Tag Archives: technology

Now Playing: Percy Jackson, Frozen and a pathetic excuse for Valentine’s Day

12 Feb

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Morning all. How’s it going? I just put up a review of the new Wolfman and have a few more treats coming up today, including a top ten, a Retro review and The Weekly Creepy. However, in an effort to give you a look see into a few more of the new films opening today, I’m putting up links to my work over at Atomic Popcorn where I take a look at Percy Jackson, Adam Green’s Frozen, and Valentine’s Day. I’ll  post a link and the trailers for each below, complete with the matching Cinematropolis rating.

Check them out! Continue reading

‘Prince of Persia:Curse of the Black Pearl’ trailer arrives!

3 Nov

Nov. 3rd, 2009–

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Wow. I’m wondering if Disney even knows how to cut good trailers anymore.

I wish I could be more excited for this one. Afterall, it’s one of the big summer tentpole movies.

It took me  a few moments to process Donnie Darko as a swashbuckler, but more than that, it’s the 1999 Mummy sand fx that seem out of place here. I’m not digging the excessive use of digital imagery and the central plot seems like a cookie-cutter genre affair. For a movie with its own established franchise, Persia looks a bit too much like LOTR, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean stirred into a giant CGI stew. Continue reading

Free Baltimore screenings of ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’ and ‘Amelia’! Get details here!

13 Oct

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Oct 13th, 2009–
Hey everyone! Attention to all Baltimore film fans looking to see some free movies a little bit early. Right now, the website Atomic Popcorn (it’s also a pretty comprehensive repository of film news and reviews) is promoting screenings of both the children’s horror-fantasy Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and the Hillary Swank Earhart bio-pic Amelia.  The screenings will take place at AMC Whitemarsh on the evenings of the 20th (Cirque) and the 21st (Amelia) of October. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Dark Country

1 Oct

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October 1st,2009–

Wow. October’s already here! From this point forward I’m gonna set a genre for AMAD and stick to it for the entire month. This time, it will be horror films–surprise, surprise!–and every day from here to October 31st I’ll be highlighting a different one, preferably something I haven’t seen before. Below, I’ll throw up the lineup for the next five days so you can keep track. So, let’s get started today with the Thomas Jane directed thriller Dark Country that mixes 3/4 noir with 1/4 Twilight Zone and produces an interesting modern riff on the ‘killer on the deserted highway’ motif.

cinemagrade b-I have alot of respect for Thomas Jane as an actor. He’s consistently taking roles and projects that aren’t a ‘sure’ thing and even if they don’t always pan out (Mutant Chronicles) he gets the credit for mixing it up and taking risks. He’s also quite talented and more than capable of elevating a movie with his performance. He’s easily the best thing about The Punisher 2004 and hits all the right notes in The Mist. He also seems relatively grounded and in-touch with his work and his fanbase. Jane and David Arquette brought the entertaining and silly The Tripper to The Senator Theater’ in ’07 and had alot of fun screening it for the audience that showed.  You can see from the clip below that they really got into the event and were not concerned with  holding themselves at a distance from the audience. Top that all off with the fact he’s a native son of Baltimore. Continue reading

Now Playing: ‘Surrogates’ explores our technological obsession

26 Sep

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September 26th, 2009–

cinemagrade b-In the new Bruce Willis techno-thriller Surrogates, humanity’s collective desire for ease, comfort and convenience prove to be its undoing.   Adapted from the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, Surrogates shows us a future where our reliance on technology has become the ultimate crutch. Instead of a dreary, rain-soaked dystopia, the world of the film is a bright, shiny, peaceful place. From a material and cultural standpoint, everything looks like sunshine and kittens. Something is missing though. Continue reading

Cinematropolis Review:16 minutes of ‘Avatar’ in 3-D! Pretty Darn Impressive!

22 Aug

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August 21st, 2009—

UPDATED: Read my full AVATAR review HERE.

