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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Toy Story 1 and 2 3-D re-release on October 2nd

It was announced last year that on October 2nd, 2009, there would be a 3-D re-release of Toy Story, followed by a re-release of Toy Story 2 in 3-D on February 12, 2010. Well, it was announced today at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas, that both Toy Story films will now have a special two week run as a double bill in 3-D at selected theatres starting October 2nd. This will be leading up to the much anticipated release of Toy Story 3 3-D on June 18, 2010. A trailer for TS3 will likely be seen come Oct. 2nd. Now February 12th, 2010 will likely be seeing the 3-D re-release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

-John C.

Best Picture Winner "Slumdog Millionaire" on DVD Today

WInner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire comes on DVD today. Here is a link to our original theatrical reviews. Our reviews of the DVD will be coming soon.

-John C.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yahoo! Has a New UP Clip Titled “Meet Kevin” (UPDATED to announce a new UP featurette)

THIS JUST IN: Another UP featurette has surfaced. It's called, Discovering a Lost World. You can watch it here on FirstShowing.net. So, what do you think?!? Post a comment below, and let us know!

Today has brought a lot of new UP footage for us to enjoy. Now Yahoo! has an exclusive clip entitled Meet Kevin, where we get an extended meeting with the 13 foot tall jungle bird. Make sure to watch it - it's a real treat!

-Erin V.

Watch it here on Yahoo!, or check it out below.

The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens Book Review

The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens

Text By Linda Sunshine

Foreword By Stephen Colbert

Published By Newmarket Press, March 2009

Page count: 192 pages

Size: 11 x 10

Includes: Text and 400 illustrations



The Art of Monsters vs Aliens Review By John C.

The Art of Monsters vs Aliens is a beautiful reference book that coincides with the new film from Dreamwork's Animation. It is filled with concept and character art, that gives you a sense of how the different characters came to be. Some of it is really funny, especially a lot of Timothy Lamb’s two page spreads, (particularly the one on pages 46-47), Lamb was also the one that does a lot (if not all) of the cool retro-style character posters.

Having not yet seen the film at the time of writing this, I now cannot wait to finally get to see it. If the book is any indication, (which it is), than this film will be spectacular in 3-D, but still great to look at in 2-D.

While the film is entertainment, this book reminds us that it is also art. A fact that will sadly be forgotten by a lot of people when they go see it this weekend.


The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens Book Review By Erin V.

As an artist myself, I find these kinds of artwork books fascinating. Well written and easy to read, The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens is a great look into the making of this movie, as well as the art process for films like this in general.

In this book, we can really see what a challenge Monsters vs. Aliens would have been to create, because the characters are so huge. Along with making sure that the proportions are consistent between the characters, they have to keep them beside something that we recognize the approximate height of, such as a building or regular sized human being. Otherwise, we would have no way of telling just how big they actually are. Reading through the book, you will come to realize just how hard it is to make a movie like this - especially in 3-D. While it may look easy on screen, it is cool to get a little bit of perspective into just how much work is actually involved.

This book is filled with 400 amazing illustrations ranging from concept art to storyboards, and is divided into an introduction + five parts for ease of reference. (Character Design, Locations, Special F/X, The Making of Monsters vs. Aliens, and Out of the Picture.) The foreword which opens the book is written by Stephen Colbert, who voices the President of the United States in the movie. Very informative, this is a great tie-in to the movie. It must have been a hard task to assemble all of the interviews and text together, and decide what went in the book and what didn’t. While I have not read the whole book cover to cover as of yet, I can tell you right now that it is definitely worth adding to your collection.


You can read our interview with author Linda Sunshine here, and find out more about The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens on Newmarket Press's website here.

Quick note: Our reviews of the film will be coming soon...

Thoughts on the “Where the Wild Things Are” Trailer

I didn’t want to post this right away, but by now a lot of people have probably watched the trailer for Spike Jonze’s upcoming book adaptation. Well, here are my thoughts. What we have on our hands is one of the greatest first-trailers for a film in quite some time. The more I watch the trailer, it’s use of music and visuals make me anticipate this film more and more. The film will be powerful, emotional and moving, as well as action-packed and exciting. But more importantly a book that a lot of people, myself included, grew up reading, will finally be adapted for the big screen. I have been anticipating this film for quite some time and could have only hoped it would be this good. I cannot wait for October 16th.

-John C.

New "Up" Clip and Featurette

MSN movies hosts a brand new 2 minute, 19 second clip of Disney•Pixar’s forthcoming film Up. It is an extended scene from the trailer. It is titled Need Any Assistance? and ties into a previously released clip. Disney.com hosts on their home page a brand-new featurette about Pixar’s first three-dimensional film. Up is Pixar's 10th film, it opens in theatres May 29th.

-John C.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interview with The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens Author Linda Sunshine

When did you find out that you were going to be working on this project? (Monster vs. Aliens) In the summer of 2008.

How much time are you given to put the book together? About 6 months.

Did you have access to all of the concept art for the film? How did you decide what pieces to include in the book? The staff at Dreamworks assembled the first rough cut of concept art, which I think was about 3,000 pieces. Our job was to cut that down to about 400.

Were you given a list of people to speak to, (e.g. directors, animators, storyboard artists, etc.)? Did you have to - or get to - choose who to speak to? Yes, the producer and production designer on the movie put together a list of about a dozen key people for me to interview. After I interviewed those folks, and knew what I wanted to cover, I asked to speak to about 10 others in specialty fields.

What was it like to talk to so many people involved, and how do you put it all together into the book? I begin with extensive interviews with the people who have the most creative control over the movie so that I can establish the main attributes, challenges, and areas of interest that might be included in the book. My job is to focus on the particulars that make this movie different from others that have come before. Once I know what really distinguished the movie, I can put together a rough outline of the main topics the book will cover.

These interviews are the most fun part of the book writing process for me. I love talking with creative people who are passionate about their work; to learn how they became interested in their particular field and how they solved the challenges presented to them. Personally, I am fascinated by people who are passionate and committed to their work, no matter what they may do.

