Sunday, June 29, 2008

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!


Congratulations to Fernando Torres and Spain, 2008 Euro Cup Champions. They were the best team throughout the tournament, and deserved to win. It makes it even better that they beat thug/all around douchebag Michael Ballack.

The Dark Knight


The first reviews are in and, as expected, they all say The Dark Knight is phenomenal. The hype is unreal - around the countries movie theaters have been selling out of their pre-sale tickets with the opening still three weeks away.

Alot of people have already been talking about a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Heath Ledger. That's a given. Dark horse for Best Picture nomination? You heard it here first...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

John Adams


HBO has done it again. Their miniseries John Adams, based on the book by David McCullough, is absolutely brilliant. It completely turns on its head the traditional way that American history is understood and gives fascinating insight into the decisions that our founding fathers had to make. However, perhaps the most astounding thing is the period detail throughout that really informs the viewer and make the show resonate. 

This is a real American history lesson.

Great pictures from around the world...


In honor of the news about 300, the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. For the Greeks, this was the center of the world.

SPARTANS!!!



So it was announced that the producers of 300 are going to make a prequel and a sequel (?) to the movie. 

What the fuck, didn't everybody die?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Four years for life


As I've been watching the Euro Cup on TV, I've started to think about where I was for the previous Euro Cup four years ago in 2004. I had just graduated high school and was on a trip through Europe with my friends. I met my brother in Rome to continue the trip, and we watched Greece beat Portugal in the finals at Balmer's hostel in Interlaken, Switzerland. I'll never forget that night as long as I live.

Four years later, I've started to think about where I was then. I had graduated high school, but didn't know if I had the Evans. Regardless, I was ready for college. I tried to put things into perspective, and thought it strange that the next time I would see a Euro Cup game I would have graduated from college. I dismissed the thought- that was a lifetime away. But now it's a reality, and it's frightening.

So much has changed since that summer. I've changed. I doubt I would recognize myself. Since then I've met people I'll be friends with for the rest of my life. I found a second home, a second family. I've found passion, lost it, and learned to find it again. And while it has been four years, it's seemed like a minute. Maybe that's good, maybe it isn't. 

Regardless, I know it will endure.

Friday Night Lights


Simply put, the greatest sports story ever told. Regardless of if you like football or not, if you haven't seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to watch it. 

It will change your life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Banksy


I've been flipping through the coffee table book of Banksy's art that my brother gave me for my birthday and realize what a fucking genius this guy is. He makes modern artists look like amateurs.

If you don't know his work, check him out.

www.banksy.co.uk

Filmmaking with passion


I just watched City of God again on DVD, and was more blown away than the first time I saw it. 

Roger Ebert said of it, "This is one of the best movies you'll ever see." I think that is the only thing Roger Ebert has ever said that I agree with.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Great pictures from around the world...

Inspiring picture from Brighton, England.


The Greatest


Was there ever any doubt the putt was going to drop? 

Check out this great video from Nike.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAn71OPYSvc

Just for fun...


One of the best assessments of the recent economic woes that I have seen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"The Happening"... isn't happening


So I saw "The Happening" and Friday and was really disappointed. Despite being billed as M. Night Shyamalan's first R rated movie, it turned out to be really, really boring which was very surprising. Shyamalan has made some good movies and some bad ones, but never any boring ones. Only running 1 hour and 30 minutes, it felt like a (bad) 3 hour movie.

I had high hopes, too. I got a chance to read M. Night Shyamalan's original script (titled "The Green Effect") last summer, and I will say it was MUCH better than the actual movie turned out. Fox turned a good script into basically a really long PSA about environmental concerns. I bet Al Gore is the only person in America that liked it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Good news for Entourage


Amazing news today. In a recent interview, Mark Wahlberg said of the future of "Entourage:"

We're doing Season 5 right now. We're hoping for maybe three or four more seasons, and then maybe a film or two. Obviously the "Sex and the City" success has opened up a window of opportunity there.

Probably the best thing "Sex and the City" has ever done for the world. I hope they never cancel "Entourage."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gayest show ever?



Variety reports today about a new MTV show, titled "Bromance," where contestants compete to be "bros" with Brody Jenner, some guy from The Hills (apparently his Dad is famous too).

Then it gets really gay. 

Variety reports:
"Winner will be invited to join Jenner's entourage. Losing contestants will be kicked out of the show's bachelor pad home base each week in a "hot tub elimination ceremony -" in which the guys will leave in just their swim suit, dripping wet, luggage in tow."

And just to make it even gayer, the show is being produced by Ryan Seacrest!

Are you kidding me?

Friday, June 6, 2008

World, hold on


It's a simple thing, just a ball and a goal. But once every four years that simple thing drastically changes the world. It closes schools, closes the shops, closes the city, stops a war. A simple ball fuels the passion and pride of nations, gives people everywhere something to hope for, gives countries respect where respect is in short supply and achieves more than the politicians ever could. Once every four years a ball does the impossible. And if history means anything, the world as we know it is about to change...

