Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Stay safe and we look forward to keeping you up to date with everything you want to know in movie news in 2010. Go see Sherlock Holmes or Avatar on New Year's Day!

Champion Moviegoer Reesa Gives Us Her Top 10 Lists
I don't know how she does it and I'm not going to ask. Our staff writer Reesa has somehow probably seen close to every film put out this year. I've truly never seen such dedication to movies in my entire life. If she can't get into a press screening, you better believe she'll be standing in line for an advanced one. Cripes - I spoke with her yesterday and she even PAID to see two or three films over the Christmas holiday. Now that truly is dedication! Check out her list of the Top 10 Best and Worst of 2009 after the jump.

Best of 2009:

1. Avatar - Everyone dissed the storyline, but I really enjoyed the simplicity so that I could immerse myself into this beautifully realized world.

2. Star Trek - This is tied with my #1 favorite movie of the year. Revitalized the franchise and put a fresh spin on the old characters. Can’t wait for more!

3. Thirst - This Korean vampire feature is hysterically funny, sexy, and demented.

4. Zombieland -  The best and funniest of zombie flicks right up there with Shaun of the Dead.

5. Watchmen - The perfect translation of a comic. May have been too long for non fans, but beautifully done.

6. Terminator Salvation - As a big fan of the movie and TV series, except for T3 which should never have happened, I was not as disappointed as some people.

7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - The best of the Harry Potters so far. Didn’t waste time filling in non fans with back story.

8. Moon - Caught this at the AFI Dallas was really surprised by this movie. One of the best of the festival.

9. District 9 - Very cool commentary of aliens and prejudice. Nicely done.

10. Grace - Another AFI Dallas screening that really creeped me out. Good nightmare inducing fare.

Worst of 2009:

1. Year One - Why do they make movies like this? Why did I go?

2. Land of the Lost - Tired of Will Farrell movies.

3. Final Destination 4 3-D - They should pull the plug on this franchise.

4. Paranormal Activity - Don’t know why there was such a stink over this movie. Maybe if they tried to pretend it was true…

5. The Fourth Kind - OK..they tried to pretend this was true, and it was just horrible.

6, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - It was really hard to tell what was going on. Gave me a headache.

7. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - I secretly like the Underworld series, but this was just frustratingly boring.

8. GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra - A little bit of everything that has been done before and not done as well. Bigger and louder does not make it better.

9. Jennifer’s Body - I had such high hopes for Diablo Cody’s script. Really let me down.

10. X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Even a leaked version of this movie did not help the final product. Really hope the next X-Men feature has more story, less flash.

Editor-in-Chief Eric Shirey's Top 10 Lists of The Year
I’ve never really done a Top 10 list of any kind that I can remember. They always seem to be too stressful or exhausting. Out of hundreds of movies that come out in one year, I’m supposed to pick just 10 of those that I really liked? Maybe to someone who is extremely picky and hates everything this seems easy. But I love all kinds of movies and see them as entertainment, so while most everyone hated Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen I actually thought it was pretty cool. Then you’ve got the guys who do a Top 10 Movies of the Decade list. Now that’s just self-abuse. I would literally have a coronary trying to put that together. I wouldn’t have enough time in a week to put that together. Here’s my attempt at a Top 10 list of my favorite movies of 2009 and my Top 10 major disappointments of 2009. Here we go:

Top 10 Movies of 2009 (That I Saw):

Halloween 2 – A major improvement on originality from the first film. Rob Zombie takes a chance and gets a little surreal and brainy, making a smart and franticly disturbing film. Of course, slasher purists absolutely hated it. Whatever – I’ll file this under “Thinking Man’s Slasher Film.”

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince – Director David Yates finally gets it right. You’ve got all the magic, darkness, teen angst, and comedy rolled into one great film. What Order of the Phoenix lacked in “oomph” and substance was made amends for with this film.

