Tag Archives: books

Movie Review: Bad ‘Moon’ On The Rise

20 Nov

Read the review of New Moon on Bluray over at ATOMIC POPCORN.

Maurice Sendak talks Wild Things, Spike Jonze, and the new movie!

28 Jul

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July 28th, 2009–

This is really cool. I’ve been a big fan of Maurice Sendak and his work ever since pulling that battered, old-glue smelling copy of Where The Wild Things Are off the school library shelf some 25 years ago.  Over the years, I’ve attempted to keep track of the man and what he’s been up to, but it’s neat to see him here reflecting passionately on his now 40 year old book. It’s also a good sign, and a vote of confidence, that Maurice seems to be just as excited and encouraged by what Spike Jonze has done with the movie. If you are a Wild Things fan, a Sendak or Jonze fan, or just love seeing people discuss their art then this will be a bright spot in your day.

If nothing else, you get to see some Wild Things clips and some great talking head stuff by Sendak.

Check it out HERE.

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Movie Review: ‘The Half Blood Prince’ is a worthy succesor

23 Jul

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG) 153 min.

 

cinemagrade A-Okay, I’ve been sitting on this one awhile. Being incredibly busy and having a ton of films to write-up, I haven’t gotten much chance to post lately and wanted to be able to hit several at once. So, consider this the first of a flood of new reviews rolling out over the course of today and tomorrow. And there is no better place to start than with David Yates’ newest inclusion in the Harry Potter series.

I saw HP6 last Thursday and it took me a few days to parse exactly how I felt about it. Admittedly, it took me a little while to warm up to this new Harry. I have enjoyed all of the Potter movies, including the two that jump-started the series, and I’ve read all of the books. In particular, I remember devouring Half-Blood Prince shortly after returning from my honeymoon; sitting curled up next to my wife in our small but cozy apartment, caught up in this tale of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and his growing battle with ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’. Continue reading

Fantasia 09 Review: Clive Barker’s ‘Book’ is a Yawn of the Dead

14 Jul

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 Clive Barker’s Book of Blood (R) 108 min. Directed by:  John Harrison Written by: John Harrison, adapted from the Clive Barker stories Book of Blood and On Jerusalem Street. Starring: Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward, Doug Bradley, Simon Bamford, Paul Blair. Cinematography:Philip Robertson   Original music by: Guy Farley.

 

The dead have highways…running through the wasteland behind our lives, bearing an endless traffic of departed souls. They can be heard in the broken places of our world, through cracks made by acts of cruelty, violence and depravity. They have signposts, these highways–and crossroads and intersections. And it is at these intersections that the dead mingle and spill over into our world…The dead have highways….only the living are lost…

cinemagrade c-The above is the entire thematic gist of Book of Blood, the newest film adaptation of the work of horror maestro Clive Barker. In fact, that little bit of exposition is repeated no less than five seperate times in Book of Blood, as if the filmmakers want to constantly remind the audience that their film is about the nature of storytelling and mortality. After the third time, I wanted to shout at the screen “stop telling us and show us already”. This was to no avail. Dabbling in the darker corners of dark fantasy(and this is far more a resident of that genre than straight horror), television director John Harrison brings the framing stories of Barker’s Books of Blood anthology faithfully to the screen but he doesn’t seem to understand that all he brought along was the binding. The pages here are empty. What he fills them with ends up amounting to one of the most notoriously boring thrillers in recent memory.   Continue reading

Vatican no longer troubled by ‘Harry’?

14 Jul

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Usually I’d be ignoring bits like this, as they don’t really matter much in regards to things. People will still see the new Harry Potter film, just as they saw all the others and those who did not because of a potentially negative or occult influence aren’t probably racing to reconsider the actual detriment or effect of a series they banished based upon the word of others. No, the only reason I’m actually linking to this story, which is little more than the Vatican acknowledging the actual value of the story that Rowling took the space of seven books to tell, is that it does show a refreshing sign of actual thought and open mindedness. At least as far as the topic of Harry Potter and Christianity is concerned. Continue reading

DVD Showcase: Strong, vibrant cast bring ‘Inkheart’ to life

23 Jun

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June 23rd,2009-

cinemagrade b- I have to admit up-front, I was surprised by Inkheart. I’ve never read this particular fantasy series, but I am familiar with some of German author Cornelia Funke’s other works like The Thief Lord. Funke combines elements of high adventure and Victorian mystery when creating her detailed fantasy worlds and although children are always at the heart of her stories, she frequently gives her readers strong and worthy adult characters. When Ian Softley’s film version was released back in January, I thought it looked rather generic and uninvolving; another Brendan Fraser vehicle with plentiful fx and scenery but no substance. When I watched Inkheart to review it for the site, the first twenty minutes or so did nothing to suggest I had been wrong. Continue reading

Scene Selection: Attack of the Meatloaf Bear!

20 Jun

 

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June 20th,2009-

This is something new I’m trying at Cinematropolis. Nothing fancy, just a series of stills capturing a scene from film history. I’m heading out tomorrow to join some friends camping in Virginia and I thought it apropriate to begin then with one of the more haunting sequences from my childhood movie-watching. In 1979 director John Frankenheimer made a film called Prophecy (not the Chris Walken angel war thingee) based off a novel by the author of The Omen.  It was an environmental knee-jerk thriller with Robert Foxworth looking like Bob Ross (please don’t cut down the happy little trees), Talia Share as his wife, and Armand Assante….as a Native American. This motley crew discover mercury poisoning in the water in New England and its aberrant effects on the local wildlife. The film’s heavy is a result of the mercury mutation; an enraged mother bruin that looks like what would happen if you threw Gentle Ben and a meatloaf into the Brundle Machine and hit ‘deepfry’.  Continue reading