Thursday, May 26, 2011

Michigan's "Salvation Boulevard" trailer released online

The trailer for "Salvation Boulevard," partially shot in Plymouth and Ann Arbor is now online, according to AnnArbor.com. The movie stars Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, and Jim Gaffigan, among others, and was shot in the area in 2010. In Ann Arbor, the UM buildings used were Rackham Auditorium, the Law Quad, the Argus Building, and a house on West William and Third Street.

Read more at my article at Examiner.com.

"The Hangover: Part II"

The original Hangover came out in May 2009, when I had just finished college, and since I was car-less at the time, I was relegated to seeing it on DVD later on that year. I was both shocked and amused by it, and it was a very funny film. I was hoping that The Hangover: Part II would have just as much debauchery as the first, and it definitely did; unfortunately, the movie follows the same formula as the first with few changes.

The so-called Wolfpack is in Thailand for the wedding of Stu (Ed Helms, "Cedar Rapids"), and he's determined not to let their partying get out of hand. He, his friends, and his fiancee's 16-year-old brother, Teddy (Mason Lee, "Chosen"), decide to each have one beer on the beach to celebrate, and then head to bed. The next morning, however, he wakes up in a sleazy Bangkok hotel with Teddy missing, a tattoo on Stu's face, and Alan's (Zach Galifianakis, "Due Date") hair (but not his beard) shaved off. They also find their old "friend" Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong, TV's "Community") in the room with them, and they have no idea how he got there. The three of them must figure out where Teddy is, how they got to Bangkok, and a few other mysteries as well, and make it back to the island hotel before Stu's wedding the next day.

"Kung Fu Panda 2"

Kung Fu Panda 2 might be the first summer "kids" movie that adults will appreciate as well. Better yet, you don't have to have seen the first one, because this sequel stands on its own, although it's a little helpful to have seen the first; I saw it for the first time the day before Panda 2. Most of the same characters are back and if you are a fan of the first Kung Fu Panda, you will definitely like this one.

Since the original Kung Fu Panda movie, Po (voiced by Jack Black, "Gulliver's Travels") has been continuing his training as the Dragon Warrior under the tutelage of Master Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman, "Little Fockers"). Now, however, he and The Five must fight to save China from the evil Lord Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman, "Red Riding Hood"), who has wanted to control China ever since his father was in control many years ago. Shen has a new weapon that might defeat even kung fu, and Po and The Five (warriors) must find a way to stop him before he ruins China and kills everyone so that he can rule.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More extras sought for "Oz: The Great and Powerful"

Raleigh Studios in Pontiac is now open, and the prequel to Oz, Oz: The Great and Powerful, is holding an open casting call for extras. According to the "OZ MI Extras" Facebook page:

Oz The Great and Powerful OPEN CALL will be on Saturday 6/11! 11am-4pm in Pontiac. At the Raleigh Michigan Studios - 1999 Centerpoint Parkway Pontiac, MI 48341. If you want to meet us in person all of the extras casting directors will be there and we will be giving out some bookings at the open call. The open call is totally Free. Ages 18 and up all ethnicities. Put it on your calendar!

Read more at my article at Examiner.com.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Bridesmaids"

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from Bridesmaids before I saw it at the screening. The trailer made it look funny but raunchy, and I had been told that it was similar to The Hangover, but with women instead of men as the lead characters. It turned out to definitely be raunchy, albeit funny, but with a lot of surprisingly serious scenes thrown in as well.

Annie (Kristen Wiig, TV's "Saturday Night Live") is best friends with recently engaged Lillian (Maya Rudolph, "Grownups"). Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, and Annie accepts, not yet knowing how much work it will entail. The other bridesmaids that Lillian chooses could not be a more diverse group: there is her fiance's sister, Megan (Melissa McCarthy, TV's "Mike and Molly"); Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey, TV's "Rules of Engagement") who hates being a wife and mother; Becca (Ellie Kemper, TV's "The Office") who is a newlywed herself; and Helen (Rose Byrne, "Insidious"), who is married and a stepmother to two kids that hate her, all the while looking like she's stepped out of a magazine. Annie is going through some life struggles at the moment as well - her cake shop has just gone under, and so she is working part-time at a jewelry store - and is having trouble accepting that her life is on the decline while her best friend is about to be "blissfully happy" for the rest of her life. The hilarious story that ensues is that of a woman trying to navigate the often competitive world of bridal showers, engagement and bachelorette parties, and the wedding itself, all the while having no clue what she is doing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jason Segel and director Judd Apatow dine at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor

from Apatow's Twitter (http://yfrog.com/gzodunej)
At 10:15am EST on Fri. May 6th, Judd Apatow tweeted "Where are we?" with a picture of him and Jason Segel. Turns out they were enjoying breakfast at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, and it's the first time that Apatow has been spotted around town since "The Five Year Engagement" started shooting. Both AnnArbor.com and the Detroit Free Press confirmed that Apatow and Segel were at Zingerman's around 10:30am on May 6th, and they ordered breakfast and hung out for a while.

Read more at my article at Examiner.com.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Something Borrowed"

I have read the novel Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, admittedly a while ago, and I was excited to see the movie version of it. The book has a sequel as well, Something Blue, which tells the story of Something Borrowed from Darcy's (Kate Hudson's) perspective, and so if the film does well it's possible that this will be made into a movie too. Luckily, the film did not disappoint.

