When young Iowa-born actor Brandon Routh was cast by director Bryan Singer as Clark Kent and his alter-ego Superman in soon-to-be-released blockbuster Superman Returns, there was a fair degree of surprise in Hollywood. While Singer had suggested that he wanted an unknown actor to take Superman into the 21st century, few thought that he would opt for someone with no big screen experience, as Routh had previously only appeared in a number of TV shows such as Will & Grace. However, Routh has taken up the mantle left by Christopher Reeve with gusto, suggesting that the role has a tremendous legacy that the young actor is proud to be a part of. And insiders feel that Routh has made the part his own with a performance of both strength and vulnerability. Brandon Routh was born in Des Moines, Iowa on 9 October 1979. He grew up in Norwalk, Iowa and then attended the University of Iowa, starring in productions at the Norwalk Theater of Performing Arts as he began his acting career. Brandon made the jump to professional acting in the series "Odd Man Out" (1999, ABC Television), before going on to guest star in the series "Gilmore Girls" (2000) and "Undressed" (1999). Trivia Aged 6, Brandon was so excited about watching “Superman”, dressed in his Superman pajamas, that he gave himself a migraine. Brandon went to a Halloween party in 2003 as Clark Kent/Superman. He was awarded the film role one year later by Bryan Singer. The 21st century Superman does not just care about America, even though he was raised in America, his love is American, and he works in an American newspaper. Brandon feels that Superman has to be universal. Filmography “Superman Returns” (2006) “Karla” (2006) "Oliver Beene" (2004) TV Episode "Will & Grace" (2004) TV Episode "Cold Case" (2003) TV Episode "One Life to Live" (2001-2002) "Gilmore Girls" (2001) TV Episode "Undressed" (1999) TV Series "Odd Man Out" (1999) TV Episode
It must have been fate that Bryan Singer would direct the new film Superman Returns, the fifth in the series of Superman films. Singer loved the George Reeves Superman TV series when he was young, and was a huge fan of the Dick Donner-directed films from the 70s and 80s that starred Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel. “I identify with Superman. I am adopted, I am an only child, and I love the idea that he comes from another world, that he's the ultimate immigrant. He has all these extraordinary powers, and he has a righteousness about him,“ said Bryan. After attending the School Of Visual Arts in New York City (but not graduating), he graduated from the USC cinema school (where, incidentally, he met John Ottman who wrote the score for Superman Returns), Singer’s first commercial success was as the producer/director of The Usual Suspects in 1995.That film saw him work with Kevin Spacey for the first time, and Singer and Spacey are re-united, again in Superman Returns, as Spacey plays arch villain Lex Luther, just out of prison and again set to rule the world. However, it is as an adapter of comic books, bringing superheroes to life, that Singer has carved a niche for himself in the movie world. In 2000, as writer and director, he introduced Wolverine, Magneto and the rest of the X-Men to the movie world in a hugely successful adaptation, before reprising the characters in the follow-up, X2. Singer left the X-Men franchise to develop Superman Returns and did not work on the 3rd film The Last Stand. Now an established player in Hollywood with a number of big projects lined up for the future, who would bet against his favourite being the recently-announced sequel for Superman Returns in 2009? Filmography Superman Returns (2006) (producer/director/writer) X2 (2003) (executive producer/director/writer) X-Men (2000) (director/writer) Apt Pupil (1998) (producer/director) Burn (1998) (executive producer) The Usual Suspects (1995) (producer/director) Public Access (1993) (executive producer/director/writer) Lion's Den (1988) (director)
There are few more iconic characters in American movie history as Lois Lane, Clark Kent’s sidekick at the Daily Planet, and Superman’s romantic interest. But 23 year old Kate Bosworth’s performance has earned her a number of excellent reviews in the role in the latest film in the Superman series – ‘Superman Returns’. Bosworth admits that she was unsure if any actor could pull of a convincing Superman/Clark Kent combination – she remembers the original film with great excitement. However, she is full of praise for Brandon Routh, the unknown actor who plays the title role. She realized how good Routh was going to be as early as an early screen test, before she had got the role, when she discovered she “had become totally lost in just reading with him, in a white, bare, sparse room with the tri-pod video camera and a couple of people sitting around and watching and that's when I realized he was going to be tremendous in this film”. Bosworth