Here’s the new trailer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. For some reason Johnny Depp looks like Elijah Woods to me. But the trailer looks spectacular and plenty of Wow factor. I personally cannot wait. Enjoy!
by Hadrian Miguel, Lifestyle & Beauty Director
The Runaways, the upcoming must-see biopic based on the all-girl punk & rock band the Runaways, has the next gen of serious lady-actors-in-waiting, Kristen Stewart (of Twilight & New Moon fame) as rock legend Joan Jett, and Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds and The Secret Life of Bees) as singer and keyboardist Cherie Currie.
The band is best known for the songs like Cherry Bomb, Blackmail, Rock and Roll, Queens of Noise, Neon Angels On the Road to Ruin, and Born to Be Bad. The film is written and directed by music video maven Floria Sigismondi, and executive produced by Joan Jett. It’s a fictional look & rock and roll biography based loosely upon the book Neon Angel by Runaways bandmember Cherie Currie.
The movie follows the meteoric rise and fall of one of the first successful all-girl rock bands and focuses on the band’s formation, and on the lives of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. The story follows the band as their first single Cherry Bomb gets some attention in the United States and with a national tour of major venues and rock clubs with sold-out shows. A world tour soon follows and as songs from their first two albums become huge hits in Japan, their arrival there for a set of shows in 1977 is overwhelming and very similar to Beatle-mania. It’s during the Japan tour that Cherie’s personal life disintegrates, and she burns out, ultimately leaving the group when they return to the U.S. The bass player then quits too. Joan Jett decides that rock & roll is her life, and that The Runaways is her family, and so with the remaining members Lita Ford and Sandy West, she continues with the band in hopes of a bigger success.
The stellar cast also includes the role of guitarist Lita Ford by actress Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve plays Runaways’ drummer Sandy West, Tatum O’Neal as Marie Harmon (Cherie Currie’s mother), Michael Shannon as the band’s producer and manager Kim Fowley, and model-actress Riley Keough (granddaughter of Elvis Presley and daughter of Lisa Marie Presley) as Marie Currie, Cherie Currie’s twin sister.
Originally, the Runaways started as a power trio with Sandy West, Joan Jett, and bassist Micki (Michael) Steele. The Runaways were a teenage band that began in the L.A. party and club circuit in 1975, and in 1976, they added guitarist Lita Ford and lead singer Cherie Currie to the lineup. Jackie Fox and Vickie Blue were the most prominent of their bassists. The Runaways’ bassist position was pretty much a revolving door, with five girls filling the role over the course of 1975 to 1979. Micki Steele went on to later success with the all-female group the Bangles.
The band released their 4th album Waiting For The Night in 1977 with Joan Jett on lead vocals after Cherie Currie left the band, and started a world tour with The Ramones. Their last album And Now …The Runaways was released in 1978, and the band eventually disbanded in 1979. Currie released a solo LP Beauty’s Only Skin Deep, produced by Kim Fowley, and began a separate U.S. tour, which included her identical twin sister Marie.
Joan Jett and Lita Ford are still actively rockin’ it out and both have gone on to hugely successful solo careers, Cherie Currie went on to record a 2nd album with her sister and also became an actress and artist, and Sandy West known as one of the first female drummers to garner widespread popularity and critical acclaim released a solo album The Beat Is Back, and formed The Sandy West Band. She died in 2006.
The Runaways premieres at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival which runs from January 21 – 31, 2010, and with a nationwide release to follow sometime thereafter.
My prerequisite for a movie is first to be entertained, second to connect to the story and third to learn something out of my own comfort zone. Last night I saw the documentary ‘The Cove’ and it did just that.
The acclaimed documentary ‘The Cove’ is a brainchild of Director Louie Psihoyos, a wildlife photographer and co-founder of Oceanic Preservation Society, a group of passionate dolphin/sea life activist and Ric O’Barry. Ric O’Barry found fame in the 60′s an 70′s when he trained 5 dolphins to play the dolphin ‘Flipper in the hit TV show of the late 60′s. After a change of heart when one of the dolphin committed suicide in his arms he has committed himself to the plight of the Dolphins.
