Check out the new trailer for Paranormal Activity 3… and don’t forget to click on the link and Tweet Sydney to be included for one of 20 exclusive screenings. Click here
Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990) was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. They produced a series of classic British films, notably ’49th Parallel’ (1941), ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ (1943), ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ (1946), ‘Black Narcissus’ (1947), ‘The Red Shoes’ (1948), and ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ (1951). His controversial 1960 film ‘Peeping Tom’, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.
Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller written by the World War II cryptographer Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression ‘Peeping Tom’ describing a voyeur. The film revolves around a serial killer, Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror.
Its controversial subject and the extremely harsh reception by critics effectively destroyed Powell’s career as a director in the United Kingdom. However, it attracted a cult following, and in later years, it has been re-evaluated and is now considered a masterpiece.
Peeping Tom has been praised for its psychological complexity. On the surface, the film is about the Freudian relationship between the protagonist and his father and the protagonist and his victims. However, several critics argue that the film is as much about the voyeurism of the audience as they watch the protagonist’s actions. For example, Roger Ebert, in his review of the film, states that “The movies make us into voyeurs. We sit in the dark, watching other people’s lives. It is the bargain the cinema strikes with us, although most films are too well-behaved to mention it.”
Lewis is an allegory of the director of a horror film. In horror movies, the directors kill victims, often innocents, to provoke responses from the audiences and to manipulate their responses. Lewis records the deaths of his victims with his camera and by using the mirror and showing each of his victims their last moments, provokes their own fear even as he kills them.
Martin Scorsese, who has long been an admirer of Powell’s works, has stated that this film, along with Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ contains all that can be said about directing: “I have always felt that Peeping Tom and 8½ say everything that can be said about film-making, about the process of dealing with film, the objectivity and subjectivity of it and the confusion between the two. 8½ captures the glamour and enjoyment of film-making, while Peeping Tom shows the aggression of it, how the camera violates… From studying them you can discover everything about people who make films, or at least people who express themselves through films”
Tim Burton’s latest film, an update of campy classic television series ‘Dark Shadows’ has already drawn quite a few negative reactions from online sites and the gossip magazines, all from people who haven’t seen any footage… Prompting Warner brothers to release a few official images to try to counter the negative publicity. Check out the on set report at UK Empire and official Press release at Entertainment Weekly.
Dark Shadows cast: Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman; Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard; Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard; Gulliver McGrath as David Collins; Bella Heathcote as Vitoria Winters; Johnny Depp as Barnabas; Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson; Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis; Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins; and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
Naomi Ellen Watts (born 28 September 1968) is a British-Australian actress. Watts began her career in Australian television, where she appeared in series such as ‘Brides of Christ’ (1991). She started with roles in B-class movies, such as ‘Tank Girl’ (1995) and the 1996 horror film ‘Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering’, as well as roles in television and independent movies.
Watts gained critical acclaim following her work in David Lynch’s 2001 psychological thriller ‘Mulholland Drive’. A difficult role in the complex role-reversal thriller, Watts established herself as an brave actress, a trait she would continue to display throughout her career.
The next year, she received public recognition for her participation in the box office hit horror film ‘The Ring’. In 2004, she received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Cristina Peck in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2003 drama ’21 Grams’, alongside Sean Penn. Other notable film roles include PeterJackson’s 2005 remake of ‘King Kong’, the sequel to the Ring, ‘The Ring 2’ (2005), David Cronenberg’s excellent 2007 thriller ‘Eastern Promises’ and Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of ‘Funny Games’.
An excellent actress, she makes interesting choices and is always good even in films not deserving of her talents.
Priest is set in an alternate, post-apocalyptic world, which has been ravaged by centuries of war between men and vampires. After the last vampire war, which was won by warrior Priests, the religious guardians have created massive walled-in dystopian cities in which they control the population with Orwellian slogans and faceless, automated drudgery. Outside the walls lie vast wastelands populated by nomadic people and farmers trying to eke out an existence on the lifeless earth.
