Friday, December 14, 2012

National Lampoon's Animal House


1978 Comedy Film

Director: John Landis

Writer: Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney & Chris Miller

Cinematography: Charles Correll

Running time: 109 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: Relive the best 7 years of your college education.

Cast:
John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky
Tim Matheson as Eric "Otter" Stratton
Peter Riegert as Donald "Boon" Schoenstein
Thomas Hulce as Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger
Stephen Furst as Kent "Flounder" Dorfman
Bruce McGill as Daniel Simpson Day, "D-Day"
James Widdoes as Robert Hoover
Douglas Kenney as "Stork"
James Daughton as Gregory "Greg" Marmalard
Mark Metcalf as Douglas C. Neidermeyer
Kevin Bacon as Chip Diller
John Vernon as Dean Vernon Wormer
Verna Bloom as Marion Wormer
Donald Sutherland as Professor Dave Jennings
Karen Allen as Katy
Sarah Holcomb as Clorette DePasto
DeWayne Jessie as Otis Day
Mary Louise Weller as Mandy Pepperidge
Martha Smith as Barbara Sue "Babs" Jansen
Cesare Danova as Mayor Carmine DePasto
Sean McCartin as "Lucky Boy"

Plot
At a 1962 College, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him.

Awards:
  1. National Film Registry-National Film Preservation Board, USA
  2. People's Choice Award-Favorite Non-Musical Motion Picture-People's Choice Awards, USA
Trivia
All of John Belushi's behavior in the cafeteria was improvised. He was not told to pile all the food on his tray and when he did director John Landis urged the camera operator to "stay with him." The infamous "zit scene" was also improvised. The reaction from the cast is genuine. 

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5 star out of 5 stars

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Machinist


2004 Psychological Thriller Film

Director: Brad Anderson

Writer: Scott Kosar

Cinematography: Xavi Giménez

Running time: 102 minutes

Country: Spain

Tagline: How do you wake up from a nightmare, if you're not asleep?

Cast:
Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stevie
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón as Marie
John Sharian as Ivan
Michael Ironside as Miller
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Jackson
Reg E. Cathey as Jones

Plot
An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Awards:
  1. Barcelona Film Award-Best Actress-Aitana Sánchez-Gijón-Barcelona Film Awards
  2. Barcelona Film Award-Best Cinematography-Xavi Giménez-Barcelona Film Awards
  3. Barcelona Film Award-Best Film Editing-Luis de la Madrid-Barcelona Film Awards
  4. Narcisse Award-Best Fantastic Feature Film-Brad Anderson-Neuchâtel International Fantasy Film Festival
  5. Silver Méliès Award-Best European Fantastic Feature Film-Brad Anderson- Neuchâtel International Fantasy Film Festival
  6. Sitges-Best Actor-Christian Bale-Sitges/Catalonian International Film Festival
  7. Sitges-Best Cinematography-Xavi Giménez-Sitges/Catalonian International Film Festival

Trivia
The Machinist's writer, Scott Kossar, loves "Nine Inch Nails" and his original script had a quote from their lyrics on the first page. He always wanted the soundtrack to be written by NIN, but the director didn't want the movie to go in that direction. Nine Inch Nails' only official member is Trent Reznor, thus the name of Christian Bale's Character, Trevor Reznik. 

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5 star out of 5 stars



Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ladykillers (2004)


2004 Black Comedy film

Director: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

Writer: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Running time: 104 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: The greatest criminal minds of all time have finally met their match.

Cast:
Tom Hanks as G.H. Dorr, Ph. D
Irma P. Hall as Marva Munson
Tzi Ma as "The General”
J. K. Simmons as Garth Pancake
Marlon Wayans as Gawain MacSam
Ryan Hurst as Lump Hudson
Diane Delano as Mountain Girl
George Wallace as Sheriff Wyner
Stephen Root as Mr. Gudge

Plot
An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a band in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting landlord: a sharp old woman.