When you first started working on The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens, had you seen any footage from the film, (e.g. animated story reels)? There was about 10 minutes of completed (meaning 3-D) film of 2 major scenes in the movie and I was able to view these on a big screen (with polarized glasses) very early in my research.

Have you seen the finished film yet? Yes. I attended a screening last week in Burbank on a Saturday morning. The theater was packed, about half adults and half kids. The movie played brilliantly. The kids were quiet and attentive, except when they were gasping with surprise because of the 3-D effects or howling with laughter. It could not have had a better reception as far as I could see.

From the beginning when you started going through all of the artwork, did one character really stand out for you? Would this now be your favorite character, and if so, why? There are 5 main monsters and one amazing alien (with thousands of alien clones.) All of them were interesting and engaging but since Susan AKA Ginormica is the central character in the movie (and the only “human” monster), she was definitely my favorite.

How is it to see something that you first met through concept art, up on the big screen? [If you’ve seen the finished film], does meet your expectations? The finished film more than met my expectations. It transcends being a “kids” movie with tons of references to more mature concepts like satirizing monster movies from the 50s, references to movies such as Dr. Strangelove and political asides about a somewhat nutty and incompetent president who can’t tell the difference between the button for a cup of latte and the button for an atomic device.

How do you feel The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens compares to other film related books you have worked on? Every new animated film seems to override anything that came before it. The technology changes so rapidly that each new advancement seems to push the entertainment and enjoyment factor just that much further. Monsters vs. Aliens contains special effects elements that have never been seen before.

I noticed that you’ve written a lot of books on Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of OZ. Do you have a favorite children’s book / film? As a child of the 60s I have to ask: Can anything compare to The Wizard of OZ? I saw it in the movie theater when I was 6 years old and I’ve never been so thrilled by anything before or since. That moment when the film transfers from black and white to color was a high point of my childhood. Though the technology advances, it is always those “first time” experiences of our childhood that stay with us forever.

Are there any upcoming projects that you can tell us about? Not yet. Ask me again this summer!


One Movie, Five Views thanks Linda Sunshine for taking the time to answer our questions, and Harry Burton at Newmarket Press for setting everything up.

To read more about The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens visit the page on Newmarket Press's website here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trailer Watch: Where the Wild Things Are

You can now watch the trailer for Spike Jonze’s much anticipated adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic childrens book Where the Wild Things Are. The film will open October 16th, 2009. Here is a link to the trailer on Apple Movie Trailers.

-John C.

Interview With Composer John Debney - Hannah Montana The Movie

By E. Corrado

How did you find out you were going to be scoring the new ‘Hannah Montana’ movie? Well, it was a surprise. There was another composer originally on the project, but they had to go work another film. So I got a call from my friends at Disney to see if I would be available. I have a niece who loves Hannah Montana, so it was nice to do this project.

What was it like writing the score for a movie that is very much song/music driven? It was fantastic - they are already really well written songs. There is a song called Butterfly Fly Away written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri that I wrote the orchestral arrangement for. Essentially, they wanted me to write the score and arrange the songs.

You have a very diverse list of projects that you’ve worked on. How does working on something like this compare? Well it was not as difficult as some really long projects. I didn't really have a lot of underscore to write. There was actually only about 20 min. of score and then 15-18 minutes of arranging the songs for the movie. It was really not as bad as some of the bigger more comedic scores I have done.

I know that you have done very different movies like The Passion of The Christ for example. How does doing a movie so completely different like this compare? Well they are completely different. Here we’re dealing with Hannah Montana which is kind of the other end of the spectrum. I really had to make her come through in her own way. The character that Miley plays has a really strong fan base. Everyone seems to be pleased though, and I couldn't be more pleased. A lot of family and friends who see this film say it is even a lot better than it needs to be.

What drew you to music, and when did you know that you wanted to be a film composer? Really, I didn’t have any concrete plans until college. I was a music major and I wanted to do something probably in composing, but really gearing towards film and music.

Is it still just as fun a career now? It’s fun and challenging. I think having a career 20 years later is lucky. I am glad that I am still able to work on it consistently and it’s something that I enjoy doing.

Where did you study music? I got my degree at CalArts, which is the California Institute of the Arts. They have a really nice music program there.

What instruments do you play? Well, I have played instruments since like 4 years old. I’ve been in a lot of bands and stuff, and it’s mostly guitar and piano, but I also play cello and sax.

Do you work with a computer a lot while composing? Definitely - all the time. I write at the computer, since I have all of the sounds at my disposal. I create ‘mock-ups’ which are a synthesized version of the orchestra. On the computer, I use a great program called Digital Performer. I also use Pro Tools, and then I have this myriad of synthesizers and keyboards that I use.

Was this particular score recorded Analog, or Digitally? Is this the same as other scores you’ve worked on? Digital. [While some still use it], Analog has kind of fell by the wayside. We usually record at 96 k which is very high quality. Some Record people still record Analog because they love a lot of the sounds of it.

Digital must be easier to edit though... Definitely.

Looking back at this project and other ones you’ve worked on, do you ever feel like you could have done parts of them differently? Absolutely. There's probably something in every project. You’re always trying to give your best, but with a little hindsight there, sometimes you see things differently. Artists in general should always be striving to do it better.

What was your favorite movie to write music for, and why? That’s a hard one... There are a few. Definitely The Passion of The Christ is one of them, and then there are ones like Elf - that movie always makes me smile, - a movie called Hocus Pocus which was kind of the first film that I did a score for, and one called Cutthroat Island which wasn’t very successful, but everyone seems to remember it for it’s music.

What kinds of projects would you want to work on in the future? I would love to do a bit more dramatic films then I’ve been doing. Right now, there seem to be a lot of kid friendly movies, and they are a lot of fun. There was Hotel for Dogs about a few months ago, which started out as a little teeny movie that has now done very well, and now Hannah Montana.