A family of farmers are attacked by vampires, the mother (Madchen Amick) and father (Stephen Moyer) are slain and their teenage daughter Lucy (Lily Collins) is taken hostage. She is the niece of a former warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) who against the church leaders wishes, sets out from the city to track her down to rescue or kill her…
Priest is a grab bag of material from a myriad of sources; stolen from Judge Dredd, 1984, any Terry Gilliam futuristic film, most post-apocalyptic adventures of the last few decades, The Searchers and innumerable martial arts flicks with a bit of Blade for good measure; so not much original thought.
It’s both poorly written and poorly performed; Paul Bettany as the titular Priest is wasted here even more so than in the similarly lack-lustre Legion. Karl Urban as bad-guy, former Priest turned vampire and Cam Gigandet as a kind of frontier sheriff are charisma vacuums. Maggie Q is also wasted in a pointless role as another former Priest sent out to track ‘Priest’ down.
Written by Cory Goodman from a Korean graphic novel, which I haven’t read and have no intention too, Priest has a thin plot, underwritten characters and pedestrian dialogue. It’s directed by former visual effects developer and Legion director Scott Stewart, and as you’d expect with his background, some of the production design and special effects are good. But without characters worth following, a predictable storyline and distinctly PG-13 styled violence, Priest has very little else to offer. The vampire design is more akin to Salem’s Lot with a bit of The Descent and the odd Orc thrown into the mix than the sparkly versions that have been populating the screens of late.
The movie leaves itself wide open for a sequel, apparently there are several graphic novels; however it’s difficult to see anyone being interested in seeing it.
Quality: 2 out of 5 stars
Any Good: 1 out of 5 stars
Fairy tales are big news in Hollywood after the $1 billion success of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Producer of that hit, Joe Roth is negotiating to become producer of ‘Maleficent’, Disney’s re-telling of its 1959 classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’, this time told from the vantage point of the evil witch. It’s no secret that Angelina Jolie wants to play that character. The script was written by Linda Woolverton, who scripted Alice in Wonderland as well as Disney’s recently re-released The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. They are looking for a director after a preliminary courtship of Alice helmer Tim Burton didn’t work out.
Aside from Alice in Wonderland, Roth is producing Disney’s Sam Raimi-directed Disney pic ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ with James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, as well as ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, the Universal Pictures epic that is being directed by Rupert Sanders and stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
Sheri Lyn Skurkis (born September 26, 1970) is an American actress and fashion designer. She legally changed her name to Sheri Moon and later Sheri Moon Zombie after she married her longtime boyfriend Rob Zombie. She is a modern day Scream Queen.
Moon was raised in Connecticut. After graduation she moved to California; however she soon found herself moving between homes in both states to attend school and seek work. On October 31, 2002 she married musician and film director Rob Zombie after almost 13 years of dating. The two were introduced by mutual friends at a concert in New Haven, Connecticut.
But Moon found herself preoccupied going on tour with Zombie. When Zombie’s band White Zombie disbanded, Zombie became a solo artist, taking Moon on as a dancer where she also choreographed routines and created costumes for the tour.
Moon has appeared in eleven of Zombie’s solo music videos and an additional four previous to that when he fronted White Zombie. She most famously starred in the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-themed music video “Living Dead Girl”. Moon has graced the cover of the single for “Living Dead Girl” (1998), Zombie’s remix album American Made Music to Strip by (1999), and the cover of the single for “Demon Speeding”.
In 2003, Moon co-starred in her husband’s first feature film, ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ as Vera-Ellen “Baby” Firefly, but previous to that, she claims that she had never had aspirations of becoming an actress. As Moon explains her character in that film, “Baby is the angelic-looking bait to get the victims.” The film was not received well by many critics, including James Brundage of popular website film critic who claimed that it was “too highbrow to be a good cheap horror movie, too lowbrow to be satire, and too boring to bear the value of the ticket.” The film saw some expansion in later weeks and ultimately grossed $16.8 million worldwide, which was successful based on its $7 million production budget.
In 2004, she had a brief appearance in the Tobe Hooper film ‘Toolbox Murders’ starring Angela Bettis, the only film she has been in not directed by Zombie.