Awards:
  1. Black Reel-Best Actress, Musical or Comedy-Irma P. Hall-Black Reel Awards
  2. Jury Prize-Irma P. Hall- Cannes Film Festival
  3. Evening Standard British Film Award-Best Technical/Artistic Achievement
    Roger Deakins-Evening Standard British Film Awards
Trivia
The portrait of Mrs. Marva Munson's dead husband Othar is stationed over the fireplace. Throughout the movie, Othar's visage in the portrait changes as the story unfolds. The portrait appears to have the same stoic expression at the approximate time stamps of 05:25, 33:20, and 01:07:22; however Othar's portrait is clearly disapproving when shown at the 01:14:35 mark. After Mrs. Munson's ultimatum to G.H. Dorr, Othar's portrait returns to its stoic visage at 01:15:15. At 01:27:58, when he fears for Mrs. Munson's safety, Othar's portrait's expression reflects his surprise. At 01:29:44, Othar's portrait appears satisfied and almost smiling. This was probably done in tribute to Preston Sturges' "Sullivan's Travels" in which the portrait of Mr. Kornheiser's expressions change. "Sullivan's Travels" was one of the inspirations for The Coens' "O, Brother Where Art Thou". 

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Kill Bill: Volume 2


2004 Action/Thriller Film

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cinematography: Robert Richardson

Running time: 136 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Cast:
Uma Thurman as The Bride / Beatrix Kiddo
David Carradine as Bill
Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii
Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green
Michael Madsen as Budd
Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo
Gordon Liu as Pai Mei
Bo Svenson as Reverend Harmony
Jeannie Epper as Mrs. Harmony
Chris Nelson as Tommy Plympton
Samuel L. Jackson as "Rufus"
Larry Bishop as Larry Gomez
Sid Haig as Jay
Michael Parks as Esteban Vihaio
Perla Haney-Jardine as B.B
Helen Kim as Karen

Plot
The murderous Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd, and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.

Awards:
  1. Saturn Award-Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  2. Saturn Award-Best Supporting Actor-David Carradine- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  3. Saturn Award-Best Supporting Actress-Daryl Hannah- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  4. American Choreography Award-Outstanding Achievement in Choreography – Fight-Keith Adams, Sonny Chiba, Quentin Tarantino & Woo-ping Yuen-American Choreography Awards, USA
  5. COFCA Award-Best Sound Design-Central Ohio Film Critics Association
  6. MTV Movie Award-Best Fight-Daryl Hannah & Uma Thurman-MTV Movie Awards
  7. Sant Jordi-Best Foreign Film-Quentin Tarantino-Sant Jordi Awards
  8. Taurus Award-Best Fight-Monica Staggs & Zoe Bell-World Stunt Awards
  9. Taurus Award-Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman-Monica Staggs & Zoe Bell- World Stunt Awards

Trivia
Ricardo Montalban was cast to play Esteban. Unable to make an early read through of the script, his lines were read by Michael Parks, who impressed Tarantino so much that he recast Parks instead. 

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5 star out of 5 stars


Friday, October 19, 2012

Kill Bill Volume 1


2003 Action/Thriller Film

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cinematography: Robert Richardson

Running time: 111 minutes

Country: United States & Japan

Tagline: Here comes the bride

Cast:
Uma Thurman as The Bride
David Carradine as Bill
Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii
Vivica A. Fox as Vernita Green
Michael Madsen as Budd
Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver
Julie Dreyfus as Sofie Fatale
Sonny Chiba as Hattori Hanzo
Kenji Ohba as Shiro
Ambrosia Kelley as Nikki Green
Michael Parks as Earl McGraw
James Parks as Edgar McGraw
Michael Bowen as Buck
Gordon Liu as Johnny Mo
Jun Kunimura as Boss Tanaka
Chiaki Kuriyama as Gogo Yubari

Plot
The Bride wakes up after a long coma. The baby that she carried before entering the coma is gone. The only thing on her mind is to have revenge on the assassination team that betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Awards:
  1. Saturn Award- Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  2. Saturn Award- Best Actress Uma Thurman- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  3. COFCA Award- Best Score RZA- Central Ohio Film Critics Association
  4. Empire Award- Best Actress Uma Thurman- Empire Awards, UK
  5. Empire Award-Best Director-Quentin Tarantino- Empire Awards, UK
  6. Sierra Award- Best Editing- Sally Menke- Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
  7. MTV Movie Award- Best Female Performance- Uma Thurman- MTV Movie Awards
  8. MTV Movie Award- Best Fight- Uma Thurman & Chiaki Kuriyama- MTV Movie Awards
  9. MTV Movie Award- Best Villain- Lucy Liu- MTV Movie Awards
  10. SDFCS Award- Best Editing - Sally Menke- San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
  11. Sant Jordi- Best Foreign Film- Sant Jordi Awards
  12. Audience Award- Best Feature Film- Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival

Trivia
The original trailer for this film, although featuring no actual bloodshed, raised the ire of the MPAA with the sight of The Bride's blood-stained clothes. As such it became the first to be subjected to the MPAA's new "no blood" policy for trailers, in which all sight of the bodily fluid, must be alternately colored or removed entirely. This is why the trailers for this film (and similarly for every film released in the US thereafter) feature The Bride's clothes covered in blackish-brown stains where the blood would be. 