The documentary follows Ric O’Barry and Louie Psihoyos and their fight in Japan’s small village Kaiji where dolphins are slaughtered every season from September to March mercilessly. The dolphins are trapped in a small cove where they pick out healthy dolphins for dolphin shows and venues where you can swim with the dolphins. The sale of these mammals can go upwards of $150,000 USD. The rest of the dolphin deemed not desirable for shows and spectators are slaughtered in the coves of Kaiji. Thousands of dolphins are slaughtered every year in this immoral way. Approximately 10,000 a year. This is little known secret that even the general population of Japan have no clue to what’s happening their. Ric O’Barry is frequently harassed and there is a media blackout in the village to avoid embarrassment to the Japanese.
The method of herding the dolphins are especially cruel. The fisherman go out on their boots and pound on metal poles to make loud noises to distract and stress the dolphins which confuses them and scares them into the fisherman’s net that surrounds the cove area. A dolphin’s hearing is like our eyesite, they rely on it for their survival. There is a public display area where spectators can see the catching of the dolphins to be sold to aquariums and venues across the globe. This is a legal and lucrative trade for the village fisherman. But what happens to the rest of the dolphin is a big mystery, until now.
Whaling and fishing has always been a way of life for the Japanese. In the documentary a Japanese official points out that in western countries we eat cows and chicken so it’s essentially the same thing. Argument is over moral issues of how they are slaughtered. Whaling and catching dolphin has been done for thousands of years in Japan and this is not a tradition that certain Japanese officials are not ready to part with. In the documentary, Japanese officials are a roadblock at the filmmaker’s every turn. The local fisherman are hostile when it comes to anyone filming or taking photos of the Cove. The Cove is vehemently defended by every Japanese official and any area near the Cove is off-limits.
On top of everything, dolphin meat has a super high count of mercury and is poisonous to humans. An elements that the Japanese are kept in the dark about. Though only a small population of Japanese actually consume dolphin meat in its form, it is used to mix in with other meat products that sells to mainstream Japanese consumers.
Industrial Light and Magic
The twist of the documentary is that without the knowledge or consent of the locals, they setup a team of experts from expert divers, Industrial Light & Magic filmmakers and impassioned surfers as well. The team is determined to film exactly what goes on during the killings.
HD cameras are hidden in the cliff above the cove (installed in rocks) and underwater recording equipments were hidden in the bottom of shallow water. The images that was capture was astounding. I personally had to look away for almost the entire 5 minutes in the end. IT IS A HARD WATCH. But in the end you find out exactly how barbaric this practice is. All that’s left is a sea of blood in side the cove. Disturbing.
While this is disturbing to many including myself, it is important that we don’t turn a blind eye away from things that are not pleasant to watch. But for humanity’s sake we must face our own evils, even if it’s tradition.
Check out the trailer:
The Cove is out on DVD but still playing in very selected theaters but go watch the DVD check out the website The Cove to find out more info and see what we can do to help the Dolphins.
The Cove has won many film festival awards including the Sundance audience award 2009.
Hadrian Miguel, Lifestyle & Beauty Director
One of the best things about being a writer, participant, and spectator of the world is that I love, love, love living in major cities for the access to events, shows, music, and celebrities way in advance before the rest of the country, especially to check out films…well that, and also having good friends in high places and in !
So this past weekend, I had the privilege of previewing Spain’s greatest gift to the cinematic world, Pedro Almodóvar, and his new movie Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos) starring Penélope Cruz, Lluís Homar, Blanca Portillo, Tamar Novas, Lola Dueñas, and José Luis Gómez.
In Broken Embraces, Almodóvar uses a film noir style of cinema told in flashback. The story flip flops through time in the past and present, and centers on a blind writer & director (Lluís Homar) with dual identities (Harry Caine/Mateo Blanco) who tries to deal with life post-car crash that cost him both his eyesight and his love (Penélope Cruz).
In the past, Penélope Cruz plays Lena Rivas, a receptionist/actress/mistress whose life changes when she is cast in a film called “Chicas y Maletas” and falls for its writer/director. José Luis Gómez (last seen in Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghost) has a breakthrough part in the movie and almost steals the show as Ernesto Martel, Lena’s wealthy, jealous, conniving, and ruthless financier boyfriend.