Moon reprised her role as Baby Firefly in the 2005 sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, titled ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ (2005). The Devil’s Rejects was financially successful, recouping its roughly $7 million budget during its opening weekend, going on to earn over $16 million and better received by critics than its predecessor. Critic Roger Ebert gave the film three out of a possible four stars. Ebert wrote, “If you are a hardened horror movie fan capable of appreciating skill and wit in the service of the deliberately disgusting, ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ may exercise a certain strange charm.” Moon was awarded Spike TV’s Scream Awards award for “Most Vile Villain” alongside co-stars Haig, Moseley and Leslie Easterbrook for their portrayal of the Firefly family.
In 2007, Moon starred in a short faux trailer segment for the film “Grindhouse: . She appeared in the segment directed by Zombie titled ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’ as Eva Krupp. She also appeared in her husband’s version of the 1978 classic ‘Halloween’ (2007), playing Deborah Myers, the mother of serial killer Michael Myers. It currently stands as the highest grossing overall film in the Halloween franchise. Moon reprised her character in the sequel Halloween II, which was released on August 28, 2009.
Moon provides the voice for the character of Suzi X in the animated film ‘The Haubted World of El Superbeasto’ (2009), written and produced by her husband Zombie. In 2010, she guest-starred on the series CSI: Miami in the episode “L.A.,” which was directed by her husband. She will next be seen in the Zombie directed movie, ‘Lords of Salem’.
Directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson. The Grey is about a group of oil-rig roughnecks who are left stranded on the sub-arctic tundra after their plane experiences a complete mechanical failure and crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. The survivors, battling mortal injuries, biting cold and ravenous hunger, are relentlessly hunted and pursued by a vicious pack of rogue wolves. Check out the trailer, Liam is about to punch a wolf with his broken bottle knuckle dusters!!!
Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) lives with his mom (Toni Collette) in a new housing estate on the outskirts of Las Vegas. His father ran out on them and Charley naturally feels protective towards his mom, more so when new next door neighbour Jerry Dandridge (Colin Farrell), moves in, Charley is suspicious of their mutual attraction. However not as suspicious as his ex-best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who believes that Jerry is a vampire. Charley is initially dismissive of Ed’s claims because, well, Charley is a dickhead who dumped his previous best friend so that he could ‘fit-in’ with the cool kids at school when he scored hot girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). Then Ed goes missing and Charley investigates…
I liked the original Fright Night, it was a fun, campy tribute to all those fun, campy horror movies I grew up watching as a little kid. The characters were well cast, especially Roddy McDowall, they were fun caricatures, quirky and we cared enough about them to enjoy the ride. Although the remake has better quality actors, they are given less interesting roles and feel slightly miscast, Colin Farrell apart, who is obviously having fun in a role that although not a stretch allows him to dominate the movie. Some mention must also be given to David Tennant plays Peter Vincent as a Criss Angel styled Las Vegas illusionist with obvious glee. He and Mintz-Plasse supply the only humour in what I assume was meant to be a horror comedy.
Fright Night looks good, it’s well shot and features a few excellent set-pieces, and that’s it. It doesn’t really have much else going for it. There are two well choreographed scenes, a home invasion (or home extraction), followed by car chase and Charley’s attempted rescue of a neighbour from Jerry’s house. These scenes apart, Fright Night has no tension, suspense or God forbid, horror; we know exactly what’s happening and where the movie is headed.
The special effects are awful in this remake; CGI effects have no place in the horror genre unless they are used to supplement traditional latex and make-up. The effects in Fright Night are almost exclusively CGI and the movie suffers because of it. Without CG, Colin Farrell appears menacing, with it he looks like a cartoon character. Awful design, awful execution, awful results… points off for the effects, they really are that bad.
On a positive note, Fright Night is a passable popcorn movie; I enjoyed it while in the cinema, it’s lightweight fun but it is also immediately forgettable. It is better than Van Helsing, but I hate Van Helsing more than almost any other movie I can recall, it was a massive waste of talent and resources, and so is Fright Night. It feels like an extended episode of Buffy. At least Jerry doesn’t sparkle in the sunshine.
Quality: 2 out of 5 stars
Any good: 2 out of 5 stars (a point off for bad CGI effects)
Another nice LEGO image, this time of the classic levitating scene from The Exorcist.