Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Movies

The first quarter of 2009 has kept me busy, really busy. The best part of the past three months have been the film festivals Whitney and I have attended and recieved screeners from. In the past 31 days, I've watched 46 movies (including three shorts programs). Here's a list of everything I've seen, the clickable links will take you to reviews written by either Whitney or myself. They're pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Any movie labeled with "(!)" were, in my opinion, outstanding.

Cinequest Film Festival

Animated Shorts Program (x2)
Billy was a Deaf Kid (!)
Blue Road (!)

Documentary Shorts Program
Generic Thriller
Heart of Stone
The Investigator
Killer Poet: The Double Life of Norman Porter
The Nature of Existence

SXSW Film Festival

Alexander the Last
Garrison Keillor: The Man in the Red Shoes on the Radio
It Came from Kuchar (!)
Modern Love is Automatic
Monsters from the Id
Sons of a Gun
That Evening Sun

Other Films

Barcelona (1994)
Blue Steel (1989)
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Choke (2008)
The Dead Pool (1988) (D) (03-05-09) (!)
The Defiant Ones (1958) (!)
Domino (2005)
Don’t Say a Word (2008)
Freedom Writers (2007)
Harvey (1950)
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Hustle and Flow (2005)
In Bruges (2008)
Lady in a Cage (1964)
Lean on Me (1989)
Mighty Aphrodite (1995) (L) (03-19-09) (!)

Miracle of St. Anna (2008)
Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt (1997)

The Omega Man (1971)
Religulous (2008)
Subway (1985)
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Sydney White (2007)

They Drive By Night (1940) (L) (03-08-09) (!)
THX-1138 (1971)
Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Does anyone besides me keep a list of everything they've watched?
What's the best stuff you watched in March?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh Hell to the No

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jacked from Film Experience

This is the coolest thing I've seen in a minute.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Remember when cartoons used to ask the real questions on kids' minds?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Animated Film Opens Up Cannes for the Very First Time

So, I read a headline today that read:

"Animated Movie To Open Cannes For First Time"

While I didn't get to attend a screening of Mary and Max, Whitney did and absolutely loved it. Made painstakingly over five years, the dark claymation tale of "two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York" stars the voices of Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman and has met mostly positive reviews since it's debut. Surely, the debut feature from the director of Harvie Krumpet (2005) will be opening Cannes...right?


Son of a...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why Remake Movies When You Can Combine Them?

When shopping costs you an arm and a leg...
because Paul Blart ate them.

Miss March of the Penguins: It's Better than The Ape.

The heartbreaking story of a man who just didn't know better.

We got to do something...You know what we are gonna do?
Rape and murder party!

This is what Joaquin Phoenix sees when he dreams.

Some fight for power. Some fight for Snuffaluffagus.

Note: Those kids don't look very excited about the race.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Casting the Live-Action DOUG Movie

Wouldn't you agree that it's about time the world gets to see Doug and his buddies live in the flesh? That's why we at He Shot Cyrus decided to list our dream cast for the live-Action Doug movie.

Doug -- Tobey Maguire

Sure, he's in his early thirties but Winona Ryder played characters decades her younger so why couldn't it work here? Plus, there just aren't that many talented puberty-age actors around right now so Tobey's boyish looks are going to have to work. He's proved that he can play the dorky and socially awkward guy in the Spider-Man movies. Someone's gonna have to figure out how to make him look young and bald. Maybe that only works in cartoons...and on babies.

Patti Mayonnaise -- Blake Lively

Blake Lively has starred in movies like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and... The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Electric Boogaloo. Patti was one of the harder roles to cast. Scarlett Johansson didn't seem right. Neither did Joaquin Phoenix, but that wasn't that serious of a suggestion. Lively emanates fun and light-heartedness and seemed like a solid choice.

Skeeter -- Kel Williams

Who else could play Skeeter?
Some things are just meant to be.
I bet Nickelodeon could get him for a good price too.

Roger Klotz -- Ben Foster

I cannot stand Ben Foster. This isn't anything new, anyone who reads HSC at least semi-regularly, is aware of my feelings for Foster. Nothing personal against the guy, it's not like I've ever met him and he refused to autograph my 3:10 to Yuma DVD or anything. There's just something about him that rubs me the wrong way. Ever since his over-the-top performance in Hostage, I've done all I can to avoid his projects...however, he ends up in tons of movies I'm interested in, so I've seen way more Ben Foster movies that I've ever wanted to. That being said, part of the reason he's so unlikable is because he can play a really hateable bad guy. If Roger's supposed to be anything, it's unlikable. Throw a leather jacket on him, dye his hair orange, and just let him act naturally. It's a surefire formula for a great antagonist.

Judy Funnie -- Natalie Portman

This was actually the hardest casting decision. Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt were considered but we eventually decided on Portman because of her Harvard education, her interests in other cultures, and because she's just talented. If anyone can think of someone else to play Doug's older, beatnik sister, let me know.

Mr. Dink -- Jeff Garlin

Surprisingly, this was the very first face to pop in my mind when I saw the picture of Mr. Dink. Doug's eccentric neighbor was often one of the funnier characters on the show and anyone familiar with Garlin knows how hilarious he is. If you haven't watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" before, now is the time. Garlin's really perfect for this role. He's got the build, the unique voice, and the humor. Maybe someone should just make a live-action Mr. Dink movie. Screenwriters, start typing.

So, there it is. The casting for the live-action Doug movie. Any glaring mistakes? Changes you'd make. I'd like to hear your feedback on this one.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm a Marvel...I'm a DC

I don't give a damn about wither of these movies
but this video is really funny.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cinequest 2009

Whitney and I got to cover Cinequest for Film Threat this year.

After a twelve hour drive, with a snowstorm crashing down right behind us, we arrived in San Jose and checked into our hotel. The festival put us up in the Hilton! Shortly after, we met with Don Lewis, our editor (and the man we have to thank for these sweet gigs), picked up our press passes, and nibbled on free brie.

The festival's opening film, Wake, left Whit and I pretty damn underwhelmed and we both hoped it would be the worst movie we'd have to watch this week. And it was. The next seven days were filled with awesome shorts, incredible docs, and a few stand out features that you all really should keep an eye out for. The first is called Billy was a Deaf Kid, a film that follows Archie and Sophie, a dysfunctional couple who spends a day hanging out with Billy, Archie's dead brother. The second was the official Academy Award Foreign Language film selection from Switzerland. The Friend (Der Freund) deals with mourning over the death of a loved one and the lengths one would go to protect a family. This is really an exceptional film that will probably get distribution before long. The third is called Blue Road, a quiet and introspective road movie about relationships and just what it takes to make one work. It takes about twenty minutes to get into the film but once it grabs you, you'll be hooked until the end credits roll.

This was my first year at Cinequest as press but my seventh as a film lover. I gotta tell you, going as press is better. Not only did we get free hotel stay, but we also got free food, free passes into any film we wanted, and the chance to meet numerous filmmakers and even have lunch with Mike, the head programmer, and Kathleen Powell, one of the festival's co-founders. Unfortunately, we were only able to stay through the first half of the festival but Jessica Trainor, the most helpful person in California, is mailing us ten screeners to help us see as many as possible. Whitney and I have been posting our reviews here so go check them out.

So, now that our week of celebrity is over, it's back to real life. This was the best Cinequest yet, for myself, at least. I'll be writing reviews for weeks now but that only means that the dream's come true. Directors are sending us their films hoping to have us write about them! We came home to seven SXSW screeners to add to the pile. Hooray for film festivals!