Friday, December 30, 2011

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) Review

By Paco McCullough

Mission Impossible is back, whether you wanted it or not. The over-the-top action franchise returns, but has made some much needed changes along the way. Eschewing the standard facemask disguises and betrayals from within, the format of this film is a nice change of pace for a franchise that has grown stale. While far from a perfect film, MI: Ghost Protocol may be the best MI since the first one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Take: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Review

By Paco McCullough

Snow falls on the cold streets of Stockholm as Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is convicted of libel against a prominent executive. Shamed and pressured into quitting his job, he gets a call from an old man, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Vanger wants Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his sixteen year old niece almost forty years older, and who's kidnapper sends him a rare flower every year. The suspects? The twenty or so family members who were on the island at the time.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Review

By Jason Haskins

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book in the Millenium trilogy published posthumously by Stieg Larsson (his wife actually published ‘em). The trilogy continues with The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest—all growing to be international best sellers and spawning Swedish movies. This is David Fincher’s remake of the first film and book, of course, with his own take on the source material, which I’ve heard is different from both. (Editor's note- There are slight changes from the source material, but should be quite familiar to those with a previous telling of the story.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Small Screen Scene: Six Feet Under: The Complete First Season

By Jason Haskins

Six Feet Under is a dark soap opera from HBO that follows a family that comes together because of the death of the patriarch. Peter Krause plays Nate Fisher, who travels all the way from Seattle to Los Angeles to help out his brother with the family business, which happens to be funeral parlors. His brother, David (Michael C. Scott), is an uptight guy who is struggling with his own issues and clashing quite a bit with Nate for the first half of the season especially after their father gives Nate half of the business. Nate must decide if he wants to help out or return home to Seattle (the outcome is fairly obvious).

Cinemecca's Most Anticipated Films of 2012

By Paco McCullough

A quick note before I begin- this list is based off of films for which I can get information easily, i.e. primarily Hollywood films. This is not a bias against Indie films, it's just that they generally fly under the radar until closer to their release.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Trailer of the Day: Bad Ass Trailer

By Paco McCullough

Trailer of the day today is for a movie that had flown completely under my radar until right now. Starring Danny Trejo (Machete) as a senior citizen out for blood, this seems like it could be a fun spin on the vigilante genre. I'll probably see this movie for the idea of Trejo with a fannypack alone.

Thanks to IGN

Melancholia (2011) Review

By Jason Haskins

Love him or hate him, you can’t dispute Lars von Trier’s brash brilliance at visual filmmaking. Fresh off his controversial Antichrist, he returned to the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year making statements of Nazi sympathy, wanting to shoot a pornographic film with Kirsten Dunst, and saying other things that made him sound like a dick. If you look past all of these attention-grabbing ploys of his and examine the film he has made, Melancholia, you will see one of the most interesting movies released this year.

Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness (1993) Review

By Paco McCullough

[Note: This review discusses in some detail the cult classic Army of Darkness. If you haven't seen it, then quit reading this and go watch it.]

Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness is something of a contradiction: a studio-released, creator-supported bootleg of the film Army of Darkness. Released by Anchor Bay, the dvd has commentary with star Bruce Campbell, writer Ted Raimi, and writer/director Sam Raimi. It appeals to diehard fans of the original film, as its main appeal is fifteen minutes of additional footage and the original ending. As the box itself says, "Here lies the closest thing to an 'official' director's cut of 'Army' that you'll ever find."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prometheus Trailer

Check out the trailer for Ridley Scott's new sci-fi movie, a sort of prequel to Alien. It comes out next summer, and here at Cinemecca we're eagerly looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

13 Assassins (2010) Review

By Jason Haskins

Takashi Miike may not be a household name, but he sure is one on the streets. Through the last twenty odd years, he’s crafted some of the most depraved (Ichi the Killer ), disturbing (Visitor Q), and downright bizarre (The Happiness of the Katakuris) films, whilst also redefining Japanese shock cinema. Call him a genius or pervert, but he’s had a varied career. Perhaps the film he's best known for stateside is a beloved horror/romance movie: Audition.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Official Dark Knight Rises Trailer

 Are you as excited as we are?

Found on

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue/Trailer Reaction

By Paco McCullough

The new prologue video before Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol showcases the new villain for Christopher Nolan's upcoming final batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Similar to The Dark Knight prologue shown before I Am Legend, this video gives us a six minute look at Bane, the upcoming antagonist. Detailed description after the jump, so if you don't want to read any spoilers, stop here.