What was your favorite part of doing the music for ‘Hannah Montana’? I think adding elements to the songs was really fun - I don't get to do that as much as I would like. I really love adding to them and doing different arrangements.

Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects that you are working on? There’s a film called A Thousand Words, which is a sort of comedy/drama with Eddie Murphy, a Disney one called Old Dogs with John Travolta and Robin Williams, and a Fox one called They Came From Upstairs which is kind of a Gremlins-type movie with kids and aliens and stuff like that.

Is there anything else you would like to add today? No, you’ve asked some great questions that cover just about everything.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with One Movie, Five Views. Thank you.

One Movie, Five Views thanks John Debney for this interview. For more information, you can visit his website at: www.johndebney.com

First Four ‘Clone Wars’ Episodes Now on DVD+Review of Soundtrack

The first four episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, (‘Ambush’, ‘Rising Malevolence’, ‘Shadow of Malevolence’, and ‘Destroy Malevolence’), are now available on DVD. The disc is called Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided. A full season one box set with extras should be available later on. To coincide with the DVD release, here is my review of the soundtrack from the movie below:

Review of Kevin Kiner’s Score for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

By E. Corrado

Kevin Kiner’s score for Star Wars: The Clone Wars manages to keep the feel of the music by John Williams of the original Star Wars movies, yet all the music still has a new unique stamp on things.

John Williams’ Star Wars Main Theme is woven into this well put together tapestry of adventure, modern rock styles and world music. As Kevin Kiner said in our interview with him back in November, (here), George Lucas had wanted every planet to have it’s own feel, e.g. an African sounding planet, or an Egyptian sounding planet, etc.. His research into the different kinds of world music is evident here.

In track five of the Official Movie Soundtrack, ‘Obi-Wan To The Rescue’, you can here the electric guitar rock sounds, yet they still allow the orchestra to keep in charge of things. Contrast this with track seven, ‘Jabba’s Palace’, and you can clearly hear the musical contrasts in the score. Many of the battle sequences sound very classically action/suspense/sci-fi, all the while fitting in seamlessly with the rest of the score. Track 21, ‘Scaling The Cliff’ reminded me of Back To The Future - just the notes at the beginning of the track...

Kevin Kiner was nominated at the 36th annual Annie Awards for his score for the second episode of the TV show, ‘Star Wars The Clone Wars: Rising Malevolence’. While he did not win this nomination, he was up against very strong competition in Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell’s score for The Secrets of the Furious Five, which took home the award.

I think this score, for both the movie and TV series, has succeeded in keeping with the original Star Wars styles, yet bringing in new flavours of sounds. Whether or not you like this animated version of the Star Wars world, this CD is worth picking up if you see it. The music is very good and entertaining. Also, the tracks all flow together quite nicely, considering that this has a very large amount of the score from the movie. The movie is approximately 1 hour, 38 minutes long, and this CD has a running time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 23 seconds. Some of the tracks seem to flow right from one to the next, as though they were together in the movie, but just divided into two seperate tracks here. It’s a nice action score that’s fun and easy to listen to.

The Star Wars: The Clone Wars soundtrack was released August 12th, 2008 in stores, and August 16th, 2008 on iTunes.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bolt DVD Review



On DVD: March 22nd, 2009

Rated PG for some mild action and peril.

Running time: 96 minutes

Link to our theatrical Bolt reviews.

Byron Howard (dir.)

Chris Williams (dir.)

John Travolta as Bolt (voice)

Miley Cyrus as Penny (voice)

Susie Essman as Mittens (voice)

Mark Walton as Rhino (voice)

Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Calico (voice)

James Lipton as The Director (voice)

Greg Germann as The Agent (voice)

Diedrich Bader as Veteran Cat (voice)

Bolt, (voice of John Travolta), Mittens, (voice of Susie Essman), and Rhino, (voice of Mark Walton), in Disney's Bolt.

Our reviews below:


Bolt DVD Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

Bolt, my own personal pick for the very best dog movie in recent years, comes home on DVD today. Following the adventures of a dog, Bolt (John Travolta), who is the star of a TV show, where he plays a super dog who always has to save his person, Penny (Miley Cyrus), from grave-danger. The only problem is, he thinks he really has superpowers. So when he gets lost from the set after filming a cliffhanger episode, he sets out on an hilarious and exciting road trip to get back to his person.

Filled with funny and lovable characters, including a street-smart New York alley cat, Mittens (Susie Essman), and fan boy hamster, Rhino (Mark Walton). The pigeons with accents from whatever city they are in are always hilarious. When I reviewed the film back in November, I called it almost at the level of Pixar, while watching it again, I realized it pretty much is on the same level. Pixar is still slightly ahead in terms of realism in the animation, but Bolt is practically on the same level in terms of story and heart. The action scenes are exciting, the comedy is funny and the characters are very likable and believable for who they are. In theatres the film was in 3-D, but due to the technology for 3-D at home still being expensive and not quite up to what it should be, Bolt is just in plain old 2-D. The animation still has incredible depth to it, so the 3-D was never integral, but just a nice extra element when it was there, but when it’s not, you don’t really miss anything.

Bolt is available in three different formats. The one-disc DVD includes the brand new short film, Super Rhino. The two-disc DVD includes Super Rhino, “I Thought I Lost You” music video, In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers’ Journey, Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt, Creating The World of Bolt, Deleted Scenes with optional introductions and a digital copy of the film. There is also a three-disc blu-ray combo pack, which basically includes everything on the two-disc DVD set, plus a blu-ray of the film that includes all of the DVDs bonus features and more. If you have a blu-ray player, or are going to be getting one in the near future, then the three-disc is most worth your money. If you don’t really care how you see the film, and don’t mind missing out on all the bonus features, then either DVD edition would be fine.


Bolt DVD Review By Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

I enjoyed Bolt just as much the second time around on DVD. Originally seeing it in Real D 3D was cool, and watching it again let me remember that experience which was so fun in theatres. Last year was great for animation. The three big animated movies nominated at the Oscars were all stellar, (Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and WALL•E). I would have been happy had any of them won, (although I am glad that WALL•E won in the end.) Kung Fu Panda got the Annie last year, which meant that Bolt was the one of the three left largely unrecognized for awards last year. It’s still a really good movie, and now that it’s out on DVD, you should really add it to your collection.

