Archive for November, 2005

“Hostel”

November 30, 2005

“Hostel” is a modern version of an old-fashioned horror film that tells the story of hedonistic young men backpacking in Europe. They are talked into going to eastern Europe where terror awaits. Rated “R” for sex, violence, language, and gore. This is not a jump-out-of-your-seat scary movie but, instead, is a gruesome tale of inhumanity and depravity.

GRADE = “B”

NOTE : Scheduled to open in January and this was the final cut.

Happy 50th Birthday, Kermit! Four Muppet Movie Re-Releases Celebrate Your Career!

November 29, 2005

Fifty years ago, Kermit the Frog made his debut. Now, Buena Vista Home Entertainment is reissuing

“Rent”

November 26, 2005

“Rent” is the movie version of the play (which I have not seen). This 2 and 1/4 hour musical about the lives of 8 people in NYC during the 90’s is well-made and most of the performers are from the play. Adult themes and language so not for children. Well worth seeing.

GRADE = “A-“

“The Ice Harvest”

November 25, 2005

“The Ice Harvest” is a tedious crime drama which takes place on an icy Christmas eve in Kansas. Six people meet death because of $2 million. A dreary, bloody, and uninvolving 90 minutes.

GRADE = “C”

Harry Potter Goblet of Fire

November 25, 2005

So what did you think?
Me personally? I think it was ruined because I heard way too much hype about this 4th release from the book series.

Btw, much Thanks to Eclipse with hooking us up with the tickets. I was one of those people that was there at 4:00pm when the showing starts at 6:30. (lol)

My 2 cents:
1. I’s asian. I was happy to heard that Harry’s first crush is an asian girl… but he didn’t even dance with the asian girl, let alone have any real conversations with her. I know this is a “child” series, but still, some interaction would be nice. After all, what are we trying to teach our kids? That it really is all about looks and ther personalities don’t count??
2. Ron & Hermoine are still clueless on thier feelings for each other. Wait, let me take that back. A clue. Nothing more. I don’t know if I will be alive long enough to see them ever actually hook up on screen.
3. It seemed like too much was jammed into the movie and they had trouble finding a direction on what to included and leave out in the film. The three schools had great powers, yet this was not shown in the movie much after the grand entrance. (I have not read the book.)
4. On the other 3 previous movies, the story was complete and yet there was a bigger story on top of everything. But in this last one, there was not even a completetion of a story. The death of the boy seem to stop everything at it’s place and the end to the movie. I felt like they literally pulled a Lord of the Ring kinda thing.
5. This was suppose to be called the Goblet of Fire. Yet after the death of the boy, it is completely forgotten. We don’t know what happened to the tornament and what conclusions is to be drawn from it. The matter was never settled.

Now before you all bash my thoughts, just realize I have not read the books because I think if they are to make a movie out of it, I should not need to read the book to find out what happens. And as I said, these are just my thoughts. I will respect your comments and I would like you to extend the same curtesy.

“Rent” contains a lot of real “Hit” and “Miss” Moments With Little Room For A Middle Ground. Michelle’s Review!!!

November 23, 2005

Rent is one of those Broadway shows that you feel you have to love, and even if you don’t you feel like you should. This is do to it’s subject matter and at the time in came out it’s “exuberant,” “contemporary” and hip nature all worked to make “Rent” a truly unique experience. Now ten years later, it’s safe to come out of the closet and say, “Rent sucked on broadway!” There, I’ve said it, no more peer pressure.

Even with my pronouncement, I still feel like I can’t say it “sucked” with 100 percent conviction, because depending on what day of the week you ask me, I loved the Broadway production, or I hate it. What makes the Broadway show work are the moments where the production blatantly manipulates your emotions with powerfully performed, emotional rock ballads like “Seasons of Love,” “One Song, One Glory,” “Will I” or “Take Me or Leave Me” but then those moments are followed up and ruined with “hard rock” crap that doesn’t work like the theme song “Rent,” or “La Vie Boheme” – horrible song that was fantastically performed in the film.

So it’s not too much of a surprise that I feel the same way about Director Chris Columbus’ film adaptation of it, this it the type of film that you really have to be in the proper mood to enjoy it and emotionally it’s all over the map.

It starts strong with the entire cast on a bare stage singing a moving rendition of “Seasons of Love” to an empty audience. This opening segment really puts you in the mood, but then it’s followed up with the actual start of the film which is the horrible “Rent” opening song which is 180 degrees different in tone and pacing from the first segment.

