Hulu Launching Paid Subscription Service

22 04 2010

Well, folks…it’s happening. Hulu’s finally bit the bullet and moved ahead with a paid service for the on-demand site for watching television shows. The site is going to start charging $9.95 a month, starting as early as May 24th, for access to all of the shows they provide. The last 5 episodes of popular network shows (Glee, Lost, etc.) will remain free, but anything older than that will require a subscription. It’s not clear yet whether some of the older, less popular content will have free selections, but its looking like its only going to be current, popular shows that have recent episodes kept free. The new subscription service will be called Hulu Plus.


Review: Kick-Ass

17 04 2010

Simply put, Kick-Ass is not only one of the best superhero films ever made, it’s easily one of the best films in recent years. It’s hard to describe exactly what type of film Kick-Ass is. Is it a comedy? Yes. Is it an action flick? Yes. But honestly, Kick-Ass is a mish mash of the last decade of pop culture and film, resulting in a truly unique and rewarding experience.

The story follows Dave Lizewski, a geeky high schooler who’s grown sick of his boring life. As a result, he dons a scuba suit and fights crime. Awesome, right? He quickly becomes an internet sensation, and attracts the attention of both a violent mob boss and other superheroes in the area. The plot sounds simple enough, but what makes it work is the fact that it never falls into typical stereotypes and conventions. The film constantly coerces the viewer into thinking its going the way of the typical superhero plot, but then does something entirely different. It’s not afraid to break conventions and rules, and its in-your-face, rebellious attitude is what sets this film apart from your average trip to the theater.

Like I mentioned before, Director Matthew Vaughn manages to fill Kick-Ass with the styles of directors before him. You can’t deny that there is clear influence from John Woo and Quentin Tarantino, and some scenes are direct homages to classic action films. There’s no doubt Kick-Ass will garner Vaughn as a sought-after director in the future, as the style and charm with which he presents the film will surely make him stand out as one of the top pop cinema directors of our time.

While the film is called Kick-Ass, I would almost argue that it should be called Hit-Girl. Chloe Moretz’s depiction of the eleven year old Hit-Girl is by far the standout performance of the movie, and I’m sure if you’ve heard anything about Kick-Ass, its been pertaining to her. The vulgar and violent tween will undoubtedly become a pop culture icon, and Moretz’s performance has solidified her as an actress to be taken seriously. The rest of the cast is superb, with Nicholas Cage delivering a hilarious performance as Big-Daddy and Aaron Johnson really bringing the titular character to life. Kick-Ass see’s Nicholas Cage on the rise from a career period of relative “eh”, as well as the beginning of what I can see being a successful career for both the two young leads.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about Kick-Ass. I absolutely loved every minute of it, and I’m going to recommend it to everyone I know. In fact, I’ll probably go see again tonight. My only complaint would lie in a mix of the film’s marketing and the criticism its garnered from some facets of society. I heard a lot of confusion from people who had seen the advertisements for Kick-Ass, and most thought the film was a “superhero movie for kids” or a “funny comic book movie”. Sure, the latter may be true, but Kick-Ass is definitely not for kids. I don’t think most people realize exactly how graphic and violent the movie is, and I think this is really a fault of the marketing campaign. Most of the criticism the film has received so far is in regards to Hit-Girl. I can understand how an eleven year old girl swearing like a sailor and killing bad guys can be seen as problematic. I’ll admit that I even felt the occasional sense of discomfort watching her do some of the things she does in the movie. And yet, the majority of the time I was cheering and laughing for her. The fact of the matter is that this is a movie, and movies (in most cases) are meant to be an escape from reality. Vaughn isn’t condoning pre-teen violence, and I personally don’t see her role as exploitation. Will an eleven year old killer influence today’s youth? Unlikely. Kick-Ass has an R-rating for a reason, and the likelihood that its influence will be greater than any other hyper-violent R flick is slim. Criticize the film all you want, but the creators aren’t to blame. Blame irresponsible parents and theaters that don’t adhere to the law.

Controversy aside, you’ve probably already figured out where my verdict is heading. Go see Kick-Ass. It’s a gem of modern filmmaking and a one of the most fun two hours you’ll spend in a theater this year.

Let me know what you thought about the movie, Hit-Girl, and anything else in the comments below!