The Bolt DVD has about 40 minutes, or so, of great special features. I enjoyed the ‘making of’ videos, and the funny new short ‘Super Rhino’. The DVD/Blu-ray combo pack is worth getting, since once you do make the switch to Blu, (if you haven’t already), you have both. This deal also comes with a digital copy for your iPod. One of the advantages of this set is that even if you’re still waiting to be able to view your Blu-ray, you still get the above mentioned 40 minutes of extras on the regular DVD. Granted, the Blu-ray has a lot more.

For a lot of fun, go out and get the Bolt DVD. This is one that you will probably want to view again and again.


Bolt DVD Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

After seeing Bolt again, I realize this is actually a 4 star movie, not 31/2 like I had originally rated it. Seeing Bolt again on the small screen was just as exciting as when I first saw it in theatres. The story, animation, voice work, and score are some of the best in Disney history.

The extras on the DVD are excellent. The short film “Super Rhino”, is really funny and cute. There is also a music video with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus, which splices scenes from the recording studio, and images from the film. The making of featurettes are really interesting. I really enjoyed the featurette on how the animation backgrounds were done. I really liked how the animators wanted the backgrounds to look like a painting. To see how this was achieved was interesting to me as an artist. I also liked the featurette about the directors, and the one about the voice actors. I like how all the voice actors fit the characters in the movie. I would have liked to see a featurette about the score on the DVD. There are also two deleted scenes, which show some of the early plans for the story. This is one DVD you will definitely want to own.


Bolt DVD Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Having originally seen Bolt in 3D at a theatre I wasn’t sure the movie would be as enjoyable on DVD with a smaller screen and 2D. Well the DVD didn’t disappoint. The animation is so well done with a lot of depth in the scenes that Bolt is still one of the better animated movies that I’ve seen.

Bolt’s storyline, the action, the voice acting by John Travolta and Miley Cyrus and the excellent animation all add up to a really fun movie. What I like about seeing a movie again on DVD is catching some of the lines and humour I missed the first time in theatres.

This is one DVD that belongs in a family collection. There are a lot of extras on the DVD and it’s nice having the DVD/BluRay combo for those households that are in the process of switching over or adding on BluRay. Treat the family and bring Bolt home.


Bolt DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Read original theatrical Bolt review here.

The BluRay release includes a DVD for folks like us who don’t yet have a BluRay player. Though the BluRay disc has some extra material, the DVD has all the features you would expect. It is fun to hear from the two young directors carrying on the Disney animation tradition with their mentor John Lasseter. We also meet the main voice actors and can watch how their voices are used in their scenes. There is also a short with the hamster Rhino as the hero–in the same vein as the internet Mater shorts from Cars.


Consensus: Bolt is still a very entertaining movie on DVD. This will be a must add to your collection that you will want to watch for years to come. ***1/2 (Out of 4)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Twilight DVD Review



On DVD: March 21st, 2009

Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sexuality.

Running time: 122 minutes

Catherine Hardwicke (dir.)

Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen

Billy Burke as Charlie Swan

Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen

Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale

Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale

Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen

Peter Facinelli as Dr. Carlisle Cullen

Cam Gigandet as James

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black

Anna Kenfrick as Jessica Stanley

Michael Welch as Mike Newton

Christian Serratos as Angela Weber

Gil Birmingham as Billy Black

Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen

Edi Gathegi as Laurent

Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria

Bonus Features: Disc one includes commentary by director Catherine Hardwick, and stars Kristan Stewart and Robert Pattinson, extended scenes and three music videos. Disc two includes an extensive seven part making-of documentary, deleted scenes, trailers and clips, and a look at the film from comic-con.


Twilight DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Last year’s surprising smash hit film adaptation of Twilight finally arrives on DVD today. Having not read the books, only hearing about them, I did not find watching the movie confusing, unlike with some other book adaptations. I don’t really need to tell you what it’s about, because you probably already know the story of forbidden love in Forks, Washington between deer-eating vegetarian vampire Edward Cullen, (Robert Pattinson), and mortal girl Bella Swan, (Kristan Stewart).

I know I am not the audience that is into Twilight, but the audiences that are, will likely be overjoyed to see the book come to life and be even happier to now have the film in their collections. It is actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I never thought I would be saying this, but I am actually mildly recommending Twilight, and not just for its intended audience. The film was interesting enough to keep me watching and better yet, it kept me awake. The only big problems with Twilight is that in adapting an insanely popular bestseller, the effort comes off as slightly pedestrian. While they could have made a spectacular looking film, they chose to go with more cheesy and campy special effects. It is also about twenty to thirty minutes too long. So, I am giving it a strong rating of 2 1/2 stars, but just one notch below three.

If you are a Twilight fan then you should get the two disc edition, to keep on your shelf beside your multiple copies of the Twilight books and the soundtracks for the movie.

The two-disc set comes packed with bonus features, that would make any Twilight fan want to rush out and get it. Disc one includes commentary by director Catherine Hardwick, and stars Kristan Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It also includes extended scenes and three music videos. Disc two includes an extensive seven part making-of documentary, deleted scenes, trailers and clips that were used to promote the movie theatrically and a video showing a bunch of screaming and obsessed fans at comic-con. People say the guys dressed up as the Watchmen are crazy. Well, this video shows the female counterpart of comic-con, when they aren’t just the guys girlfriends who are dressed up as a super heroes closest female companion. Twilight is an important staple in pop-culture and it’s footage like this that makes us realize just how popular it really is.

So my verdict is go out and buy the set if you are a fan, and if you just want to see what all the hype is about, then rent the film. Who knows, you might like it.


Twilight DVD Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

This is the movie adaptation of the book by the same name, Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. Fans of the book series, will most definitely want to see, (if they haven’t already), and will most likely enjoy, this movie version.