 Well, now I’ve actually seen some of James Cameron’s Avatar the way it was intended to be seen—on the Imax and in 3-D. Let me just say that the venue really does make a difference. Like most of the rest of us, I watched the teaser trailer online yesterday and I was underwhelmed by what I was seeing. As a sci-fi geek and a genre hound, I was expecting something more breathtaking, more original, and, I dunno—more daring. On the computer screen, even in HD, the film looked like little more than a cartoon.  The story appeared a basic amalgam of every “outsider meets a new culture” film I’ve seen and the environments and wildlife were interesting but I wasn’t any more convinced by the animated landscapes than the cluttered cgi worlds of the Star Wars prequels. In fact, one of the only reasons my wife and I ended up going to the preview tonight was so I could write about it here. I was curiously ambivalent otherwise. Continue reading

Wanna see 16 minutes of 3-D Avatar Free on Friday? Get tickets this afternoon!!

17 Aug

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Read my FULL REVIEW  of AVATAR HERE.

Monday 17th, 2009-

I’m a little late on this, but wanted to give a brief heads-up on the sneak peek that IMAX has lined up for James Cameron’s upcoming 3D sci-fi epic Avatar, currently scheduled for release on December 18th 2009.

This Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., select IMAX theaters will be running a free preview of 16 minutes of Avatar with an intro by Cameron and 3D glasses so audiences can get a glimpse of the way the technology will render the alien planet of Pandora. Continue reading

The Hi-Def Version of the ‘Tron Legacy’ footage…Groovy!

27 Jul

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July 27th, 2009–

“Who’s that guy?”

“That’s Tron. He fights for the Users.’

Ahh. Tron. One of the pure bastions of the 1980s. Love it or hate it, Tron really encapsulates that decade’s attitude and perspective on technology, gaming and the idea of virtual identity. To think that this film was released when video games were little more than Pac Man and Space Invaders and yet look at the way in  which it approaches the idea of  interactive environments and user avatars. It was clearly ahead of its time. As a kid I wasn’t a fan. I’d watch it in the same capacity I also watched Dune or The Blackhole; drawn in by the complex oddness on-screen and a world  so completely alien that I kept looking at it even when the ideas didn’t make much sense or the characters failed to compel. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Tron and I think I’m ready to take another look. Continue reading

Now Playing:Rockwell Encounters The Darkside of ‘Moon’

23 Jul

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Moon (R) 97 min.

For here I am sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do

Though Im past one hundred thousand miles
Im feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows

Space Oddity, David Bowie

cinemagrade AThose haunting lyrics to Bowie’s song about a lonesome and isolated astronaut seem to echo in every silent space of Duncan Jones’  new hard-science fiction Moon.  And there is a certain sense of symmetry there when you consider that Jones is Bowie’s son and this movie his first directorial debut. What a debut it is too! Starting small and quiet and then gaining momentum slowly and purposefully, Moon tells the story of astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), a company man fulfilling the last bit of his three year contract on the lunar surface where he is the only human member of a mining operation. What is it exactly Sam is mining ? Helium-3, a clean fuel source that is abundant on the moon but provides the key for Earth’s energy crisis. Employed by Lunar Industries, Sam’s primary job is to oversee the automated robotic process. As a result, that means Sam’s only crew member is the base’s A.I. system, GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacy as a cross between Hal 9000 and Robby the Robot).  Continue reading

Movie Review: Mann Alive! ‘Public Enemies’ Is An Old-School Epic With New Tricks

29 Jun

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Public Enemies (2009) R. 140  min. Directed by: Michael Mann. Written by: Ronan Bennett, Michael Mann, & Ann Biderman. Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup.Cinematography:Dante Spinotti. Original music by: Elliot Goldenthal.

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Now this is how you do summer movie escapism. One of our best and brightest movie stars paired with one of the most consistently interesting directors available in the larger than life story of  America’s canniest career criminal, John Dillinger. For all of those shaking under the tromping robotic boots of Bay’s blustering summer monstrosity, take heart, that other Mike has come to town and he’s brought Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard and  Christian Bale along for a thrilling ride that recreates Depression era cop and robber games with all the precision of a master storyteller. Continue reading