Trailer: Dinner For Schmucks

7 04 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I’ve been busy, but I’m back in full swing with a new trailer for the Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell comedy “Dinner For Schmucks”. The film follows Tim (Paul Rudd) who is on the verge of a promotion. The only thing left is to attend his boss’s dinner party in which each person brings the most bizarre guest they can find. Tim finds Barry (Steve Carrell). Hilarity ensues. Check out the trailer below!

Trailer: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

25 03 2010

A couple weeks ago I ran a preview of the upcoming Edgar Wright adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. The first teaser has finally been released to the internet, and it looks like its going to live up to everything its been hyped as so far. You can see the HD trailer on Apple’s website. Be sure to check out the preview below for some more information on the film.

Why Tim Burton Needs To Change His Game

24 03 2010

If you’re like me, you were less than thrilled with Tim Burton’s recent adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. I’m not trying to say that I hated the film, but it ultimately just didn’t do it for me. The problem I had while watching it was that it was exactly what I expected. I don’t mean it met my expectations, but rather that everything was the way I imagined it would be before I saw the film. Frankly, I was pretty bored. Sure, the visuals were great, but they were exactly what I expected to see from Tim Burton. The story was awful, and the acting was sub-par, and as a result Tim Burton’s “unique” style wasn’t enough to save it from becoming something completely unmemorable.

So here’s where the issue lies.

Everytime a movie has Tim Burton’s name attached to it, we all automatically assume the movie will be gothic, dark, and surreal. Burton’s career is laced with films fitting this description, and frankly, it’s his style. It was great for movies like Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Even the recent Sweeney Todd stands out in Burton’s career. The problem I’ve been having lately with Burton’s style is that he simply seems to be carbon-copying what makes each film “Burton”. Take Alice In Wonderland. The film was an adaptation of a subtly dark children’s story. Same goes for another Burton adaptation, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Charlie was another film I less than cared for, and looking back, I can understand why I felt a sense of deja-vu with Alice. In my opinion, its almost as if Burton has a filter to make the film “gothic” in his style. It’s as if he took the basics of both Alice and Charlie and put them both through the same process to get the end product. What supposedly made each film unique and “dark” was merely a parlor trick that I’ve already seen before.

Now lets look at arguably Tim Burton’s most famous film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. More than ten years later, Burton released Nightmare’s spiritual follow-up, Corpse Bride. While Corpse Bride was continually compared to Nightmare before its release, the only real similarity I found upon viewing it was in the animation and tone. Corpse Bride lacked everything that made Nightmare a classic, and once again relied on merely the style and tone to carry the film. I can’t remember a single thing about it other than that it looked like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Tim Burton, and I’m sure you’re having a hard time believing that based on what I’ve said. All I’m saying is that recently, Burton has fallen into a habit of relying more on the style than the film itself, and I don’t want to see him continually make the same film over and over again with different properties. One of Burton’s next projects is a stop motion adaptation of The Addam’s Family, and I’m just praying the film doesn’t end up as another copy of The Nightmare Before Christmas with The Addams Family thrown in. Tim Burton, keep your style, but don’t let it become imitation. Let’s see more films like Big Fish and Sweeney Todd in the future.

Captain America Cast!

23 03 2010

Chris Evans has been cast as Captain America in the upcoming Marvel Studios production The First Avenger:Captain America. After a long process supposedly including everyone from John Kraskinski to Channing Tatum, the studio finally settled on Evans. This may seem like a surprise to many, including myself, since Evans previously played the role of The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies. Usually casting the same actor in opposing iconic roles isn’t the best idea, but in this case I think Evans will be remembered more for Captain America than The Human Torch. Let’s just hope The First Avenger is better than Fantastic Four.

Captain America starts shooting this June.

Dr. Horrible Sequel A Feature Film?

20 03 2010

Could the revolutionary cult series “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” be coming to the big screen? News broke recently that the next installment in Joss Whedon’s original web series will be a feature film. Whether that means Dr. Horrible is headed to the big screen or straight to DVD is another question, however. I doubt that Whedon will release the film the same way he released its predecessor, as the medium doesn’t serve full length features as well as shorter installments. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a straight to DVD release, but with the immense popularity of the original a theatrical release could be in order. Not much is known about the sequel as of now, but Nathan Fillion (Captain Hammer) claims to know the title and the cast has supposedly met with Whedon. At this point, everything is speculation, but its nice to know that when we get some more of the singing Doctor, we’ll hopefully be getting a lot more.

The Dr. Horrible sequel would most likely shoot during the How I Met Your Mother hiatus in 2011.