iffy on whether it was worth the two hours. I will of course explain.

First, this movie stars Sean Bean, he's pretty much the go to guy when you need a standard villain or secondary companion for a medieval hero. So I was surprised to see him play a lead even if it was a secondary lead. He was, of course, his usual charming self, which only makes it all the more interesting.

So Black Death follows a young monk who chooses to leave his happy monastery in order to help Sean Bean's crusade to a village known to be untouched by the plague. Rumor is that it is being run by witch and such a den of Satan must be investigated and shut down. Because, as everyone knows, the plague is the wrath of God and anyone who may have found a way to thwart God's plan is in league with the devil.

Ok, so the swordplay was almost non existent and the sorcery was limited to a bastardization of Druidism. Still it was mildly entertaining. The torture device they have is pretty cool. As to the reason why the plague hasn't been to this village it's pretty obvious to the modern viewer. The village is surrounded by swamp. The plague, we know today, was actually spread by rats. I'm pretty confident rats don't choose to swim very often, thus no plague. So not only did God not actually cause the plague but no level of sorcery had anything to do with the village being devoid of plague. It's just that no carrier has been able to get there and spread it. That brings us to the true dilemma of this film.

Artfully presented, and taking into consideration the ignorance of the time period, faith in God is facing off with faith in paganism. And for possibly the first time there isn't a clear answer. Both sides are clearly twisted in their own way. The Druid has managed to turn the monks lover into a zombie and the Christians have a torture devices. In the end I had a hard time picking sides, finding the final outcome distasteful from both sides. It did little make either look worthy of adoration. I choose to believe that was the film makers goal and it was executed brilliantly.

So, if you're a history nut who likes a dilemma in which you find yourself trying to educate the characters on the screen about the follies of science, and witnessing the best and worst of God loving and hating people. I'd say it's worth a watch. No big medaeval battles though which is the best part of the crusades if you ask me. Innocents being slaughtered and such. But there was a zombie! Did I mention that?

Til next we bleed,
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Odd Thomas 2012

As some know I work two jobs. One is for a... will call it specialty store since I don't want to plug. So anyway I've been working with a local movie company to set them up with about 4gs in outdoor furniture which they ultimately intend to blow up. I love the movies and really want to see this happen to this stores products, lol. So, the movie is 'Odd Thomas' which is being shot in Santa Fe, they are still in pre-production phase (which makes sense, since they reportedly only have one star cast, Addison Timlin, and at least 2 big names rumored, Tim Robbins and Willem DeFoe). As a fan of the books and now having a secret in, I will keep you all informed. Especially if I get to see the explosion, lol. For fans of the books I'm sure you can imagine which scene wold require an outdoor furniture explosion! ~Jeff