modelled her Lois Lane performance on Katharine Hepburn. "I watched a lot of Hepburn to prepare for Lois, particularly ‘The Philadelphia Story’ and ‘Guess Who's Coming to Dinner’. Hepburn is a great model for how I see Lois - strong but fragile." Bosworth spent her early childhood moving around the US, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, then to Connecticut and to Massachusetts. It was around the time of the move to Massachusetts in 1998 that she heard of an open audition for Robert Redford’s film ‘The Horse Whisperer’. A horse-lover, she went along for the experience, and won the role of the female lead's best friend. After “The Horse Whisperer” Bosworth took a break from acting, returning two years later to resume her career which has culminated with her role in ‘Superman Returns’. Filmography Superman Returns (2006) Bee Season (2005) Beyond the Sea (2004) Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004) Advantage Hart (2003) Wonderland (2003) The Rules of Attraction (2002) Blue Crush (2002) Remember the Titans (2000) Young Americans (2000) TV Episode The Newcomers (2000) The Horse Whisperer (1998)
It began as a simple idea. An animated dog in a rumpled trench coat, uttering the words, "You don't know me yet. But you will." Twenty-five years and three generations later, people still recognize McGruff the Crime Dog as an American icon that is "taking a bite out of crime." In the early 1970s, most people thought it was strictly up to law enforcement to prevent crime. However, a group of concerned private citizens and government leaders believed that working individually and collectively, in tandem with the police, could aid in crime prevention. Fast-forward to 1980, when an ad campaign - created by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and distributed by The Advertising Council Inc. - introduced McGruff the Crime Dog to the American public. Originally, the National Crime Prevention Council's iconic brand targeted adults with common-sense messages about everything from home security to neighborhood safety. Over the years, he extended his reach to teens and children, teaching them how to protect themselves against the dangers of drug abuse and gun violence, and more recently, how to handle bullies and surf the Internet safely. Since his debut, McGruff has been instrumental in showing adults and youth alike how their involvement can reduce crime. Today more than three out of four Americans believe they can personally do something to prevent crimes from occurring. While crime in general has been reduced from the highs seen in the 1990s, it remains a reality in communities across the nation every day. To this end, it is clear that even with a more diverse, older, technology-savvy nation, McGruff the Crime Dog still has a job to do. In the past quarter-century, McGruff has become more than just a familiar face. He is a true piece of Americana, even appearing in trivia questions on "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," in movies such as "Mystic River," and on VH1's "I Love the 80s Strikes Back." More than $1 billion has been donated to help spread McGruff's message that together, we can all "Take A Bite Out of Crime."
Models at the Movies Indigo® Instruments isn't only about supplying scientific kit to schools technicians, homeschoolers and students doing their science fair project. No! A fair few molecular models and countless other items have made their way to Hollywood, got themselves on the small screen and featured in some offbeat web experiments. VP Stephan Logan explains how Rob Cohen's 2005 movie "Stealth" is described on the Internet Movie Database as "Surprisingly enjoyable". Why? Because a plot line based on three pilots deeply ensconced in a top-secret military program struggling to bring an artificial intelligence program under control before it initiates WWIII sounds just so unsurprising. The movie features intense action, violence and innuendo. But, far more excitingly it also features a 17-layer DNA model from Indigo. So, for what was it those pilots needed a model of DNA? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. One of Indigo's "anatomically correct" 12-layer DNA models also features in the current hit movie "Fantastic Four." In this marvelous piece of cinema, a group of astronauts gain superpowers after being exposed to cosmic radiation (yeah, right!) and are destined to use them in fighting the world-dominating plans of the evil Doctor Victor Von Doom. They couldn't have thought of a more corny name for the villain, but at least the DNA molecular model used in the movie is scientifically accurate, having been built to the highest specifications by Indigo's Logan himself. Once again, superheroes are the subject of another movie to feature molecular model kits supplied to Hollywood by Indigo Instruments. In "Return of Zoom", a movie based on the graphic novel "Zoom's