Comic Movie Collection: Hulk (2003)

By Jason Haskins

No comic film has gotten the flack that the original Hulk movie did. Sure, you have your Daredevils and what have you's, but when Hulk came out in 2003 everyone was expecting a SMASH hit. I mean, there was a fresh new face with Eric Bana, fantastic-looking special effects, and a director who had proven himself with some outstanding movies in the past.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Classic Movies: Stray Dog (1949)

By Paco McCullough

It's summer in post-war Japan. Young cop Murakami (Toshiro Mifune) has his pocket-picked, with the criminal stealing Murakami's gun. Murakami is determined to find the gun before it is used in a crime, and begins prowling Japan's underworld. One of the first Japanese film noir's I've ever seen, Stray Dog owes a debt to the hardboiled stories coming out of Hollywood at the same time, yet retains a strictly Japanese feel. It certainly feels like a forerunner to the Japanese gangster cinema of the 60s and 70s.

The Descendants (2011) Review

By Jason Haskins

George Clooney stars as the lone owner of his family’s humongous acreage of land on an island of Hawaii who must deal with the financial burden of selling it against his wishes. This is especially trying amidst a boating accident, which has left his wife on life support. As he deals with the gravity of the situation concerning his wife, he learns of a possible affair she had, so he teams up with his two daughters (one young, one older) he barely has knows to find out who this man is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Small Screen Scene: Kenny vs. Spenny: Volume One

By Jason Haskins

If you don't know, Kenny vs. Spenny was a Canadian show picked up by Comedy Central a few years back about two best friends who compete in a series of competitions, with the winner getting glory and picking a humiliation for the loser each show.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cult Films: Rock the Bells (2006)

By Paco McCullough

Rock the Bells is at once an interesting documentary about a oft-overlooked part of the music industry: that of the concert promoter. The promoter in this case is Chang Weisberg, a Los Angles based promoter who did what was once thought impossible: reunite seminal rap group The Wu-Tang Clan and have them headline a new music festival: 2006's Rock The Bells.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Classic Movies: The Quiet Duel (1949)

By Jason Haskins

I have seen many of Kurosawa's films from Madadayo (his swan song) to Red Beard and my personal favorite, Rashomon, but I was very unfamiliar with his earlier efforts from the beginning of his career-from the forties to the early fifties--so I took it upon myself to watch one of his films I've been dying to see: The Quiet Duel (1949).

Another Take: Hugo (2011)

By Paco McCullough

If there is a hell, a double feature of Hugo and Toy Story 3 will be there waiting for me. See, as a grown man, there is nothing I hate more than shedding tears over fictional characters on a screen, and only the aforementioned two have made me choke up as an adult. Hugo is a masterwork, incredibly poignant and compelling (especially for a kid's movie), perfectly acted, and Martin Scorsese's direction proving that 3D can be used as an incredible storytelling device. It's easily his best film since The Departed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Horror Flicks: Jaws (1975)

By Jason Haskins

Duh-duh. Duh-duh. Duh duh duh duh duh duh--okay, you get my point. Almost everyone knows Jaws, even if they haven't seen it. It was the cultural phenomenon in 1975 that practically invented the summer blockbuster movie and jumpstarted Steven Spielberg into celebrity status. Imagine a film like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, only in the cold, dark reaches of the ocean with a man-eating great white shark. Yeah, you see my point.

Another Take: J. Edgar (2011)

By Jason Haskins

J. Edgar is Clint Eastwood’s newest movie and his first with Leonardo DiCaprio. When this was first announced I was more than happy because of not only the daunting task of chronicling the life of perhaps one of the most controversial political figures of our time, but because of how it was going to portray the said figure. After all is said and done, Eastwood has done a fairly good job with the subject matter, but it won’t be garnering any Oscar acceptance speeches.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Immortals (2011) Review

By Paco McCullough

Tarsem Singh is one of the most visually interesting directors in Hollywood today. His obvious care and detail to every minut of every shot may only be surpassed by David Fincher. While both of his previous films (The Cell, The Fall) were incredibly beautiful, story was never focused to the level it should have been. Unfortunately, this shortcoming continues in Immortals, perhaps the worst of Tarsem's films.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hugo 3D (2011) Review

By Jason Haskins

In Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to 2010’s Shutter Island and hot off the cuff of his documentary about George Harrison earlier this year, he embarks on a new path: the path of a kid-friendly movie that is bursting with 3D technology. There’s no question about 3D being a gimmick to plump up the green returns, but it has been done well in the past—notably in James Cameron’s Avatar and to a greater extent Jackass 3D. Scorsese has taken the technology to the next step—one that Cameron has said is the best use of it he’s ever seen. This is Hugo (2011).