It follows the beginning of the forbidden love story between Bella Swan, (Kristen Stewart), and Edward Cullen, (Robert Pattinson). The fact that she’s a mortal, and he’s a vampire, (who controls his urges and feast only on deer), makes their relationship difficult at times. Needless to say, this is a love story, and a fairly good one at that. This being said, there are also some action and suspense scenes in here as well, regarding the evil vampires, who do not control their urges, and prefer people to deer. The special effects are not the best that they could have been, and seem like they belong more in a movie from 15-20 years ago. Also, they seem to like to show them off. i.e., Edward can move around really fast, so that he is just a motion blur. We see him get out of his side of the car and zip around to the other side to open Bella’s door. He moves around really fast in places where it seems unnecessary, like this...

I actually liked this movie more than I had thought I would. I haven’t read the books, and did not see this in theatres. Reluctant even to check it out on DVD, I am glad that I did. It is a fair movie, that while a bit long in parts, (I found), was entertaining enough, and had some rather nice moments in it. I also checked out some of the extras on the DVD, and there are a lot, especially on the two-disc edition, which will make fans very, very happy.

Overall, this movie belongs in the collection of any fan, and others will probably want to rent it at least, even if just to see what all of the hype is about. It will probably be remembered as a part of pop-culture for years to come.


Twilight DVD Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the book of the same name, Twilight is a fable about chastity. The story follows Bella, a lonely 17 year old girl who moves from her mom’s place to live with her dad in Forks, Washington, (which is a real place). She has to go to a new school, and there she meets Edward, a mysterious boy with a secret. He is a vampire, but not the kind that eats people. He and his family are “vegetarians”, meaning they only eat deer. (This is not graphically depicted.) The aboriginal people know about the vampires however, and one boy, Jacob, tries to warn Bella about Edward. Bella trusts Edward. She likes his cougar-like superpowers, such as running fast, climbing trees, and being able to appear as if out of nowhere. However, Edward has to be able to control his animalistic instincts around Bella, because he finds she smells like lunch. In the end though, Edward finds the strength in him to protect Bella.

The romance between Bella and Edward is touching. My favorite scene is when Edward is playing the piano for Bella, (Robert Pattinson is a musician and composer, as well as an actor). The song he is playing is both beautiful, haunting, and mysterious, which fits Edward’s slightly disturbed, but very likable character well.

The special effects in this movie could have been done a lot better. However, the scenery in the temperate rainforest is beautiful, and makes one appreciate and want to conserve this unique ecosystem. I also really liked the storyline surrounding the native people, as I am a fan of native legends.

The extras on this DVD are plenty. The first disc contains extended scenes, audio commentary by director Catherine Hardwicke, Kristin Stewart, and Robert Pattinson, and three music videos. The second disc contains a seven part making of documentary, deleted scenes, a behind the scenes pass to the Comic Con convention, and more. Fans of Twilight will not be disappointed, and should buy this DVD.


Twilight DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Twilight DVD will please fans of the vampire romance books by Stephanie Meyer and film fans alike. The story of a forbidden love between human Bella Swan, (Kristin Stewart), and vampire Edward Cullen, (Robert Pattinson), is surprisingly romantic. Perhaps it’s because we’re no longer used to seeing a chaste romance and old fashioned courtship between young lovers on the screen anymore. My favorite scene in the movie is when Edward is playing a white grand piano for Bella in his home. The piece he plays is beautiful and the whole scene very romantic and sensual.

The darker side of the film has to do with the evil, ‘non-vegetarian’ vampires who kill people and set their sights on Bella. The scenes where Bella is being attacked are violent and not for the under 13 crowd. Parents need to take note of the PG-13 rating no matter how cute their under 13 daughters think Edward is.

The special effects in this film could have been a whole lot better. The acting was fine but the real star of this film for me was the music score, in particular the piece Edward plays for Bella.

I’m usually not a fan of anything to do with the subject of vampires. However, I found this film to be quite watchable, though a little too long at 122 minutes. Fans of Twilight will want to own this DVD so they can watch Bella and Edward over and over again. The two disc set is full of extras that are well worth the price of the DVD. This is definitely worth adding to your collection if you are a Twilight fan.


Twilight DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

As we observed in the crowds lining up for the theatrical release, the target audience for Twilight is almost exclusively teen girls. They will be thrilled with the treatment of Stephanie (sic) Meyer’s book by screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and director Catherine Hardwicke, with an attractive cast and a crew dominated by women and evocative soundtrack featuring original music by Carter Burwell and some good songs including one by the male lead, Robert Pattinson.

Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart) has been living with her mother in Phoenix AZ since she was little. Her mother has remarried and is moving to Jacksonville FL, so Bella goes to live with her father in Forks WA which is in the misty temperate rainforest of Olympic National Park. Despite warnings by her classmates and native friends, Bella is strangely drawn to Edward Cullen (Pattinson). The Cullens are vampires who, despite their taste for human blood, have chosen to prey on wildlife (compared to vegetarians who replace steak with tofu). As if from a planet with much stronger gravity (like in the original Superman comics), they can run up trees and jump really high and far. Like X-mutants, they each have unique special powers. Edward can read minds and zip around like Dash of The Incredibles. Unfortunately, there are other vampires in the area who have murdered people. When one of these gets a craving for Bella, the Cullens have to protect her.

Wary of the incredible hype and oblivious to most of the gothic vampire lore of recent years, we were not expecting much from this film. In fact, it is not bad. The cast is pretty good and though essentially cheesy the story builds with enough suspense to keep up interest to the end. As a bonus–despite their mutual attraction, Edward’s fear of getting too close to Bella lest he eat her makes their relationship chaste enough to appeal to social conservatives. With muted colors that reflect the overcast climate and pallor of the undead, the film is very pretty to look at, not only for the scenery but also most of the cast, particularly the Cullens, who seem to have just stepped off a fashion runway.

There is a lot of extra material on the DVD that we have not had a chance to check out. There is running commentary by the director and two leads, some extended and deleted scenes, some music videos and trailers, and lots of documentary material on the making of the film. There is also some cringe-inducing Comic-Con [comic convention] footage, where the writer, director, and much of the cast played down to the screaming crowd.