Zombieland – What a great film. It took what was quickly becoming a stale genre and ran with it, adding fun and tongue-in-cheek humor to all the gore-filled scenes. Maybe I could relate to it as a sort of “Obsessive Compulsive Person’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.” Almost a sort of Slackers meets Night of the Living Dead.

Orphan – Was it completely original? No. Was it disturbing and made you cringe that a child could do such horrific things? Most definitely. And the end? There is no way that ANYONE saw that coming. Not in a million years would anyone figure that out. A true example of the end justifying the means.

Sherlock Holmes – How can one movie have so many ingredients put together successfully? Who would have thought that Guy Ritchie (yes, the violent thug English moviemaker) could make such a classy yet beautifully violent and smart film? This movie visually looks so good. The CGI London blends seamlessly with every human element. The chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law is undeniable. Here’s to many more of these films being made – I demand a franchise!

Shorts – Definitely one of the most underrated kid films of 2009. I can’t believe this didn’t do better. The Pulp Fiction way of telling the intertwining stories was excellent. And it was funny and unconventional. Kudos to Robert Rodriguez – I got it, man. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a kid.

Star Trek – J.J. Abrams more than successfully rebooted this almost-dying franchise, while keeping it linked to the original series. When looking back on it, no matter what purists say about changing the original “timeline,” it can never be said that Abrams didn’t find an absolutely genius way to do it. Put that together with a stellar cast that reminds you of the original cast, but still has room to grow on their own. In my opinion, the only misfire is Anton Yelchin as Chekov and even that can be overlooked.

Terminator Salvation – Yes, Christian Bale was over-the-top. But Sam Worthington was great as the cyborg who thought he was human and wanted to hang on to his humanity. Anton Yelchin played a pretty convincing younger version of the Kyle Reese character. It looked really good and moved at a pretty fast pace as well. And come on, who didn’t get giddy and smile really big when "Ahhnuld" came storming out of that storage chamber? I certainly did! I think McG is being judged a bit harshly and did all he could to refocus the franchise.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – If you like watching robots blow each other up and fight, I don’t know what could have possibly turned you off about this film. In my opinion, there was even a relatively decent storyline. If you went to the theater to see anything but robots blowing each other up, you’re a moron. Who really expected a Michael Bay film to be chock full of intelligent storytelling and groundbreaking dialogue? It was definitely better than the first one.

Watchmen – It performed underwhelmingly, but for comic book purists and fans it was more than satisfying. An intelligent commentary on the world and heroes. It looked great, too and pulled you into it. The film convincingly took you into another dimension and alternate reality from our own. Of course, when a movie is too well adapted from its source material, the normal moviegoer doesn’t seem to be able to accept the suspension of disbelief the way the Comic Con crowd can.

Top 10 Major Disappointments of 2009:

Drag Me To Hell – All those years of waiting for a new Sam Raimi horror movie and this is what we get? A disjointed film that was pretty bland and had the audacity to try to rehash old Evil Dead moments.

House of the Devil – An attempt at trying to capture the magic of films like Rosemary’s Baby and others of its kind goes horribly wrong. Bad pacing and a lack of anything going on for over an hour drags this into the area of being unbearable to watch.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – Same old, same old kiddie fare. Ray Romano is just downright unfunny, unpleasant, and mean-spirited. Nice attempt at pulling in the twentysomethings by having Simon Pegg voice an insane weasel. Lame.

The Invention of Lying – What starts out as a relatively decent little comedy spirals downward into a self-gratifying fit against Christianity and the belief in God in general. Ricky Gervais completely misses the mark by making one of the most mean-spirited and self-serving so-called “satires.” If you believe in any God or higher-being, only see this movie if you’re wanting to be called stupid and ignorant.

Monsters vs. Aliens 3D – Unfunny and predictable tripe from DreamWorks, who we’ve come to expect more from. Neither the monsters nor the aliens had enough personality or charm to hold this dud together. The 3D put you into a sleep-inducing stupor rather than enhance the visual experience.

Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – Fell into the trap of more is better. Way too many characters shoved into a kid’s movie with a safe running time. I’m almost positive at one point you can actually see the character of the kitchen sink onscreen. This was really just kind of lackluster and “meh.”

Paranormal Activity – Where do I even start? What an absolute turd of a film. Uninspired, unoriginal, and not even well-done. If you think this movie was good, then you’re tricking yourself. An absolute atrocity of film that I can not say enough bad things about. I guess if you’re idea of scary is someone dropping a book behind you and you being startled and jumping then you’ll enjoy this giant piece of waste. I hope everyone who promoted this film as being one of the scariest films of all time got paid well. That’s the only way I would have touted this thing as anything worth anybody’s time was if I was getting paid to do it.

Planet 51 – Talk about a great idea executed badly. What a bummer. A one-joke film that stretched itself way too thin. Might have worked as a 45 minute short. What a waste of great voice talent in completely unrecognizable roles. What’s the point of having Dwayne Johnson, Gary Oldman, Jessica Biel, and Justin Long in a film if you can’t even recognize they’re in it?

The Unborn – Beautifully shot but relatively bland ghost kid flick. This was trying really hard to cash in on the spooky kid Asian horror genre, but fell flat. Gary Oldman couldn’t even save this thing. It wasn’t terrible…It just wasn’t anything.

Where The Wild Things Are – How many times did we really have to see the Wild Things smash crap and walk around in different landscapes? Another perfect example of stretching the source material out way beyond what is what meant to be. This thing became tedious after the first 45 minutes. But that’s what you get when you adapt a 48-page picture book into an hour and a half movie.

Now keep in mind, I didn't see every film I should have this year. This list reflects what I did have the opportunity to see. I'd like to say thanks to Steve Norwood for placing a challenge in front of me (whether he meant to or not) and getting me motivated to put this together. (Article by Eric Shirey)

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning Review
A young boy in ancient Thailand sees his parents murdered, and left alone to fend for himself, is taken in by a gang of thieves. As the boy grows up to become a great warrior, he sets out to avenge his parents' murder upon the evil warlord responsible for their deaths.

As a fan of the original Ong Bak, and having read nothing in advance of seeing the sequel, I was initially taken aback by the fact that Ong Bak 2 has no connection to the first that I can see, other then the country it is set in and the Buddhist themes.

While the first Ong Bak gave the hero's quest a twist by adding a "fish out of water" element, Ong-Bak 2 plays like Gladiator in Indonesia, with themes of revenge and self-identification propelling the story. It's obvious Tony Jaa is trying to make an epic that will make him an international star, but the film has serious flaws that keep you from taking it too seriously.

The transitions from flashbacks, when Jaa's character is a young boy, to a later time frame are not handled well, which makes the plot a befuddled mess, even with subtitles. The lack of sympathetic characters, even Jaa's, doesn't allow the viewer to emotionally invest in the film, so when the plot's big revelation and confrontation comes at the end, it doesn't have the impact it should.

Since most folks watching the film are doing so only to see some great fighting, the plot won't be such a big deal, but with the filmmakers taking it so seriously, you won't be able to enjoy the mayhem as much as you did in the first film. However, when the fights do come along, they are impressive and will please most Jaa fans who don't come in with high expectations. You'll basically just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.

"The Harrison Ford / Blade Runner Honorary Award" goes to the galactically stupid voice-over that ends the film - I won't give away the ending, but I wondered why something is told to us instead of it being shown. Did they run out of film or something?

"The Timex Award" goes to Tony Jaa, whose character of Tien takes a beating and keeps on ticking for the full 90 minutes of the film.

"The Best Actor Award" goes to the elephant that becomes a prop during a fight near the film's climax. I don't know if I should email the Academy or PETA.

"The Nobel Peace Prize" should go to anyone who can figure out how this film connects in any way to the original, besides the use of Tony Jaa.