Academy for the Super Gifted" by Jason Lethcoe, an unpopular high school girl sent to superhero school by her "mysterious" father and discovers her hidden talents (a la Harry Potter, methinks). The makers of this movie, also utilized a DNA model from Indigo to reveal the inner workings of human genetics at the molecular level. Unfortunately, for Indigo's image, the director asked for the model to be specially made so that it would fall apart easily. Don't ask why, you'll have to go see the movie. Needless to say, any models you buy from Indigo Instruments will be made to far more exacting standards and are guaranteed not to fall apart! Stepping back from the superheroes, Indigo® Instruments was proud also to provide a whole series of chemical models for the making of Eddie Murphy blockbuster, "The Nutty Professor". Mineral models including a huge zeolite model and a model of the structure of diamond were used to great effect in the movie as Professor Sherman Klump, desperately trying to lose weight, takes a chemical cocktail that morphs him into the slimly obnoxious Buddy Love. The mineral models feature prominently as classic examples of Klump's laboratory equipment. Molecular models from Indigo Instruments have not only caught Hollywood's eye, but arthouse directors have turned to Indigo Instruments to supply them with molecular models too. So, Indigo can now lay claim to having appeared at the Toronto Film Festival. DNA and other molecular models from Indigo, have also hit the small screen in TV crime show "Law & Order", in sci-fi classic "Stargate Atlantis", and on CBS News during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. It's not just the entertainment industry that is fascinated by Indigo's DNA models. "We've also sold a 17-layer DNA model to such organizations as Bell Labs, IBM, and even shipped one to Erasmus University Hospital in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where the SARS virus was first identified," says Indigo SD Stephan Logan. In addition NASA lesson plans such as their magnets and life lesson cites Indigo Instruments as a useful source of powerful rare earth magnets. Images from Indigo® Instruments have been used on countless lecture tours and in science demonstrations including those by staff at Wisha University. A chemical flask from Indigo has even been adapted to make a heliograph, or sun tracker. "We have sold DNA models to lawyers for court cases involving patent issues," adds Logan, "major museums and institutions, such as the Bill Clinton Museum, Howard Hughes Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Hospital, US Naval Academy, Harvard University, New York University and elsewhere, also have our DNA models and others on display." Intriguingly, even the infamous Martha Stewart has bought glassware from Indigo, in the form of test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks for use in floral arrangements.
1. Fruit In The Looms 2. Python's Give Live Birth 3. The Toad Elevating Moment 4. Mystery Of The Lost Python Sketches 5. Brian's The Life Of The Party 6. Kim Bread Aka John Cleese 7. Around The World In 80 Days 8. Get Yourself To Mars 9. Keep It Real 10. The 12 Fisher Monkey Kings 11. Parting Shots 1. Fruit In Your Looms Someone once said something along the lines that, Monty Python is to 'funny' what chartered accountants are to 'boring'. Who are we to disagree? 2. Python's Give Live Birth The legend of Monty Python emerged nobly from the dusty corridors of Oxford and Cambridge universities. All of the British Python members had their comedic starts in revue shows put on by these universities. They soon rose to the ranks of responsibility within these societies, "In bewilderment we saw a notice board informing us that we are now officers!" recalls John Cleese. Their well-received show, A Clump of Plinths, transferred to London's West End and later visited New Zealand and New York under the new title Cambridge Circus. Cleese stayed on in New York and during a photo shoot for a comic strip he met American illustrator Terry Gilliam. Terry was soon folded into the every growing omelet. The BBC, on the advice of producer Barry Took, signed the group - which now included Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam for a 13-show series. Ah, but what to name the show? 3. The Toad Elevating Moment Owl Stretching Time. A Horse, A Spoon and A Bucket. The Toad Elevating Moment were all names in the running. But as planning for the series became more chaotic, the BBC management began to refer to the team as a 'flying circus', inspired by the Red Baron's World War One fighter squadron. The troupe liked the sound of it and randomly added the term Monty Python from their growing list of alternates. Funny that. 4. Mystery Of The Lost Python Sketches No one knows what happened to them. Oh wait, 3 new sketches of never before seen Python material were recently discovered and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The famed sketches were written by late Python star Graham Chapman and were unearthed by a literary executor in Los Angeles. Each sketch lasts four minutes and features a cast of characters including a gay parrot and an overworked Messiah. 