Consensus: The Twilight DVD will be an essential addition to any fan’s collection - especially the two-disc. For others, this movie is worth checking out. It is entertaining enough to be worth the watch. **1/2 (Out of 4)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trailer Watch: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

You can now watch a trailer online for Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming 3-D CGI comedy Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It is based upon a children's book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett. You can watch the trailer in in different formats, including 1080p HD on Yahoo! here.

-John C.

Disney Pixar’s “Up” will open the 62nd Cannes Film Festival

The 3-D animated adventure will open this years Cannes film fest on May 13. This is the first time an animated film has opened the fest, and is a return to lighter fare, after last years fest opener, Blindness. Regular audience’s can see Up when it opens

in theatres on May 29th.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the official press release.

-John C.

Natasha Richardson (1963-2009)

Aclaimed actress Natasha Richardson died on Wednesday night, due to a head injury that she received while skiing in Quebec. She was 45. She will be missed by many, including her husband Liam Neeson and their two sons. May she rest in peace.

-John C.

Natasha Richardson on IMDb

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

To everyone reading this, we hope you find a fun way to celebrate this special day!

Elegy DVD Review

On DVD: March 17th, 2009

Rated Canada 14A for sexual content and nudity

Running time: 115 minutes

Isabel Coixet (dir.)

Penélope Cruz as Consuela Castillo

Ben Kingsley as David Kepesh

Peter Sarsgaard as Kenneth Kepesh

Patricia Clarkson as Carolyn

Dennis Hopper as George O'Hearn

Antonio Cupo as Consuela's imagined lover

Deborah Harry as Amy O'Hearn

Kris Pope as Consuela's Brother


Elegy Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Elegy is the tale of English professor David Kepesh, (Ben Kingsley), who is in his 60’s, but likes woman about half his age. But ever since they stuck up the phone number for the sexual harassment hotline across from his office, he no longer sleeps with his students while teaching them, but when classes finish, he throws a huge graduation party at his place. In hopes that at least one young woman will stay behind in his bedroom. This time is different because Consuela Castillo, (Penélope Cruz), didn’t just stay that one night, she came back for more. They are both very intelligent and share a love for art. Which would make them a perfect match, if they had their age in common.

I did not see one sunny day in this movie. The film takes place over at least two years in New York. I imagine that the sun would come out at least once over two years while you live in New York. But then it struck me. How can the sun shine in New York when you’re only filming for a couple of weeks in Vancouver, presumably in the fall?

While the acting in the film is excellent, the musical score is pleasant, and some of it is well shot, it at times, gets kind of boring. While the film should have only been around 95 minutes, it goes on for nearly 2 hours, over staying it’s welcome by about 20 minutes. This is by no means a bad film, and is actually mildly worth seeing. But it’s also not a great film. So I am giving it a mild three stars, but just a notch above 2 1/2. I would say it’s worth a rental, but not really something that needs to be in your permanent collection.

I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I never thought I would see a topless Penélope Cruz and the Easter Bunny in the same movie. That’s right, Folks! The EASTER BUNNY is in this movie. Watch for his cameo within the first half-hour.

The DVD includes the films theatrical trailer, and a seven-minute featurette entitled The Poetry of Elegy.


Elegy Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

Elegy tells the story of David Kepesh, (Ben Kingsley), a university professor, who seems to always fall for women his students ages - and he is around 60. One becomes very special to him - Consuela Castillo, (Penélope Cruz), who shares his love and fascination for art and music. To David, she is, as he puts it, “a work of art herself.” Unfortunately, she really is too young for him, which makes the relationship hard to sustain.

The movie is built around their relationship, and is interesting enough to check out, but could have been way better. This was a well-enough made film, although I found that it kind of dragged on a little bit too long. The acting was good, and the musical score in the background was quite nice to listen to, so I really liked that aspect of the film. I would recommend checking this one out on DVD if you’re interested, although you could probably rent it to do so.

The DVD also includes the film’s trailer, as well as a seven minute featurette.


Elegy Review By Nicole

???? (out of 4)



Elegy Review By Maureen

???? (out of 4)



Elegy Review By Tony

???? (out of 4)



Consensus: Elegy is well acted, and the music is nice to listen to in the film. It does drag at times though, but would be worth at least a rental. *** (Out of 4)

Friday, March 13, 2009

New UPisode on Apple Trailers

Apple Trailers now has the second UPisode entitled First Aid.

Watch it here, along with the previous UPisode titled Animal Calling. You can also see both teaser trailers, and the trailer that we reported on last week.

Update - (March 15th): Two new stills from UP have surfaced in the last few days. Thanks to Pixar Planet/Upcoming Pixar, (see here, and here).

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

This Month’s Overlooked Film

Chosen by: John C.

Saint Ralph

Release Date April 8 2005

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity

Running Time: 98 min.

Michael McGowan (dir.)

Adam Butcher as Ralph Walker

Campbell Scott as Father George Hibbert

Gordon Pinsent as Father Fitzpatrick

Jennifer Tilly as Nurse Alice

Shauna MacDonald as Emma Walker


Saint Ralph

Review By John C.

Saint Ralph is the story of a kid who dreams big. Ralph Walker is a 15 year-old boy growing up in Hamilton, ON in 1954. He is not an orphan, but his mother has been in a coma for quite some time, and his father has died. He dreams of running and winning the Boston marathon, because it would be a miracle if he wins, and a miracle is what his mother would need to wake up. The acting by the mostly Canadian cast is excellent, and it is interesting to hear the music of composer Andrew Lockington before he became more known for scoring films like Journey to the Center of the Earth and City of Ember.

It would be worth checking out this great little film before you go see One Week, director Michael McGowan’s latest film, which opened last Friday.