Rent isn’t so much a movie, as a series of segments, tied together by music that doesn’t transition from one moment to the next at all. It’s either moving and sentimental or over they top angry, with very little middle ground or connecting segments. Music aside the format of the production takes awhile for you to really get connected to the plight of its primary characters.

In the beginning of the film we meet the angry filmmaker wannabe Mark (Anthony Rapp is one of the main problems with this film, his voice is like nails on a chalkboard and he’s featured on an large number of the songs) who spends the film carrying around an film camera, his big idea is to shoot a documentary on his friends’ life, hoping to show the plight of the starving artist.

His roommate Roger (Adam Pascal) is a bitter HIV Positive musician who is desperate to write that one song that will give him glory and a legacy to leave behind before he dies.

Their friends include an HIV Positive, stripper, named Mimi (Rosario Dawson) who falls for Roger; Maureen (Idina Menzel) a performance artist who is protesting the eviction of tenants from the building owner, who happens to be their ex-friend and former roommate Benny (Taye Diggs) who they claim married a rich woman and then sold out.

There’s Maureen’s girlfriend, the yuppy, jealous lawyer Joanne (Tracie Thoms) who looks fantastic and almost out of place in this, but she has an amazing voice. Then there’s the “heart” of the group Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia), an HIV Drag Queen and her boyfriend Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin) who always says his name as though he’s expecting people to laugh.

And, that is another problem with the film, there are pregnant pauses after all the major “show stopping” numbers as though Columbus expects the film going audience is going to break out into wild applauses. He seems to have forgotten that he was making a movie and not a live Broadway production.

At times “Rent” feels like it’s too faithful to the original source material and the flaws from the show – especially with regards to pacing, become glaring on screen.

The number one problem with the film is that the Characters aren’t very sympathetic, whiney bohemians who don’t seem to really have direction in their lives just aren’t all that exciting. When Benny “sells out” he’s disowned as a friend, when Mark finally gets an opportunity to get his films shown, he whines about being forced to “sell out” to a “sleazy” news magazine. Roger is self involved, angry, and worst of all self righteous, who you want to strangle, the same goes for Maureen who mistreats her girlfriend by flirting with everyone she comes in contact with.

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What works with “Rent” are the performances, with the exception of Dawson who is fantastic; most of the leads are played by the original cast.

Let’s get back to Benny for a moment, he’s a guy who actually manages to make something of himself, and he tries desperately to work with his friends, giving them an entire year’s rent for free, yet he’s portrayed as the bad guy in this piece. It’s also weird, because at over 2 hrs the film feels like it ends abruptly without Benny being “redeemed.”

“Yes, “Rent” looks and feels dated, the way it handles HIV feel heavy handed for one character, and not really dealt with, with the others, but as I said in the beginning of this review, “Rent” contains a lot of real “Hit” or “Miss” moments with little room for a middle ground.

Whether you like this film will be based on two things – 1) People who love the Broadway show will love this, it’s almost a literal translation, 2) Do the “Hit” moments outway the “Miss” moments?

Since I still can’t tell you whether I liked the show or not (even though I’ve seen it 4 or 5 times), I’ll grade this based on the 2nd question, despite the film’s flaws, the moments that work – really work, and work really well. There are a couple of powerfully good sequences that makes this film worth your time.

This would be a definite DVD rental, and not a bad choice if Harry Potter is sold out. Though, I could have done without seeing Idina Menzel’s pale white ass.

Final Grade – B –

EM Review
by Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 11/23/05

IT’S ECLIPSEMAGAZINE.COM’S 2005 DVD HOLIDAY BUYER’S GUIDE!!!

November 23, 2005

Well, it

Scooby-Doo Heads To Egypt For Thanksgiving Day

November 23, 2005

Hanna-Barbera

I’m King Kong! – Merian C. Cooper Would Have Kicked Indiana Jones’ Ass!

November 22, 2005

Merian C. Cooper is the man who produced

CAM-ALOT A CHARACTER – Ben Browder Talks About Stargate:SG1

November 21, 2005

The hit Scifi Channel series, Stargate: SG-1 has recently been renewed for a tenth season, making it the longest running scifi series in North American television history. Ben Browder, the talented actor who plays Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell the newest leader of SG-1, was nice enough to take a few moments out of his much deserved down time to talk to Eclipse Magazine about his first