Film Review: Chef

Film Review: Chef

Chef expands to theaters in Boston today, May 16. Check your local listings for showtimes.

Our obsession with celebrity isn’t as fresh as the media often portrays it to be. We have been vociferously consuming the strangers that grace our screens for ages. We raise them on pedestals and they lived in a realm so distant from our own. The internet has only fed this hungry machine, with multiple avenues of social media and a forever active blogosphere that has essentially reduced the separation between celebrities and us normies. [Read more…]

Review: Cowboys & Aliens

Review: Cowboys & Aliens

‘Cowboys & Aliens’ from the very talented Jon Favreau merges two of my favorite genres, Science Fiction, and Westerns – but does it succeed? Based on a graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the film opens in the fashion of most typical westerns, a character shrouded in mystery rolls into town.

Our stranger is played by Daniel Craig. He wakes up in the middle of the desert, a strange metal object attached at his wrist. We learn quickly that he’s a wanted man, by the law, as well as an influential land owner/cattle man by the name of Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford).

The aliens are revealed as a showdown is taking place between the law and Dolarhyde’s men. Alien ships swoop down, snatching up the townspeople. Following the attack, the town puts together a posse to set out and save their friends and family.

The juxtaposition of alien lasers and late 1800s weaponry is amazing. How little affect the humans weapons have on the aliens is fantastic. The story has some interesting twists and turns, and the film has a great start, no doubt due to the talented writers behind the film.

Where the story falls apart is in its third act. Without giving anything away, there are a few twists and turns to get us to the finale, but the path in which we get there is riddled with plot holes. But despite these, the excellent casting and talent and of the actors in this film keeps us engaged.

There is a good mix of puppet work vs CG, but my one gripe with the film is one specific action sequence that involves one of the characters jumping onto the aliens ships. There was something about the effect that definitely took me out of the film.

The film was definitely a good western, but I don’t think it went far enough in staying close to that genre. There is something tragic about many westerns, and ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ was missing that sense of tragedy. Don’t get me wrong, it has its tragedy, but, it definitely felt restrained.

Despite it lacking in some crucial moments, ‘Cowboys & Aliens,’ is an excellent film. Daniel Craig’s performance, coupled with some genuine great moments with a supporting Harrison Ford make this film absolutely worth seeing in theater.

Review: Iron Man 2

Review: Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. and Actor/Director Jon Favreau make a great team. Favreau is a great story teller that involves himself into his films, and its clear, all of them are made with love and passion. And Downey? Hell, he’s someone who I would watch in just about anything, and I mean that, it could be a three hour film of him making snide comments about a white wall. He still would make it interesting. That said, what about Iron Man 2?

Iron Man, to be honest, has never been a franchise I cared too much about, even as a child. I knew of him, I barely read the comics, and didn’t really watch the cartoon. I’m not a hardcore fan even in the slightest sense. I enjoyed the first film a lot more then I did. I didn’t run out to see it, and when I finally did, I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t seen it sooner. It was as fun, extremely entertaining superhero film, and I absolutely love how much it is being tied into the forthcoming Avengers film.

We start Iron Man 2 with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) having already revealed to the world that he is Iron Man. We see how the world has been stabilized just by his presence. This makes the United States government extremely uncomfortable. Their national security is in the hands of an eccentric billionaire and CEO.

Stark, behind the scenes is slowly being poisoned by the very reactor in his chest that is keeping alive.

On the side, we are introduced to a murky character named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who is using old Stark blueprints to assembly his own Arc core, to bring punishment to Tony Stark, who belongs to what Vanko calls a family of “butchers.”

We are introduced to some new folks this time around, the angry US Senator Stern (Garry Shandling), and the d-bag CEO of Hammer Industries, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), Stark’s major rival both in industry, and clearly in life. Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Rhodey (Warmachine), and does an excellent job in that part.

Rockwell is amazing as Hammer, in fact, next to Downey, I dare say he almost steals the show. Score, music, sound effects were excellent. And I love the “world” that Tony Stark inhabits. Everything from the Iron Man suits HUD, to the “computers” in his workspace, I love the look of this film.

The story is good, and moves quite rapidly, however, the film is limited in its action sequences. Like the first film, Iron Man 2 suffers a bit due to its lack of a true “villain.” Though, the villains here are bad people, we never really feel like there’s a major struggle, and I do feel that the film falters in its final “battle.” I really wanted to see Iron Man kick ass, and he did, but just not as much as I’d hoped for.