Is there a film that you think is overlooked? Drop us a comment below, or send us the name of the movie to onemoviefiveviews@hotmail.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Partly Cloudy; Where do babies come from? UPDATE

UPDATE: Mac has been able to enlarge the above picture from 468 x 196 to 1920 x 804, without loosing much quality. The pixillation on the enlarged image is very minimal, so click on the above image to see it full size! (If the link doesn't work for you, please drop a comment below, I will sort it out.)

PIXAR’s newest short film is called Partly Cloudy. The short will accompany UP, opening this May 29th, 2009, and is directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Kevin Reher.

Official Synopsis:

“Everyone knows that the stork delivers babies, but where do the storks get the babies from? The answer lies up in the stratosphere, where cloud people sculpt babies from clouds and bring them to life. Gus, a lonely and insecure grey cloud, is a master at creating ‘dangerous’ babies. Crocodiles, porcupines, rams and more—Gus’s beloved creations are works of art, but more than a handful for his loyal delivery stork partner, Peck. As Gus’s creations become more and more rambunctious, Peck’s job gets harder and harder. How will Peck manage to handle both his hazardous cargo and his friend’s fiery temperament?”

Thanks to Upcoming Pixar, and AWN for the synopsis, and picture!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Role Models DVD Review

ROLE MODELS - A Universal Films Release


On DVD: March 10th, 2009

Rated Canada 14A for coarse language, nudity, and sexual content.

Running time: 139 minutes; (unrated version: 142 minutes).

David Wain (dir.)

Seann William Scott as Wheeler

Paul Rudd as Danny Donahue

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Augie Farks

Bobb’e J. Thompson as Ronnie Shields

Elizabeth Banks as Beth

Jane Lynch as Gayle Sweeny

Ken Jeong as King Argotron

Ken Marino as Jim Stansel

Kerri Kenney as Lynette (as Kerri Kenney Silver)

A.D. Miles as Martin Gary

Joe Lo Truglio as Kuzzik

Matt Walsh as Davith of Glencraken

Nicole Randall Johnson as Karen

Alexandra Stamler as Esplen (as Allie Stamler)

Carly Craigg as Connie

Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes & Alternate Takes, Bloopers, In Character & Off Script (Hysterical improvised moments with the cast), On The Set of Role Models, Feature Commentary with director David Wain, And More!


Role Models Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Danny and Wheeler, (Paul Rudd and Seann William-Scott), are spokesman for Minotaur, who go around in their “Minotaur mobile”, with Wheeler in a Minotaur suit, selling it to elementary school kids, with the tagline “don’t do drugs, do Minotaur!”. When they are arrested for crashing their truck on school property, they either go to jail, or spend 150 hours with the mentorship program Sturdy Wings. Well, they choose Sturdy Wings, even though at times they feel like they should have chosen prison. Danny gets paired up with Augie, (Christopher Mintz Plasse), a lonely 15 year-old who is perpetually stuck in the world of LAIRE, a fantasy role-playing game. Wheeler gets paired with Ronnie, (Bobb’e J. Thompson), a ten year-old who, at times, can swear better than someone twice his age. Role Models is is fun and hilarious, and the last bit of it which takes place at the battle royale in the world of LAIRE, is in a way brilliant. It is a large scale battle scene done with fake swords, and over the top, acted out deaths. It is strange and hilarious, mainly because all the characters take it so seriously.

Paul Rudd is, as usual, wonderfully understated in his role. Delivering a sarcastic line and making it hilarious. Even when his character is angry, he’s still likable. Seann William-Scott is rude and hilarious. The two young actors both deliver great performances, creating hilarious, original and memorable characters. Jane Lynch as Gayle Sweeney, the director of Sturdy Wings, delivers another hilarious and brilliant performance. Elezibeth Banks is also good playing Danny’s girlfriend. This is the sixth film she was in in 2008. Role Models is an hilarious feel-good comedy, and I urge you to go and watch it.

The DVD of Role Models, includes approximately 55 minutes of special features, over twenty minutes of which is deleted scenes. It also includes bloopers, in character & off script, (which are funny improvised bits with some of the characters), on the set of Role Models featurette, feature commentary with director David Wain, and a featurette on LAIRE.


Role Models Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

I really enjoyed Role Models. Parts of it were quite rude, but I am glad that it was able to come above and beyond it’s sort of tough exterior, and have a nice heart underneath.

The story follows Danny, (Paul Rudd), and Wheeler, (Seann William Scott), two guys working for a company that sells the energy drink ‘Minotaur’. Their job involves selling the drink to schools under the slogan, ‘Don’t do drugs - Drink Minotaur!’, with Wheeler dressed up in a giant Minotaur suit, while Danny does the spiel for the drink. Danny drives the Minotaur truck, which in an attempt to prevent it from being towed from a ‘no-parking’ zone, ends with both Danny and Wheeler facing either 30 days jail-time, or 150 hours of community service. Choosing community service, they are ordered by the judge to go to ‘Sturdy Wings’ for their hours, (his favorite charity for various reasons...), where they will be ‘Bigs’ for a couple of ‘Littles’. Danny’s ‘Little’ is named Augie, (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who plays L.A.I.R.E., a fantasy role-playing game in the local park, and Wheeler’s ‘Little’ is Ronnie, (Bobb’e J. Thompson), who runs off a gutter mouth, and can’t stop focusing his eyes where they shouldn’t be.

Oddly, they actually turn out to be good fits for the kids, each being able to sympathize with why they act the way they do. At first wanting to just get their hours over with, they end up actually liking the community service that they were initially forced to do. Definitely, my favorite part of the movie was the last half when everything is leading up to the L.A.I.R.E. ‘Battle Royale.’ The role-playing game is great to watch, as many of the players take their parts so seriously, all the while acting like strange knights, creatures, etc. from medieval times.

This movie is worth buying. It is the kind of movie that I would watch again, as it is a lot of fun. Like I said, while rude, it’s focus becomes something more towards the end, and that makes it stand out from other comedies in my opinion. I saw all of the special features on the disc, and I am glad that some of the deleted scenes were cut. I think I would have given it a lower rating had they been kept in there. The other features, particularly about Sturdy Wings, or L.A.I.R.E., were quite funny and entertaining. There are enough good extras on the disc to make it worth it.


