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Archive for March, 2009

DVD Report – March 31st

One massive new release lands in stores this week, eclipsing everything else in popular & critical acclaim. I’m referring, of course, to Slumdog Millionaire — director Danny Boyle’s Oscar-eating leviathan. It’s the kind of film it’s impossible to dislike without deep (and probably dishonest) reserves of cynicism. But if you’re sick of hearing about Slumdog, everything else on this week’s list received above-average marks… you almost can’t go wrong. We particularly enjoyed Spanish mind-bender Timecrimes.

Criticker Pick!
Slumdog MillionaireAverage Tier 7.89
The story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik became a contestant on the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” — an endeavor made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika, who is an ardent fan of the show. Slumdog Millionaire @ Amazon

Seven PoundsAverage Tier 5.64
The emotional story of a man who will change the lives of seven strangers Seven Pounds @ Amazon

Marley & MeAverage Tier 5.17
A family learns important life lessons from their adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog. Marley & Me @ Amazon

Tell No OneAverage Tier 6.78
Eight years ago, Margot Beck has been murdered by a serial killer. If the killer has confessed eight of these murders, he has always denied to be responsible for Margot’s one. Anyway the specific mutilations found on her body made all doubts disappear… Ne le dis à personne @ Amazon

TimecrimesAverage Tier 6.02
A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences. Timecrimes @ Amazon

Where the Wild Things Are: Trailer

There are many reasons to be excited about the upcoming adaption of Where The Wild Things Are. Let’s name some.

1. The trailer (discovered and praised some days ago at the Criticker Forums)

2. Spike Jonze directing. A guarantor of quality. We’re sooooo happy he landed this project.

3. That soundtrack! Anything which uses Arcade Fire’s soaring, majestic music to such great effect is bound to be awesome. And a score by Karen O? Intrigued!

4. The book. I can remember it nearly by heart. I just know this movie is going to be awesome.

5. The monsters — you actually want to hug on them. They look amazing.

6. That Trailer! It counts for two.

7. Max and his wolf outfit look exactly as they should. And with Catherine Keener and Forest Whitaker‘s voice in the cast, we’re pretty certain it’s all going to be top-notch.

8. The cinematography; lush, gorgeous landscapes and natural lighting help provide a tone which feels completely true to the book.

9. Minimal CGI — I think they’re shooting it all (or nearly all of it) live-action. Thank Christ, finally someone gets it.

Are we missing anything? I can’t believe we have to wait until October!

Neglected Gems: The Ruling Class

Both an uproarious comedy and a savage satirical attack on the upper crust of British society, 1972′s The Ruling Class has won plaudits from just about all of the Criticker users who’ve seen it. That earns it a spot in our list of Neglected Gems.

Three Peters combine their powers to bring us this wonderful and largely forgotten film — director Peter Medak, screenwriter Peter Barnes and actor Peter O’Toole. Barnes screenplay is based on his own play, which was a big hit in London. O’Toole is hilarious as a lunatic member of British aristocracy who believes himself to literally be God. When he’s eventually cured of this perception, he takes on another, far more sinister persona.

Peter O’Toole picked up a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance. Movies which satirize the elite are a dime a dozen, but Variety says The Ruling Class “avoids usual message film pitfalls in coming across almost throughout with amusing tongue-in-cheek finesse alternating with hilarious stretches”.

 

- Buy this movie here

We think that the various posters created for the film do a pretty good job of indicating what you can expect. This first one, especially, is great.


Merchandise: Indiana Jones Piggy Bank – John Wayne Cookie Jar – Dark Knight Cowl

Here’s our periodic update of cool movie-related merchandise we’ve found while surfing the web. I think I’d be scared to take a cookie from John Wayne!

Indiana Jones Piggy Bank

indian jones piggy bank

You’ve bypassed the spikes and the darts and the jungle and the snakes and finally you are staring, face to face, with the Golden Idol. Once thought to be lost, the sole surviving statue is really an ancient Chachapoyan goddess of fertility. And one thing is certain: it belongs in a museum. You heft your bag of sand and contemplate the weight of the idol, but it could all boil down to the weight of a few pennies. Why? Because this Golden Idol is a BANK!

Info: Indiana Jones Piggy Bank

Japanese WALL-E Mini Figure Set

wall e toy

You and I love WALL-E because of its cool animation, apocalyptic future and cute robots. This pretty much sums up the plot of most Japanese Anime… and no surprise, WALL-E is just as hot in Japan where cute autonomous trash cleaning robots are the norm. Now you can collect this fine WALL-E mini figure set imported from Japan. It’s WALL-E, Eve and all his robot pals from the movie in itty-bitty-form on a snap together base. Yep you get the full set of figures you see in the image, which would normally comprise five vending machine capsules. So rather than forcing you to stand on a street corner in Tokyo pumping 100 yen coins into a capsule toy machine hoping for the "perfect" WALL-E figure set we’ve done all the dirty work for you.