5. Brian's The Life Of The Party Monty Python's Life of Brian snagged the funniest film of all time in a poll arranged by Total Film magazine. The film satires the rise of organized religion and caused more controversy than a Kevin Smith baptismal when it was released back in 1979. It was banned in many parts of the UK and church leaders accused it of blasphemy. Nothing like bad publicity to push the ratings. Their King Arthur era spoof, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, trailed by only a few spots, landing it at number five. Top 10 Comedy Films 1. Life of Brian 2. Airplane! 3. Withnail & I 4. There's Something About Mary 5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 6. American Pie 7. Groundhog Day 8. Some Like it Hot 9. Blazing Saddles 10. Planes, Trains and Automobiles 6. Kim Bread Aka John Cleese John Cleese rode a roller coaster of fame during the 1970's playing the role of stressed hotelkeeper Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers. He continued his fame with films like Privates On Parade and Clockwise, then hit worldwide stardom with a A Fish Called Wanda in 1988. The follow-up film, Fierce Creatures faulted to gain attention with audiences. These days audiences know him best as the new Q in the James Bond films and Nearly Headless Ned in the Harry Potter films. He will next be seen playing father to Lucy Liu in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and as the voice Fiona's Father in Shrek 2, Fiona is voiced by Charlie's Angel's co-star Cameron Diaz. 7. Around The World In 80 Days Michael Palin has also rocketed to fame due to his turn with the troupe and in 1977 he teamed with Terry Jones to make their own comedy series, Ripping Yarns. Michael also appeared aside John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda, then went on to do a reality show for BBC TV, called Around the World in 80 Days, where he attempted to literally follow in the footsteps of the Jules Verne literary character, Phileas Fogg, by trying to travel around the world in the allotted time, but without flying - By the way, it's Jules Verne's 175th birthday this week. During the Pole to Pole trip, he met up with Python fans in Greece and ate snake in China while struggling to meet his deadline. 8. Get Yourself To Mars Eric Idle continued his stint in the limelight by teaming with Neil Innes to create Rutland Weekend Television, a parody of regional broadcasting. He later appeared in Graham Chapman's Yellowbeard, Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and Splitting Heirs. His recent novel titled, "The Road to Mars" is about two comedians in the 22nd century. Fans most likely know him today as the voice of Mr. Vosknocker in the animated film, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. 9. Keep It Real Terry Jones maintained a diversity beyond mere comedy, by writing about history, presenting documentaries, penning children's books and going onto direct the 1996 version of Wind in the Willows, starring his old pals - Michael Palin, John Cleese and Eric Idle. 10. The 12 Fisher Monkey Kings Terry Gilliam lent his talents to the troupe as a director and by creating the very distinct animations that became Monty Python's visual trademark. We soon followed it with his feature film debut, Jabberwocky, starring Michael Palin. After helming the much loved, Time Bandits, his fame skyrocketed in Hollywood. But his style led to many conflictions in the biz including a big throw down with Universal Studios over his film Brazil and then problems with backers on the very expensive, Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which starred Eric Idle and featured Robin Williams. His real success followed by taking on unconventional studio films including the critically acclaimed, The Fisher King starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges and the stylistic sci-fi thriller, 12 Monkeys starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt and the Hunter S Thompson extravaganza, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. These six actors all gave some of the best performances of their career in Gilliam's films. 11. Parting Shots "We weren't being satirical because it wasn't the thing that interested us," Terry Jones says. "Ours was a slightly more abstract humor - just being silly really. What satire there is, is more generalized satire." Referring to The Life of Brian - "Comedy is about reminding us of the truth of being human: we all have a body and we all must die, and it is okay," reckons Eric Idle. "Monty Python is a great combination of intellect and silly", concludes Robin Williams.
