All in Movies

Conventional wisdom holds that Nicolas Cage is a talentless actor who got lucky once or twice but more often than not is rubbish. This isn't strictly true although a recent wave of turkeys like "Knowing" and the laughable remake of "The Wicker Man" paint a different picture. The fact that he gives his best performance in seven years is a tribute to the legendary Werner Herzog, director of "The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans."

As if following in Rob Zombie's footsteps and remaking a classic that had no conceivable reason, besides money, to be remade—2008's critical failure "The Day the Earth Stood Still"—was not enough, director Scott Derrickson has set his sights one of the most prized and most difficult works in the English literary canon: John Milton's "Paradise Lost." It seems rather odd that Legendary Pictures, has handed the reins to Derrickson on adapting Milton's classic, considering that Derrickson has yet to prove himself as a director. Granted, Christopher Nolan was greeted with much skepticism when Warner Brothers handed him the Batman Franchise, but then again Nolan by then had two excellent movies under his belt in "Memento" and "Insomnia." Unfortunately, Derrickson does not.

There are certain things you'll remember for your entire life. For me, Michael Jackson's death is one of them. I was in Times Square when the news was flashed across the signs on ABC's studio. The world stopped. Everybody stared. Mouths dropped open. Men and women cried. The King of Pop was as dead as a door-nail, weeks before he began a concert engagement that was supposed to yet again rejuvenate his career.

If you look up the word "provocative" in the Dictionary, you will find a picture of Lars von Trier, His latest film, "Antichrist," was the cause célèbre at this year's Cannes Film Festival, generating jeers, laughs, applause and even the odd fainting. It's already the most controversial film of the year. So what's all the hullabaloo actually about?
The film begins with a nameless married couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) sharing a particularly passionate moment. As they become increasingly well acquainted, their infant son becomes well acquainted with an open window and falls to his death.

If J.J Abrams' recent reboot of "Star Trek" and "District 9," mark a return to classic science fiction, than "Surrogates," the new film starring Bruce Willis, definitely continues that trend. The film's premise is rife with intrigue, leav¬ing ample room for philo¬sophical ideas and an exploration of the classic battle between man and machine. Unfortunately, the film does not deliver on the promises made by such a premise.
"Surrogates," based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, and directed by Jonathon Mostow, depicts a very near future in which humans are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic sur¬rogates: sexy, physically perfect mechanical repre¬sentations of themselves. When the first murder since the integration of surrogates occurs, FBI Agent Greer (Bruce Willis with hair) begins to unrav¬el a vast conspiracy, aban¬doning his own surrogate in the process.

On the outside, Jane Campion's "Bright Star" looks like yet another lifeless costume drama with a host of performers begging for awards as the Oscar season draws nearer with every passing day. Luckily, although the film will doubtlessly be show¬ered with trophies for the costumes since Hollywood only ever notices the out¬fits when there is a corset involved, the John Keats biopic is far more inter¬esting than the premise suggests.
Ben Whishaw plays the Romantic poet in ques¬tion who falls in love with Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), who is quite literally the girl next door. Rather than stare wistfully at flowers or swoon at will whenever our scribe so much as breathes next to her, Fanny is a woman driven by passion and individuality. She express¬es herself within the constraints of 19th century England through the art of knitting, and as her rela¬tionship with Keats begins to blossom, they discover that they need each other not only as lovers but cru¬cially as muses.
Costume dramas have a bad reputation primarily because most filmmak¬ers in the genre are more interested in what the characters are wearing than what they are actu¬ally doing, but this film is different. The setting takes a back seat to the relationship of the leads, and the outfits and sets rarely draw attention to themselves. If any¬thing, the most striking moments occur when the lovers are surrounded by the landscape of the English countryside, its natural beauty beaming through the screen.