In the present day, Harry exists and manages life with the help of his trusted, former assistant, Judit (played brilliantly by Blanca Portillo), and her son Diego (Tamar Novas). The story revolves mainly around Harry, Lena, Judit and Ernesto and their super-telenovela version of sex, lies, and videotape. A very condensed one line summary of the story is that the film tries to reconcile the events of the early 1990′s with that of present day. While I am not going to spoil it for you with a play by play on what happens, just go see it!
This is Almodóvar’s 4th film with Penélope Cruz. They first worked together on 1997′s Live Flesh, and then in 1999′s All About My Mother, which won a best foreign film Oscar award. Almodóvar then directed her to a best actress Oscar nomination for 2006′s Volver, which is one of my recent personal faves of Almodóvar with Penélope films. In Broken Embraces, she is captivating and glimmers with grace, intensity, sexiness, and feeling, so much so that I am eager to see what she does in the upcoming December film release of Nine by Rob Marshall, the musical inspired by Frederico Fellini’s autobiographical film 8½. Penélope will have two movies out with a nationwide release at Christmas just in time for another Oscar consideration…perhaps.
The movie soundtrack is excellent too with a moody score by Alberto Iglesias and includes Uffie (“Robot Oeuf”), Cat Power (“Werewolf”), Miguel Poveda, and Can (“Vitamin C”). Albert Iglesias’ music score adds some aural textures that goes hand in hand with Almodóvar’s visuals.
Pedro Almovódar body of work never ceases to amaze me, move me, and make me laugh or think, and while Broken Embraces is his 17th feature film, it’s right up there with his best even though it reexamines some of his familiar ideas and themes like a film within a film, and the usual twist and turns of love, lies, obsession, treachery, guilt, jealousy, revenge and secrets…and quite honestly, that’s my kind of mixed bag of tricks and makes Broken Embraces super juicy and rich with drama and surprises, the kind I like to watch and avoid in real life!
Broken Embraces is now playing in New York and then opens in Los Angeles on Friday, December 11th. It will open nationwide in the U.S. and Canada on December 25th. It’s in Spanish with English subtitles.
Kate Hudson struts her stuff in another trailer for the movie musical Nine. She is predominately featured and she’s not a bad singer. Kate looks exactly like her mom Goldie Hawn during her ‘Laugh-In’ days.
The film looks pretty sexy. Can’t wait.
Nine the Musical opens Christmas 2009
Check out the rehearsal footage short film, it’s so cool.
This stylish rehearsal/trailer for the movie Nine is so beautiful to look at. Nine stars Daniel Day Louis, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Maria Coltaird and Fergie.
The featurette is shot in Fellini style. Enjoy.
Nine opens Christmas 2009.
Okay, you keep saying you want to get rid of cable TV cause you’re on the internet so much but can you really live without all your regularly hooked programming. Those trashy Reality Shows that you know you shouldn’t be paying for but secretly love. Here’s a new internet service that acts sort of like a DVR. You can search for you favorite programs and it will link you to the site to watch the program. Most of it are free but will link you to a pay site like Netflix (for those of you who has netflix will be able to watch films online. I just watched a full program on the biography channel on the internet. Hulu is free as of right now though they are planning to charge beginning of the year but there are plenty of free videos and film sites online.
MTV, Comedy Central, Lifetime, VH1, CNN and countless other outlets have online programming that essential the same as their broadcast programming so you can truly get rid of cable TV.
This is a really cool concept and I really liked it. It’s a bit clunky right now but the site has a lot of potential. Best of all about clicker.com: it’s FREE! I’d say get all the freebees you can now before they start charging everything.
check out clicker.com
Okay, I must admit I love Angelina Jolie Not much for mainstream movies but who can resist a female action hero. This role was originally written for Tom Cruise but seems better suited for Jolie.
Salt comes out next summer.
Untitled – The Movie is a satire of the contemporary art world in NYC. Looks like a sleeper.
THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.
Lars Von Trier’s latest film Antichrist has garnered plenty of festival awards this season and it’s coming to a theater soon. The sure-to-be controversial fim stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who took home the Best Actress award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival).
Visually stunning but just the name itself will most likely attract lots of protest and controversy. I can’t wait.
Antichrist is in release October 23, 2009
Cohen Brother’s new black comedy starring Ewan McGregor and George Clooney.