Role Models Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

When I first heard of Role Models, I did not know what to expect. But when I finally saw the movie on DVD, I realized how funny it actually is. The movie follows Danny and Wheeler, two average 30 something guys whose job is to sell Minotaur, (an energy drink), to kids in school. Their job is pretty straight forward; Danny drives the Minotaur truck, and gives the presentations, while Wheeler dresses up as a minotaur mascot. Danny hates his job, and things get even worse when Danny breaks up with his longtime girlfriend, Beth. Danny’s frustration lands him and Wheeler in hot water after accidentally crashing the Minotaur truck into a statue.

Fortunately, (or not), Beth , who is a defense lawyer, is able to keep Danny and Wheeler out of prison, by having them volunteer in a Big Brother type program called Sturdy Wings. Here, mentors, known as “bigs,” are set up with at-risk children, referred to as “littles.” The eccentric, no-nonsense manager of the program (hilariously portrayed by Jane Lynch), pairs Wheeler up with a hyperactive and potty mouthed 10 year old named Ronnie is over the top hyper and impulsive, and Augie is caught up in the medieval themed role playing world of “Laire.” Over time, the “bigs,” and “littles,” find their similarities, and teach each other important lessons about patience and love.

Despite the fact that this movie centers around kids, this is not a family movie. This dialogue, and sexual humour is very funny, but also very rude. However, this movie, despite being raunchy, is also very sweet. This movie is great throughout, and the ending is the best and funniest part. this is one movie you will want to own. (Make sure to check out the Sturdy Wings website at www.sturdywings.org). The bonus feature on this DVD are good. (be forewarned however, that some of the deleted scenes are more adult than the actual film.) The making of features are interesting, and the feature about “Laire” are hilarious. The “unrated version of the film is no raunchier than the rated version.


Role Models Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Role Models is a whole lot funnier and entertaining than I initially expected. The story revolved around two energy drink marketers (Danny and Wheeler) and their court-ordered commitment to act as role models to two troubled boys (Augie and Ronnie) at the Sturdy Wings youth program. each of the characters are quirky and funny in their own way. Jane Lynch who plays the director of Sturdy Wings is a scene stealer whenever she is on screen. Her portrayal of the slightly crazy director is extremely funny.

My favorite character however is Augie, the young man who lives through his fantasy world game, LAIRE. The relationship that develops between ‘Big’ (a Sturdy Wings term) role model, Danny and the assigned ‘Little’ (another Sturdy Wings term) Augie is touching and believable. The scenes involving the LAIRE games are very funny. The relationship between the other ‘Big’ (Wheeler) and his ‘little,’ Ronnie is also believable. Their scenes are also funny, though the humour is cruder and involves a lot more language. The story overall plays out nicely, the ending is satisfying and the final scenes involving LAIRE are very funny.

This DVD is definitely worth checking out. It’s a lot of fun though the humour is crude at times. In terms of bonus features, the only ones I enjoyed were the ones about LAIRE. Buy it or rent it, it’s your choice. Either way, it’ll be fun.


Role Models Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

In Role Models, Danny (Paul Rudd) is a pitch man and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) is a mascot for the energy drink Minotaur. Driving a horned vehicle from one school assembly to another, they promote the health benefits and charitable contributions from every $6 can sold. With no greater ambition than partying, Wheeler is happy with his job. However, at 35 Danny is bitter after 10 years of this and takes it out on his lawyer girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) who dumps him. He loses it and crashes the Minotaur Mobile, getting both him and Wheeler sentenced to 150 hours of community service for Sturdy Wings, run by Sweeny (Jane Lynch), which pairs up “bigs” with at risk “littles” for quality time. Wheeler is assigned to Ronnie (Bobb’e Thompson), a rebellious fifth-grader with a precocious gift for vulgar put-downs. Until now, no big has lasted more than one day with Ronnie, who is angry at everybody but his loving single mother. Danny’s little is Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whose special interest is medieval live action role play (LARP), where geeks with styrofoam swords get together to talk and fight like knights (a bit like pirates, but more ancient and ceremonial). His intolerant mother and stepfather enrolled Augie in Sturdy Wings to get a life. Wheeler makes a connection with Ronnie by sharing his discrete observation skills of women and his promotion of Kiss as a band that is all about getting sex. Danny is frustrated at first with Augie’s obsession, but when Augie is kicked out of his LARP club as a result of Danny’s objection to cheating by the “king”, he and the others have to fight back.

Director David Wain has pulled together a huge cast from his stock company of improvisational actors, each serving the story in the funniest way possible. Seann William Scott has brought out his inner Stiffler. With a quirky voice that fits his stereotype, Christopher Mintz-Plasse has the sensitivity to pull his role off with credibility and respect. Jane Lynch has taken the part of a zealot with a shady past up a notch since A Mighty Wind, with delightful creepiness. The crowd scenes–the Minotaur pitches, the Sturdy Wings meetings, the keggers, the medieval battles–are each populated with a delightful mix of characters, several of which stand out. A. D. Miles (Jimmy Fallon’s new talk show head writer) as the model big Martin is the most annoying goof since the insurance salesman in Groundhog Day. Ken Jeong (MD) is the preening king surrounded by his retinue of sycophants. Joe Lo Truglio in his helmet of mail is the faithful knight Kuzzik.

In addition to the usual running commentary and on site interviews where the director and cast members praise each other, the DVD provides some deleted scenes which give us insight into the wealth of improvisatory material that had to be left out of the final film for the sake of timing and the fine balance between vulgarity and offensiveness. Both the DVD and film website also provide mockumentary-style interviews with various characters, notably Sweeny on the Sturdy Wings mock website.

Role Models is the kind of DVD that we can enjoy again and again in subsequent viewings, always finding something that we didn’t notice before.


Consensus: Role Models is a comedy, that while rude at times, has a great story underneath. It’s really funny, and the casting is spot on. This is one that you will probably want to see more than once. *** (Out of 4)