The film continues to set up S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers film with more appearances by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson,) and I’m definitely excited for where its going. Is ‘Iron Man 2’ worth seeing? Of course, it was fun. Unfortunately though, a lot was lacking, and I hope it is all rectified by ‘The Avengers.’

“Iron Man 2” Poster Released

“Iron Man 2” Poster Released

In hot anticipation of a trailer, scheduled to be released this month, Yahoo Movies has posted the teaser trailer for Jon Favreau’s 2010 summer movie, “Iron Man 2.”

The movie stars returning actors Robert Downey Jr and Gwenyth Paltrow and also co-stars Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackon.  It’s scheduled to open May 7th.


Garry Shandling In “Iron Man 2”?

Garry Shandling In “Iron Man 2”?

As “Iron Man 2,” got underway shooting yesterday, we got the first look at Robert Downey Jr., and Don Cheadle in the movie.  They’re both wearing suits, so it’s not the most exciting of photos.  However, IESB is reporting that comedian Garry Shandling will play a part in the new movie.  Reportedly, Shandling shows up as an annoying invesgative reporter in a continuation of the “I am Iron Man,” sequence that ended the first film.

Also, director Jon Favreau is on Twitter, so you can follow his updates from set, if you so choose.  Here’s a picture of his chair that he posted yesterday:


Downey Jr. Talks “Iron Man 2” As Filming Begins

Robert Downey Jr. recently spoke with ET Online and gave a few hints about the story for the upcoming “Iron Man” sequel:

“The film is almost entirely about character, and yet we still have twice as much action as we did last time, so it’s going to be nuts. Essentially Iron Man 2 is about looking behind the armor, or the armature, of a superhero. It’s one thing to say you’re Iron Man, it’s another thing to be fully ready to do that.”

He also added that they are saving the popular “Demon in a Bottle” storyline for a future film.  Shooting begins this morning.  Yaaaaaay.

Favreau to Direct Avengers?

A scoop has hit the pages of ‘Ain’t It Cool News,’ regarding the involvement of ‘Iron Man’ director Jon Favreau with the ‘Avengers’ movie. Apparently, the explanation behind the delay of the ensemble super-hero movie from mid-20011 to May 4th 2012 is so that Favreau could take the directors seat.

Of course, as is the case with all rumors, this one is up in the air till someone confirms.

Favreau is currently gearing up to start ‘Iron Man 2,’ which will star Mickey Rourke, and of course, Robert Downey Jr.

Rourke Signs on For “Iron Man 2”

It’s official- Mickey Rourke has signed on to play the villain in “Iron Man 2.”  Well, according to Deadline Hollywood Daily.  This is exciting because for a while the rumor was that he was only going to get the part if he won the Oscar.  Well, guess that’s just a rumor.

Also, as previously thought, Emily Blount is out of the Black Widow role.  However, DHD is reporting that Scarlett Johansson is taking her place.

Oh, and also, check out Jon Faverau’s twitter page.  It’s kinda cool.

Blount Not Starring in “Iron Man 2”

At one of the many after-show parties on Sunday, director Jon Favreau told E! that Fox has exercised its option on “Gulliver’s Travels,” meaning that Emily Blount will not be able to be in “Iron Man 2.”  Blount was wanted to play future Avenger Black Widow.

Rumored to be on the short-list for the role is Scarlett Johansson and Eliza Dushku mentioned to Howard Stern that she wants the role really badly. With regards to Mickey Rourke, Faverau said that Rouke has not been offically cast, but that he is a fan.

Will An Oscar Win Land Mickey Rourke “Iron Man 2”?

Marvel Productions wants Mickey Rourke for the role of the villain in “Iron Man 2.”  However, times being what they are, they don’t want to pay Rourke’s asking price.  Now, reports are circulating that Marvel is waiting until Sunday night to make Rourke an offer.  Why Sunday night?  Because it’s the Oscars.

If Rourke picks up the best actor award for his role in “The Wrestler,” Marvel will reportedly meet his asking price.  If Rourke goes home empty handed, he also may lose the role in “Iron Man 2.”

This has happened to Rourke before.  Sylvester Stallone wanted Rourke for his remake of “Get Carter.”  Warner Bros. didn’t.  Stallone stepped up and personally paid part of Rourke’s salary to guarantee he would be in the movie.  (Not that it helped the movie.)  Will that happen again?  Will Robert Downey Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow and Jon Favreau dig deep to land Rourke?  I guess we’ll have to wait until Sunday.