Everything is White this morning! What a great time to make a movie! Winter does present some interesting problems for videos. First thing is, it’s cold! That means keeping not just yourself, but your equipment warm as well. There’s some controversy surrounding whether batteries lose their charge quicker in low temperatures, maybe the guys at Mythbusters can answer that one; personally, I say they certainly do. I also can say with some certainty that cold weather affects equipment as well; I have a digital camera that takes great pictures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but below that it starts out as if filled with molasses and eventually just stops working. It may be the lubricant, or close tolerances in the parts, but it can’t take the cold. So before you make a big project out of your winter flicks, let’s run a few tests. Make sure it’s below freezing outside first. Find a place outside that’s a safe place to leave your equipment, a back porch, backyard, etc., that’s got some light available, if it’s after dark. Set up your camera with a freshly charged battery pack, select a setting, and start filming. Place a spare battery outside on a dry surface. Go back inside and make some hot cocoa! No sense you freezing, leave that task to the equipment. Wait 10 or 15 minutes and check to see if anything is still working. If the camera’s stopped, try the spare battery to see if it works. Keep checking at 10-minute intervals until the media fills up or the camera stops working. Now you have some idea of how long you will have to make your video. Now for the second test: on a sunny, cold day, take some shots that include total sunshine, partial shade, and deep shadows. Shoot the same footage on several different settings: if your camera has a snow/beach setting, try that, also the full automatic, and any other settings that you think might work. You may find that the snow/sand setting is inadequate for deep shadow shots while in bright sun. Review your test a shot, make a few notes and it’s on to the last test. The final test is you: what do you have for personal warmth equipment? Remember the little gut in A Christmas Story that looked like an overstuffed Teddy bear? You don’t want that look. You want flexible, warm layers; you want gloves or mittens that have removable finger covers, and warm, comfortable footwear. Leave the sunglasses off when you film so that you can better gage the lighting. You also want to have some sort of equipment cases, to hedge a little against the bitter cold you may encounter. I keep my batteries inside my outer clothing, to add a little time to their life. When you’re ready to go, make a mental note of what kind of video you want, think about where you want the camera, and whether you’ll be able to re-take any shots or just rely on one take for everything. If you’re off to the slopes to shoot some awesome snowboarding moves or some exciting mogul moves, remember to try to protect your camera from spraying snow. Keep the equipment off until you’re ready to shoot, and turn it off when you’re through, and put it away, even back the still-warm car. If it’s ice-skating or cross-country skiing, or just having fun in the snow, shoot until you run out of battery power; then head back to the editing studio. The last step is the editing, including any sound editing you want to do. I like to use Audio4fun’s Voice Changing Software Diamond 5.0 for audio editing, as it has some dynamic features that allow for real-time editing, and many filters and effects for adding depth and quality to your productions, and the ability to morph your own voice into almost anyone else’s voice. This would be great if you want to create a funny video clip with this Voice Changer. Once you’ve got your final product, burn a couple of CD’s or DVD’s, invite the relatives over, and don’t forget the popcorn and hot cocoa! ABOUT AUTHOR: Wayne Rice is a freelance journalist, copywriter, photographer and artist. He currently resides in the United States
: Unlimited Download Center is one of the best sources I have found for movie downloads. Not only do you get unlimited movie downloads you also get music. Both the music and movie downloads are from the largest lists of selections I have seen. Unlimited download center is the fastest download site I have used to date. The site makes it very easy to find any movie or song fast. It is quick and easy to find all of the your favorite movies and songs. Once you've download you choice or choices you can quickly begin to play you movie or song. They also have a free 24-hour technical support team on standby just in case you have any questions or difficulties. I have yet to find a site that offers this kind of quality service. There is no per song download fee, so you can download as many as you wish in the best MP3 format. Most of the other sites that offer similar memberships don't have this size database for selection. I absolutely love this site over all the other ones that I have tried. For movie downloads. I give this site a perfect 10 score. You'll find that I never give any site that kind of rating. Click here The unlimited download center gives you all the information you need to know before singing up along with a full demo to see how the site can work for you. They only charge a one-time membership fee, which is very cheep for what you are getting. You can make that money back after creating two or three cds or DVD movies. I have seen many sites that are competitive among each other but this one clearly stands out from the rest. In just one week I have doubled the size of move downloads database and the same with my music database. If you are looking for the best quality music and movie downloads you may want to check this site out I have placed a link at the top of my website were you can click and go to the site and see for yourself. Please visit some of my other sites Movie Downloads and Ipod Movies
: Poster Presentation - Framing, Mounting and Light Boxes Poster presentation is a most important aspect that should be taken into consideration when hanging a poster of your favorite movie on a wall. Appropriate presentation that matches with the rest of the room decor can help bring about the movie experience, but not only. Presenting your newly acquired movie poster by framing or mounting will result in a more attractive finished product in any room. In particular, framed movie posters are most appropriate in a ‘shared’ room home theater e. g. a living room or a bedroom home theater. However, mounting and in particular framing a poster, offers a further important advantage - it also represents an important step towards helping your posters stay nice for much longer. While both frames and mounts offer a great way of presenting a more attractive finish in any room, yet in the case of a dedicated home theater room, the ultimate in movie poster presentation is the backlit poster light box. The use of a backlit box will better help bring about the cinematic 'feeling' into your home. Movie poster light boxes add a unique finishing touch to your home theater, or in that case, anywhere you want to display your favorite poster. The Poster Light Box: The classical way to illuminate movie posters for display is from behind. Most poster light boxes operate in this manner by having a light source mounted on the rear side of a box frame. A diffuser plate is used to help eliminate the formation of possible hot spots of light over the movie poster area. These poster light boxes are also referred to as 'backlit poster boxes' and are normally designed to take 1 Sheet posters. The latter are typically 27 inches in width by 40 to 41 inches in height, depending on whether the poster is a pre 1983/1985 or otherwise. (More information on movie poster sizes is available at practical-home-theater-guide/poster-sizes. html). Take care, however! Not all one-sheet size movie posters are best suited for display in a backlit poster light box. Why? One sheet comes in either single-sided or double-sided prints, with the latter being designated as ‘DS’ 1-Sheet. While it is possible to mount either type in a poster light box, yet the best posters to use in a backlit poster light box are double-sided posters. DS 1 Sheet posters have printing on both the front and the back of the paper stock, with the printing on the backside being in precise alignment with that on the front and a mirror image of the printing on the front side. Light from behind the 1-sheet poster will have to pass through both prints, with the poster acting as if it is a strip of film. The two prints on either side of the poster will render for a more robust and rich illumination of the poster artwork. That is not to say that the cheaper and more common single-sided posters are not suitable for use in backlit light boxes. It is just that one-sided 1-Sheet posters look somewhat washed-out when illuminated from behind.