Survival of the Dead is George Romero’s prequel to Night of the Living Dead. Living Dead is a classic amongst horror and cult movies, highly regarded in terms of independent film production and political overtone.
Survival of the Dead was the first horror entry to the Venice Fim Festival in decades and a return of horror auteur George A. Romero.
Critics from the festival have noted that the film’s premises have a political parallel of what happened during the Bush Administration and the effect it had on society.
There is no release date for the movie yet.
This film is now on DVD. It’s not new but it’s a cool movie.
In celebration of fashion week we are featuring trailer and clips from the documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor about the fashion designer Valentino’s last couture collection. The film was just released on DVD and BluRay and it is a fascinating look at the last iconic designer and his prolific career. Valentino lives a live of fantasy and it is just riveting to see the passion he has for beauty, life and his adorable pugs.
Check out the trailer and clips from the film:
It’s not exactly porno and it’s not exactly green but it’s totally amusing. Green Porno is a Sundance Channel short film series conceived, produced, written and directed by actress Isabella Rossellini. In these short films Rossellini re-enacts the mating rituals of animals in the wild. The films are filled with colorful costumes and cool visuals. The 3rd Season of the series premieres Monday September 14th, 2009.
Here are some short films from season 2.
Green Porno: Starfish
Green Porno: Angeler Fish
Green Porno: Limpet
Green Porno: Whale
Green Porno: Why Vagina?
Green Porno: Barnacle
On September 21st 550 theaters across the globe will be showing a live event simulcast of the new eco docu-drama “The Age of Stupid” broadcast from a solar powered tent in NYC. The Age of Stupid is the new four-year epic from McLibel director Franny Armstrong. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
There will be a talk afterward with the filmmaker, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Gillian Anderson and field scientist from the Himalayas and the Indonesian rain forest via live satellite.
The Age of Stupid Trailer
Check out the youtube channel
The Age of Stupid Website where you can buy tickets and get involved.
We love Michael McKean and Jane Lynch. They are both alumni of the Christopher Guest Mockumentary movies.
Adventures of Power won a bunch awards at this year’s film festivals. It looks amusing enough but probably not in the league of Best In Show or Waiting for Guffman.
Adventures of Power limited release Oct. 2, 2009
This documentary by Chris Rock was inspired by his daughter asking him, “Daddy, why don’t I have Good Hair?” This documentary take a humorous slant on the Black Hair Culture. Looks humorous and fascinating.
Good Hair Release Date: Limited – October 9, 2009; Nationally – October 23, 2009
From the producer of Paris, je t’aime (Paris I Love You) comes another ensemble film but this time is New York I Love You. Among the stars are Natalie Portman, Ethan Hawke, Robine Wright Penn, Orlando Bloom, Blake Lively, Shia LaBeouf, Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, Christina Ricci, Julie Christie and more.
The film opens october 16, 2009.
Check out the trailer for Nine – the movie. The film stars Daniel Day Lewis, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson and Fergie (from the Black Eye Peas). It’s an impressive cast and great trailer. The style is Fellini-esque and visually stunning (the trailer anyway). But why don’t they show Daniel Day Lewis singing?
Nine opens November 25th, 2009
There are very few filmmakers whose film I would go see regardless of what I know about it and Almodovar is on top of that list. Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces) teams Penelupe Cruz with Almodovar once again and it looks like she is definitely a contender in the Oscar race next year.
Los Abrozos Rotos premieres at the New York Film Festival October 11, 2009
Check out this new trailer and clip from a new documentary about Vogue magazine and its editor Anna Wintour. When I first heard that this documentary is being made it was very surprising to me that it was even in production, Anna Wintour being Anna Wintour – Vogue being Vogue. I suspect that her advisers told her to appear in the documentary so her legacy with Vogue is not the monster being portray in ‘that’ movie (Devil Wears Prada). Though we’re not huge fans of Vogue, the film seems interesting and the director had complete access to the offices of Vogue.
The documentary comes out August 28th in NY, September 11th opens wide.
Check out the trailer:
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On The Sundance channel website they have a short documentary directed by photographer Bruce Weber. The documentary is about Liberty City, a neighborhood in Miami. Very interesting and beautifully shot. Check it out.
Click below to view film, opens a new window
Link to Sundance Channel