Euro 2008 is here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A song for Summer


"Summertime," by Robbie Williams - a song for the summer. 

Check it out, and if you don't know Robbie Williams, check out his first three albums (skip Intensive Care). 

He is the top selling artist in European history for a reason.

Jumper


So while I love comingsoon.net and all that they do, they just posted a review of "Jumper" where they gave the movie 8/10 and said, "I do have to admit that there are a lot of aspects of "Jumper" that don't make sense, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of it... Ignore the critics and check it out for yourself." 

What movie did this guy watch? How much did he get paid to write that?

Whoever wrote this then confirms that they are indeed an idiot, as if there was a doubt, when they write:

"It's quite apparent that director Doug Liman was casting his sequels as well as "Jumper." And while I would have very much liked to see a sequel, I think the critical trashing and weak box office is going to keep that from happening..."

Jumper made $211 million worldwide. Not such a weak box office on an $85 million budget. Oh, and Jumper 2 has already been announced for 2011 with Doug Liman attached to direct. Where the fuck do they find these people?

Check out the picture from lonstratton.com. Yo, Hayden Christensen in the Diag.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baz the Great


A new international trailer for Baz Luhrmann's film "Australia" debuted today! Baz is one of the absolute best directors working, and since his Alexander the Great project fell through (thanks, Oliver Stone), he hasn't made a movie since he reinvented the musical in 2001 with Moulin Rouge! 

The trailer looks amazing - the only thing that could have made this movie better is if Heath Ledger had stayed attached to it (he dropped out to play The Joker in "The Dark Knight"). You can already tell the soundtrack is phenomenal, and couple that with Baz's gift for creating stunning images and I think we have some Oscar bait. You heard it here first.

Check out the trailer at www.foxfilm.se/trailer.jsp?id=100 and/or visit the official site at www.australiamovie.com
 
Support this film!

When bad things happen to bad people


The saga of the joke that is "Valkyrie" continues. Supposedly having a summer 2008 release date, the Tom Cruise thriller which revolves around an attempted assassination of Hitler has been pushed back three times which is always a bad sign. Now, they are shooting more scenes for it. Obviously, it has been testing horribly. However, Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart has posted the following comment on his blog: 


Although the film has yet to be completed, several people I trust have seen "Valkyrie" and testify that it's a superb thriller. "Bryan Singer is back in form," says one source, referring to the "Valkyrie" director whose last film was "Superman Returns."


I wonder how much Tom paid them to say that. Let me give away the ending - their plan fails.

This could be amazing...


So Ridley Scott ("Gladiator," "American Gangster"), one of the best directors in the game, just announced today that he is going to return to sci-fi. Here is what he posted:


"I waited for a book for 20 years and I have got the book. I am not going to tell you what the book is but that film is going to probably be written within the next month. That will definitely be what I do next after Nottingham, the Robin Hood film that I am doing now in England."


I really hope that the book he's talking about is "Ender's Game." The time period fits, right? Ender's Game was published in 1985, twenty three years ago. Several movie version of the popular sci-fi novel have been tried and failed, most notably and recently by Wolfgang Peterson ("Troy").


I bet Ridley can get it done.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Megan Fox


Is it just me, or is Megan Fox getting trashier by the second? She was so ridiculously hot in Transformers (minus the automechanic prodigy part), and I know you all remember the scene above. Yeah, that one where every guy in the theater collectively shielded his crotch. 

Despite being the best thing Michael Bay ever put on celluloid, Megan's continued attempts to be Angelina Jolie is getting old and making it seem more and more like she's from the trailer park and not one of the hottest women in the world. Case in point being the "I don't care, I'll drop the F-Bomb on national television" routine she pulled last night at the MTV Movie Awards.

Take a lesson from Angelina - you can be edgy and still have class. And it's also not a bad idea to try and save the world.  It worked For Angelina on Brad Pitt, Billy Bob Thornton and her brother.

A petite confession


I was riding in my car today and found myself turning up the radio when Rihanna's song "Take a Bow" came on. This took me completely by surprise seeing as how "Umbrella" basically ruined the entire summer of 2007 for me. Well, that and "Lean Like a Cholo."
Shockingly, I think I might actually like a Rihanna song...

Twilight: The Movie


So I'm only slightly embarrassed to say that I was looking forward to the new "Twilight" movie. Well, that is I was looking forward to it until I saw the clip of Edward (Robert Pattinson) fighting Cam Gigandet last night during the MTV movies awards.

My God did that "action scene" look awful. Whoever decided to show it should get fired - that just cost the movie its opening weekend. 

Explosions in the Sky


So I've been listening to Explosions in the Sky alot today. They are a phenomenal instrumental band from Texas that do the soundtrack to NBC's amazing television show Friday Night Lights, adn the also did the soundtrack for Universal's movie version of FNL.


Check out their music if you haven't heard it. Also, check out Friday Night Lights (Season 1 on DVD) if you want to watch a great television show. Tim Riggins might just be the best character on TV.