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin, TV's "Big Love") and Darcy (Kate Hudson, "Nine") have been best friends forever, and it was Rachel who introduced Darcy to her fiancee, Dex (Colin Egglesfield, TV's "Melrose Place"), whom she met in law school. Darcy throws Rachel a big 30th birthday party, and Rachel and Dex end up sharing a cab afterwards ... and they end up making one stop instead of two. The next day, Darcy is racked with guilt, especially since Darcy and Dex's wedding is very soon, but she and Dex can't deny how they feel about each other, and how they have felt ever since law school. Rachel's friend Ethan (John Krasinski, TV's "The Office") tells her to go for him, and that if the situation was reversed, Darcy wouldn't even hesitate, but Rachel has always been the "good girl" type and can't make herself break up their engagement. As the clock is ticking down to Darcy and Dex's wedding, Rachel must decide if she wants to be a good friend or finally put herself first, for once.

"Thor"

The first well done summer blockbuster is here, and not only is it enthralling, but it's in 3D as well. Thor, based off the Marvel comic with the same name, kicks off a slew of summer movies, including a few other ones involving superheroes, and it definitely starts off the summer with a bang.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth, "A Perfect Getaway") has defied his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins, "The Rite"), the king of Asgard, and has invaded enemy territory without his permission. His punishment is that he is stripped of his powers and sent to Earth, where he - literally - runs in to Jane (Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"), a scientist, and her motley group that is helping her track storm systems. Thor must find a way back to Asgard before his evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston, "Archipelago"), who has been made king, completely destroys their planet, and when some of his Asgard friends manage to sneak down to Earth, they are able to assist him in doing so.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summer movie roundup - what to see this summer

The Hangover 2, coming to theaters on May 27th
It's May 1st, and summer movie season will soon be upon us. In addition to the many sequels that inevitably show up in theaters, we also have some "new" films that look promising. Here are the movies that will hit theaters this May through August:

May:

These are not your typical bridesmaids.
  • Thor, 5/6. I just saw a screening of this film this past Saturday, and I will say that it is definitely worth seeing. The 3D was great as well.
  • Something Borrowed, 5/6. Based on the book of the same name, by Emily Giffin.
  • Priest, 5/13. Vampires! Paul Bettany! Looks creepy.
  • Hesher, 5/13. Joseph Gordon-Levitt with super-long hair.
  • Bridesmaids, 5/13. I have already seen this at a screening and ladies (and men), you will want to see this movie. Kind of like The Hangover but with women main characters.
  • Everything Must Go, 5/13. Will Ferrell holds a yard sale to get rid of all of his worldly possessions, after being kicked out of the house by his wife.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 5/20. Johnny Depp as a pirate, in the 4th installment of the series. Need I say more?
  • Kung Fu Panda 2, 5/26. I admittedly have only seen parts of the first one, but the trailer makes this look like it could be a cute movie.
  • The Hangover Part II, 5/26. Will it be as epic as the first one? The original cast, for the most part, returns, so there is a strong possibility that it will be just as crazy and out of control as its predecessor.
  • The Tree of Life, 5/27. Brad Pitt plays Sean Penn's father ... in flashback scenes, of course.
June:

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher
  • X-Men: First Class, 6/3. Prequel to the X-Men series of movies. James McAvoy!
  • The Green Lantern, 6/17. Another comic book movie adaptation, starring Ryan Reynolds as the title character.
  • Cars 2, 6/24. I still have to see the first one ... but the trailer looks pretty good.
  • Bad Teacher, 6/24. Check out the red band trailer for this film, looks like it's going to be raunchy and hilarious. Stars Cameron Diaz as the bad teacher in question, Jason Segel, and Justin Timberlake.
July:
Steve Carell & Ryan Gosling in
Crazy Stupid Love
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 7/1. They were filming in Chicago all last summer, and Shia LaBeouf is back, in the third installment of the series.
  • Monte Carlo, 7/1. Take The Lizzie McGuire Movie, add two "Gossip Girl" stars, and voila! A totally new movie! (like, totally.)
  • Larry Crowne, 7/1. Tom Hanks in the title role (and directing!) and Julia Roberts.
  • Horrible Bosses, 7/8. Disgruntled employees decide to try and kill their bosses.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, 7/15. This is going to be a bittersweet end to one of my favorite movie series, but the movie itself looks like it's going to be epic.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, 7/22. Chris Evans is Captain America ... another comic book movie.
  • Friends with Benefits, 7/22. I think I saw this movie already a few months ago ... it was called No Strings Attached. Can Mila and Justin do it better?
  • Crazy Stupid Love, 7/29. Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell all in one movie together? Yes, please. The trailer for this looks hilarious as well.
  • Cowboys and Aliens, 7/29. One of the weirdest plots I've heard of, but it just may work.
August:
Jesse Eisenberg in 30 Minutes or Less
  • Planet of the Apes, 8/5. Apes and, um, planets.
  • 30 Minutes or Less, 8/12. Jesse Eisenberg is a pizza delivery boy who is hijacked by some bad guys. Was filmed in Grand Rapids last summer, too.
  • The Help, 8/12. Am looking forward to this one, as the book was fabulous - the movie has a lot to live up to.

What movies are you looking forward to seeing this summer?