Link: Japanese WALL-E Mini Figure Set

John Wayne Cookie Jar

john wayne cookie jar

The Duke played against type in his Oscar-winning role as the drunken (John Wayne), mean, one-eyed pot-bellied U.S. Marshall, but we loved him anyway! This handpainted fan favorite is sure to secure a place of honor among your most cherished collectibles.

More info: John Wayne Cookie Jar

Stitch TV

stitch-TV

This 20-inch panel has a full-size Stitch climbing over its back, complete with a moveable jaw that conceals the onboard controls. For a hefty 100,000 yen ($1,015), this Japanese concoction will deliver a monitorish 1,680×1,050 resolution, HDMI input, and B-CAS Japan digital TV broadcast support.

More info: Stitch TV [via: Cnet]

The Dark Knight Cowl

Batman owl mask

Impressive, full size display Dark Knight cowl replica. Measures 21" Tall. Pedestal display Included.

Link: The Dark Knight Cowl

DVD Report – March 24th

What’s the matter you wimps?! Was everybody afraid to release their DVDs in the same week as The Quantum of Solace? Does Bond really control that much of the universe? Well, even though it’s by far the most prominent film among this week’s batch of new releases, Disney’s overlooked animated feature Bolt was the favorite of the Criticker community.

Quantum of SolaceAverage Tier 5.13
The second of the Daniel Craig Bond films. Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country’s water supply. Quantum of Solace @ Amazon

BoltAverage Tier 5.93
Bolt, a German Shepherd, has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets Mr. Mittens (actually a female cat) and a hamster named Rhino. Along the way, he learns that he doesn’t have superpowers and that the show is not realistic. Bolt @ Amazon

Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious FiveAverage Tier 5.42
Ordered to teach a martial arts class of rambunctious bunny kittens, Po tells stories of each of the Furious Five’s pasts. Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five @ Amazon

Big StanAverage Tier 3.62
Once upon a time, there lived a tiny, insecure man who learned the only way he could make his enormous ego feel comfortable in his teeny, tiny body was to embarrass, humiliate, and torture others. He thought he was a master of disguise, fooling others into believing he was a big man. Yet he was only fooling himself, and through time his unconscionable behavior repulsed and repelled everyone. Big Stan @ Amazon

Gardens of the NightAverage Tier 5.67
A cute young blonde girl gets abducted. You know your favorite nightmare scenario about what happens to girls like this who disappear? Well, that’s exactly what happens — from the girl’s point of view, no less. Gardens of the Night @ Amazon

Collection Watch: Surreal Films

sur⋅re⋅al /səˈriəl, -ˈril/
having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic

Criticker user Spunkie has created a public collection of surreal films, which currently boasts over 60 trippy, hallucinatory movies among its ranks.


That Obscure Object of Desire

Wild French flicks from the 70s, a strangely dreamlike J-Lo vehicle from the 90s, a whole bunch of Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s films… if you’re in the mood for something a little different, this list can definitely help you find it.

14 other users have already contributed to the “Surreal” collection, helping it grow into something genuinely useful. If you find that something’s missing, why not add it yourself?

Surreal Films

DVD Report – March 17th

If you’re not into brooding, romantic teenage vampries, it’s fairly poor week of releases onto DVD, with only Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s Elegy managing to receive even slightly positive reviews. But if you are into brooding, romantic teenage vampires, you don’t care about what other stupid people thought about Twilight, anyway. They just don’t get it.

Twilight284 Rankings – Average Tier 3.90
(Release Date: March 21st) A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire. Twilight @ Amazon

Punisher: War Zone74 Rankings – Average Tier 4.28
After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw. Punisher: War Zone @ Amazon

Elegy61 Rankings – Average Tier 5.10
Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life — which he indicates is a state of “emancipated manhood” — thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher. Elegy @ Amazon

Goal II: Living the Dream60 Rankings – Average Tier 3.47
After gaining experience with the football club Newcastle United, Santiago Munez (Becker) gets a huge break when he’s transferred to Real Madrid. Goal II: Living the Dream @ Amazon

Walled InNot Enough Rankings
A young woman who recently graduated from engineering school travels to a remote location to supervise the demolition of a mysterious building. She soon discovers the horrifying secrets of the building and its past inhabitants, many of whom were victims of a vicious murderer who entombed his prey alive within its walls. Now she must turn the tables on the killer before she becomes his latest victim. Walled In @ Amazon