: Rent movie soundtrack will be available on a 2 Disc DVD. You are now able to preorder the Widescreen version, Full Screen version or order it. Be sure to check back for more updates regarding the DVD release. Well, RENT movie soundtrack, it's been a great ride. Your excitement, enthusiasm, and dedication to the RENT movie have been overwhelming, and it's been wonderful providing a venue for the voice of the fans. Rent movie soundtrack certainly have appreciated and treasured all your encouraging comments. Rent is the first Broadway-musical-turned-Oscar-hopeful slated for the end of the awards season to hit the theaters this year. Winner of the Pulitzer and a handful of Tonys The cast is primarily the original Broadway ensemble. The musical is a phenomenal accomplishment that will forever stand as a testament to the dedication and talent of Jonathan Larson. Rent movie soundtrack has most of Major musicals that have become part of America’s cultural lexicon. Rent movie soundtrackmakes great business out of living the live Boheme. At one point in the title song Roger and Mark ask themselves why they choose to live this way. So many authors that have had great strife in their life went on to create beautiful and lasting works of fiction. The live broadband has made the transition to the film version of the hit stage musical. so today only get the rent movie soundtrack and start enjoing your favorite soundtracks. Anna Josephs is a freelance journalist having experience of many years writing articles and news releases on various topics such as pet health, automobile and social issues. She also has great interest in poetry and paintings, hence she likes to write on these subjects as well. Currently writing for this website Rent Movie . For more details please contact at annajosephs@gmail
A group of students discover that their dorm used to be an asylum run by a mad doctor, with a flair for inflicting pain and torture on his patients (as he believes this to be the cure for their illnesses). The spirit of the doctor is awakened, and is out to find new patients to “cure”. I had expected something good out of this movie, prior to entering the movie house. Perhaps it was because of the intriguing poster, or maybe even the title. I didn’t get to view it right from the start (as I came in around 20 minutes into the movie), and I was planning to stick around longer just to get to see the start. However, right when I caught a glimpse of the cinematography, I knew I made the wrong choice. It was boring. It was draggy. The cinematography was something that a student could have done. There was too much dead air. The story is too predictable (like I’ve seen this slasher type of movie a million times)and it was too shallow. Even the peaks were futile efforts in trying to tickle the audience’s “scare nerves”. The ending was worse than the rest of the movie. I’ve never regretted watching a movie and felt like I wasted my money on watching a movie until this one. To sum it all up: this is a waste of money.
