This weekend, would you rather see Julia Roberts eating, praying, and loving? How about Sylvester Stallone leading a bunch of mercenaries-for-hire? Or Scott Pilgrim proving his love by battling the world, or her seven evil exes?
In my humble opinion, geeks win this weekend! "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is far better than its competitors for its smart, funny, and very inventive take on love as the proverbial battlefield.
The second best is "The Expendables." What can you expect from a film featuring a bunch of male action stars but a balls-out explosion extravaganza with very, very minimal character development. I enjoyed the first part of the film, the second part was a bit boring, but the third was blessed with, you guess it, more explosions! Start waving your 80s action freak flag.
That leads us to Roberts and director Ryan Murphy's "Eat, Pray, Love" based on Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir. While Roberts is luminous, this project proves our pretty woman needs a far better, meatier material. This is a looooooong movie about eating, praying, loving but after its 2 1/2-hour running time, we're still left befuddled about what Roberts' character truly ate, prayed for, and loved!
The scenery is fantastic, hence, this film is better to watch inside a nice, cozy airplane ride from coast to coast. And Murphy is not an adept storyteller in film. His "Running with Scissors" had a great first half only to be saddled by a pedantic second. BUT, this guy can tell stories on TV ("Glee" anyone?), so I think, his talents are far better suited on the small screen and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Much like the "Sex and the City" creator-director, Michael Patrick King, whose talent shines on TV but falters on the big screen.
Here's my combo-review of "The Expendables" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World":
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The super-hot Ryan Reynolds (that's metaphoric y'all!) may soon star opposite Denzel Washington in the Universal thriller "Safe House" from "Snabba cash" director Daneil Espinosa.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Espinosa met or considered actors Tom Hardy, Zac Efron, James McAvoy, Sam Worthington and Shia LaBeouf for the role but Reynolds is emerging as the frontrunner.
The script is written by US Weekly editor, David Guggenheim, and the plot is quite intriguing. Reynolds will play the only surviving agent of an attack on a CIA safe house trying to get a prisoner (Washington) to another safe house before time runs out.
I can picture Reynolds in the role, but man, is he busy or what! He's currently filming "Green Lantern" (and perhaps planning the sequel, yes, sequel already!), and is set to star in Universal's supernatural police flick "R.I.P.D." And he's also committed to working on the "Wolverine" spinoff "Deadpool" for Fox.
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John Belushi's life may be coming to theaters near you with help from "The Pursuit of Happyness" screenwriter Steven Conrad and "The Hangover" director-producer Todd Phillips according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Phillips is still unsure if he will direct the biopic but he will produce and Conrad will write the script.
Belushi's life is perfect for the big screen. He's a beloved "Saturday Night Live" cast member who died in 1982 at age 33 due to a drug overdose.
The big question: who should play Belushi? Zach Galifianakis, who previously worked with Phillips in "The Hangover" could play the part. Jack Black could also channel the famously maniacal comedian although he was quoted as saying "His life is not as funny as his work, and watching me do an imitation of him doing his 'Saturday Night Live' bits won't be as funny as watching him do his 'SNL' bits."
Um, Jack, it's called acting dude!
Other actors who could play Belushi, according to THR:
The next generation has fielded a roster of 21st century versions that could potentially pull off the role -- Jonah Hill (26), Seth Rogen (28), Ethan Suplee (34) and Tyler Labine (32), who actually appeared as Belushi in the 2005 NBC movie, "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & Mindy.'"
Hhhmmmm, maybe Phillips and Conrad should search high and wide for an unknown who can be funny and dramatic at the same time. It's better for a newbie to portray the iconic comedian so they don't bring their own baggage to the role.
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So I'm truly enjoying Seth Grahame-Smith's book "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Now that I'm on vacation, I have more time poring through this engrossing novel (I love driving through Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln started his law practice, while listening to the audiobook of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter").
I knew that Tim Burton and "Wanted" director Timur Bekmambetov teamed up to purchase the rights to Grahame-Smith's book (check out my original article on that purchase right here) and that Bekmambetov is attached to direct.
Bekmambetov spoke to Empire Magazine and here's what he said about "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter":
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. "That one I’m prepping to direct myself. It is not a comedy at all – it is a very entertaining, epic history lesson for millions and millions of teenagers. If you remember Nightwatch, it is maybe in the vein of that kind of movie."
"We are keeping the traditional look of Lincoln – the big hat and the beard. He has to be historically correct, but with a few special weapons. There is only one book, but there will be many opportunities to develop and explore this world if we get to do sequels. I hope we will start this winter. We are shooting in America."
In the novel, Lincoln's mother was killed by a supernatural creature, so it became his lifelong passion to kill vampires and their slave-owning helpers. The beloved U.S. president metamorphosizes into an axe-throwing vampire hunter.
I can't wait for this film! No word yet on the cast so stay tuned. And it looks like "Lincoln" will be Bekmambetov's film before working on "Wanted 2." Why? Read on:
Wanted 2. "We are discussing Wanted 2 every month. We are working on it now, but I think it will be after Lincoln because James (McAvoy) is working on the X-Men: First Class… It’s why I decided to develop Lincoln without a studio, to keep control. It’s a big movie but independent too."
To read more on Bekmambetov's interview about "Mody Dick," "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" and much more, click here.
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For my written review of "The Expendables" click here, and for "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" click here
Here's more info on the movies from Yahoo:
A group of mercenaries is hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren't quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge -- one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.
Genres: Action/Adventure and Crime/Gangster
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
Release Date: August 13th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language.
Cast and Credits
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Produced by: Boaz Davidson, Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort
"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"
Scott Pilgrim has never had a problem getting a girlfriend. It's getting rid of them that proves difficult. From the girl who kicked his heart's ass -- and now is back in town -- to the teenage distraction he's trying to shake when Ramona rollerblades into his world, love hasn't been easy. He soon discovers, however, his new crush has the most unusual baggage of all: a nefarious league of exes controls her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Romance and Adaptation
Release Date: August 13th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references.
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Cast and Credits
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Produced by: Ronaldo Vasconcellos, J. Miles Dale, Jared LeBoff
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