MTV Movie Awards


So the MTV movie awards were last night, and I thought there were some pretty funny parts especially the skit with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. as well as Mike Myers' skit as an animal trainer. Thankfully, the show ran pretty short too, so we didn't have to sit through four hours of cutaway shots to Zac Efron. Speaking of Zac, how did he win for Breakthrough Performance? In what way was High School Musical not a breakthrough and Hairspray was? He wasn't even the star of Hairspray.

One of the best moments of the night was undoubtedly when two people I have never heard of won Best Kiss for Step Up 2: The Streets. Apparently, I'm not alone as nobody else was familiar with it either. The presenter called it Step up to the Streets, and a cutaway to an audience member showed them mouthing, "What is that?"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Echo Beach"


Anyone who doubts the influence of America on entertainment, watch this show. It's a direct rip-off of "The O.C." except its not set in Orange County, but a glamorous resort town in Cornwall! Haha, I bet it doesn't even get over 60 degrees there. Oh, and this show saved Ed "Eragon" Speleers from working construction for the rest of his life.

Other reasons to watch are the ridiculously good looking cast and the repeated and shamelessly objectifying shots of them.

Entourage


I just want to say that I really miss Entourage, and can't wait until it comes back in September. If 'Lil Bow Wow messes it up, my life might end.

James McAvoy


Following a brilliant performance in "Atonement," the meteoric rise of Scottish actor James McAvoy continues as it is rumoured that he is the first choice for the role of Bilbo Baggins in the ridiculously highly anticipated new "The Hobbit" movie. Pretty inspired casting, I think. 


These producers really know what they are doing: they split the book into two movies, hired Guillermo del Toro, and are out to a great actor to star. This might just be able to live up to the original Lord of the Rings movies.

Atonement


I first saw "Atonement" in theaters in December and thought it was good. I recently watched it again on DVD realized that it's brilliant. If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's definitely one of the top five movies of this decade, and has one of the best endings to a film ever.

"Skins"


Everyone must watch this series from the U.K. about a bunch of teens growing up in Bristol. It's a bit of a hyperbolic view of youth, but it's also hilarious and you can see how different British television is from American television. And the soundtrack is amazing.


We Americans are so prude. Our Puritan ancestors would be proud.

Michigan Film Initiative



There is nothing more exciting than seeing a place that you recognize pop up in a movie. The shots of Ann Arbor are probably the only reason that I could sit through "Jumper." Well, that and the fact that Rachael Bilson is ridiculously hot. With the new Michigan Film Initiative (a law that gives 40% of money spent on filming in Michigan back to the filmmakers), Hollywood is coming to Michigan and they're coming fast. I've just heard that Clint Eastwood is filming his new movie "Gran Torino" in Grand Rapids this summer. Also filming in Grand Rapids is a gangster movie called "The Fifth Mafia," and a movie called "Youth in Revolt" will be filming in Ann Arbor. This is not to mention the many films that will take advantage of the glossy exterior (joke) of our very own Detroit. However, the film I'm most excited about (another joke) is "Tug," which is being filmed in West Michigan. And it was just announced that Haylie Duff is attached to star, so that probably ruined that.

Regardless, I love what the Michigan Film Initiative is doing for the state (not a joke). Anyone know of any other movies coming to Michigan?

Once


After several strong recommendations, I watched John Carney's Sundance hit "Once." The music was great (it deserved the Oscar that it got), and it was probably one of the most realistic movies I have seen. This is always something I thought a movie should strive for, but after watching "Once", I realized the reason that I love movies is simply because they aren't realistic. 


Thoughts? Has anyone else seen "Once?" 


Euro 2008


If this clip (www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHRcyPdo8nQ) from the end of World Cup '06 doesn't get you excited for Euro 2008, then you are not human and have not one ounce of nationalism. Too bad England didn't qualify (embarrassing), though I'm glad they gave Becks his captaincy back.

Anyways, you heard it here first - Greece is going to defend. I still remember where I was when they won Euro '04 (a bar in Interlaken, Switzerland with my brother) 

Go Blue!


The Fall


So it turns out I'm a big fan of movies and just recently saw "The Fall" last night. First of all, it is completely unique. It's a true labour of love (something visible throughout), and is visually the most stunning thing I have ever seen. It's literally a pictoral of some of the most beautiful and surprisingly underused and unknown locations around the world. 

That being said, the story is a bit of a bore, and the little girl in it (who everyone thinks is so cute), pissed the hell out of me. Also, a lot of it didn't really make sense. But who cares. Go see it on the big screen, if for no other reason than to support visionary filmmaking.

You can check out the trailer (which is amazing) at www.apple.com/trailers/independent/thefall/trailer/ 

Introduction

As a means of introduction, let me just say that this blog is meant as a shameless form of cultural promotion. It's also born out of a summer with very little in the way of structured time. Most of all, this is a way for me to share what's on my mind, so if you like it, keep reading and please comment.