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5 star out of 5 stars

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back


2001 Comedy Film

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Cinematography: Jamie Anderson

Running time: 105 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: Scooping the Money!

Cast:
Jason Mewes as Jay
Kevin Smith as Silent Bob
Shannon Elizabeth as Justice
Will Ferrell as Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly
Eliza Dushku as Sissy
Ali Larter as Chrissy
Jennifer Schwalbach as Missy
Ben Affleck as Himself / Holden McNeil
Matt Damon as Himself / Will Hunting (uncredited)
Chris Rock as Chaka Luther King
Brian O'Halloran as Dante Hicks
Jeff Anderson as Randal Graves
Jamie Kennedy as Chaka's production assistant
Jason Lee as Brodie Bruce / Banky Edwards
Wes Craven as Himself
Mark Hamill as Himself (Cock-Knocker) / voice of Scooby-Doo
Gus Van Sant as Himself
Diedrich Bader as Miramax Security Guard Gordon
Alanis Morissette as God (dubbed "That Woman" in the end credits)
Seann William Scott as Brent
George Carlin as a hitchhiker
Carrie Fisher as a nun
Judd Nelson as a sheriff
Jon Stewart as Reg Hartner
Shannen Doherty as Herself
Tracy Morgan as Pumpkin Escobar
Jason Biggs as Himself
James Van Der Beek as Himself
Scott William Winters as Himself / Clark
Malcolm Ingram as grumpy, leaning extra (uncredited)

Plot
The comic 'Bluntman and Chronic' is based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation they set out to wreck the movie.

Awards: None

Trivia
Kevin Smith gave Eliza Dushku the nickname "Duck Shoot" during production after accidentally mispronouncing her last name. 

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Idle Hands


1999 Horror Comedy Film

Director: Rodman Flender

Writer: Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer

Cinematography: Christopher Baffa

Running time: 92 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: The touching story of a boy and his right hand.

Cast:
Devon Sawa - Anton Tobias
Seth Green - Mick
Elden Henson - Pnub
Jessica Alba - Molly
Vivica A. Fox - Debi LeCure
Christopher Hart - The Hand
Jack Noseworthy - Randy
Katie Wright - Tanya
Sean Whalen - Officer McMacy
Nicholas Sadler - Officer Ruck
Fred Willard - Mr. Tobias, Anton's father
Connie Ray - Mrs. Tobias, Anton's mother
Steve Van Wormer - Curtis
Kelly Monaco - Tiffany
Timothy Stack - Principal Tidwell
The Offspring - Band
Dexter Holland - Himself
Tom Delonge - Burger Jungle employee

Plot
Lazy Anton's right hand becomes possessed with murderous intent.
Awards: None

Trivia
The film, in which the main character kills his parents and his two best friends (albeit not intentionally), was delayed in its release because of the Columbine massacre. 


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5 star out of 5 stars

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hancock


2008 American Action Drama-Comedy Superhero Film

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: Vince Gilligan & Vincent Ngo

Cinematography: Tobias A. Schliessler

Running time: 92 minutes

Country: United States

Tagline: He is saving the world whether we like it or not.

Cast:
Will Smith as John Hancock
Jason Bateman as Ray Embrey
Charlize Theron as Mary Embrey
Eddie Marsan as Kenneth "Red" Parker, Jr

Plot
A hard-living superhero that has fallen out of favor with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image.

Awards:
  1. BET Award-Best Actor Will Smith- BET Awards
  2. Blimp Award-Favorite Movie Actor Will Smith- Kids' Choice Awards, USA
  3. Teen Choice Award-Choice Summer Movie: Action Adventure-Teen Choice Awards

Trivia
Dave Chappelle was seriously considered for the lead. 


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5 star out of 5 stars

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