A business course on cutthroat capitalism disguised as a slacker comedy: That’s the kindest way to describe Michael Lehmann’s “Flakes,” a movie that shares the smug, hipper-than-thou sensibility of its sour protagonist, Neal Downs (Aaron Stanford). An aspiring rock musician who manages a New Orleans eatery where the only bill of fare is breakfast cereal, Neal is a reflexively sarcastic deadbeat whose equally sour girlfriend, Pussy Katz (Zooey Deschanel), shares his bohemian dream of traveling the country in an Airstream trailer, making music and art. The walls of the restaurant, called Flakes, are lined with cereal boxes, including rare discontinued brands. As customers slop up exotic combinations, the movie suggests a deadpan spoof of gourmet fetishism. One house specialty — chocolate-flavored grains steeped in chocolate milk — sounds particularly nauseating. Owned by Willie (Christopher Lloyd), a decrepit hippie geezer with mad-scientist hair, Flakes limps along as a hangout for deadbeats until a bright-eyed yuppie visitor, Stuart (Keir O’Donnell), proposes turning it into a lucrative franchise. When Willie and Neal express no interest, Stuart establishes a rival Flakes across the street, and the New Orleans cereal wars begin. Hoping to put Stuart out of business, Neal begins playing dirty tricks, the nastiest of which is the distribution of fliers to the homeless promising 10 free bowls per customer at his rival’s establishment. The prank sets off a near-riot that Stuart skillfully turns to his advantage. Neal’s new live-in relationship with Pussy begins to curdle when she turns traitor and goes to work for the competition, hoping that the demise of the original Flakes will leave Neal with time to finish his CD. If the name of his band, Cereal Killers, is perfectly chosen, its music is a joke. Once lawyers become involved in the dispute, the movie’s anti-establishment attitude evaporates, as does the teeny bit of levity “Flakes” has generated. FLAKES Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan; also on Video on Demand. Directed by Michael Lehmann; written by Chris Poche and Karey Kirkpatrick; director of photography, Nancy Schreiber; edited by Nicholas C. Smith; music by Jason Derlatka and Jon Ehrlich; produced by Gary Winick and Jake Abraham; released by IFC First Take. At the IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, at Third Street, Greenwich Village. Running time: 1 hour 24 minutes. This film is not rated. WITH: Aaron Stanford (Neal Downs), Zooey Deschanel (Miss Pussy Katz), Christopher Lloyd (Willie), Frank Wood (Bruce), Ryan Donowho (Skinny Larry), Izabella Miko (Strawberry) and Keir O’Donnell (Stuart).
Having never seen the stage version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, I can't speak to the fidelity the film shares with the play. That said, let there be no doubt that Tim Burton has crafted a true piece of musical cinema from Stephen Sondheim's bloody masterpiece. To their discredit, early previews have hedged a bit regarding the singing in the film. In them we only see Johnny Depp canting some recitative as he prowls the streets of London. While this scene is certainly in the movie, it's barely representative of the actual film which contains at least a dozen fully-staged numbers and only intermittent dialogue. As the former Benjamin Barker, Depp is magnificent as Todd. His voice may lack the thunder that would be expected on stage, but on the big screen it's more than suitable. Purists may find it a little ragged and flat at times--Michael Crawford needn't worry about Depp--but it's an ideal manifestation of the corrupting anger and rotting vengeance that fill Todd's soul. The same can be said for Helena Bonham Carter as the fiendish Mrs. Lovett. Sure she will occasionally descend into something approaching a hectoring screech, but consider for a moment that she's a baker who grinds people into meat and serves them up in piping hot pies! Voices aside, both actors deliver rich, complex performances. The focus and intensity that Depp brings to his role is riveting. Within minutes of the film's opening there is no doubt that Depp will have his revenge and have it with gusto. Taking a step back from the film, realize that Todd is a thoroughly despicable character. He often kills indiscriminately, but Depp is so powerful as Todd that you eventually begin to relish his countless murders. Carter's Mrs. Lovett is, perhaps, even more of a psychopath. Slicing a throat is one thing. Butchering a man and then serving him up for dinner is quite another. Nevertheless, you delight in her, too. As for the killings, Burton stages them in spectacularly gory fashion. The phrase 'geysers of blood' is often used casually when describing a violent film. In Sweeney Todd the phrase is explicitly correct. Depp is often obscured under the high-powered jets of plasma that repeatedly erupt from his customer's necks. Amazingly, these scenes aren't even the most disturbing. Once Todd finishes giving a 'shave', he dumps the corpse down a hole where it cracks loudly at the bottom as the skull splinters and the neck breaks cleanly. It's all completely over the top and, of course, wonderful, hilarious, inspired. The same can be said for the film as a whole. In Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton has found material that meshes perfectly with his artistic sense. You could call it a horror film or a screwball comedy and you'd be right both times. The design is, as would be expected from a Burton picture, lavish and spectacular. The supporting cast, especially Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall, are superb. Only the love story between Johanna and Anthony falls a little flat. It's a minor quibble, though, in an otherwise outstanding film. Sweeney Todd joins Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands as Burton's finest work. It may eventually even be considered his best.