While the fight choreography is excellent and the film has a bit of an epic feel, even fans of Tony Jaa will find themselves under whelmed. It's worth a night from Redbox, but that's about it. (Review by Victor Medina)

News Bites:


Cool new trailer for Nolan's weird sci-fi Inception

!Shocking! With Disney Buying Marvel, They Want To Make Superhero Movies

Harold Ramis Says 'Ghostbusters 3' in 2011!

Loads of Hi-Res 'Daybreakers' Images, New Viral Websites!


How Parnassus' Terry Gilliam dealt with Heath Ledger's death

Denzel Washington sees God in Book of Eli's mayhem

The Fights of 'Solomon Kane' in New Behind-the-Scenes Clip

Victor Crowley's House Erected in 'Hatchet 2' Behind-the-Scenes Pic

Promo Trailer for Religion-Themed 'Devil's Creek'

Crippled Brides Murdered by Gold Circle

James McAvoy To Play Fleming. Ian Fleming.

Take a Frightening Trip Downstream

Some Behind-the-Scenes Scouting for Fetch

Garrett Warren on Iron Man 2, The Losers and Tintin

Will Sam Worthington Be The Next Flash Gordon?

Iron Man 2 Reveals Black Widow Spoilers, Possibly

The Next Star Trek Starts Filming And Being Awesome In 2010

New How To Train Your Dragon Trailer Has Heritage

Is Brad Pitt In Sherlock Holmes After All?

WB Is Most Profitable Studio For Second Year In A Row

Go behind the scenes with the awesome Avatar mockumentary

Time-traveling Back to the Future DeLorean for sale on eBay

The sci-fi passwords Twitter doesn't want you to use

Beautiful footage of underwater radio-controlled model Enterprise

Found: The anti-smoking commercial R2-D2 and C-3PO made

Eckhart Suited-Up for Alien Ass Whipping in Battle: Los Angeles

Dan O'Bannon Website Opens Doors

Brittany Murphy's Deadline Art Pulled By Rental Outlet

Necrosis Hitting DVD in April

The Reeds and The Descent Part 2 Earn Themselves an R

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010's Texas Frightmare Weekend - April 30th To May 2nd
Here's the info many of you have been waiting for. Of course, MGF will be in attendance and provide you with the same extensive coverage, interviews, reviews, and video footage that we have become known for over the past couple of years. Texas frightmare Weekend is one of our absolute favorite events to be a part of. For anyone into horror, it is an absolute must attend convention. You can check out the guests that have already been confirmed and more info after the jump.
Texas Frightmare Weekend
April 30th to May 2nd
Sheraton Grand Hotel
4440 W John Carpenter Fwy, Irving, Texas 75063


Horror Movie Actors
Premiere Props Horror Auction
Texas Motion Picture Alliance seminar
Hearse and Shock Rod Show
Zombie Walk
Tons of Vendors

For more info, go here.

The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus Review
One of the many joys to be found at Austin's Fantastic Fest is a series of "Secret Screenings" that occur throughout the program week, where films remain unannounced until moments before the lights go down. This past September we were treated to a diverse set of surprises that included THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, ROBOGEISHA and A SERIOUS MAN. It was a real pleasure to discover Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS was one of them, but even more so that the film is a terrific return to form for the director. After dreary disappointments of clutter (THE BROTHERS GRIMM) and grim detachment (TIDELAND), the lovingly rendered PARNASSUS brings Gilliam back to a jovial dream-world that feels pleasantly familiar to some of his earlier films, and he excels at conveying such good-natured whimsy.

The film has been kept in the public eye for almost two years prior to its release due to the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger. Ledger's final performance is the lynchpin of PARNASSUS, and his death does impact how the story plays out. But Gilliam did not allow Ledger's absence to close down the show; he cleverly inserts three different actors (Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell) into fantasy sequences that ultimately make the film feel whole, and not at all awkward or strained. The film flows so seamlessly that it feels like it was always meant to be this way.

Aging Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) winds through the backstreets of London, opening his travelling theater for anyone who will watch. With his diminutive right-hand man Percy (Verne Troyer), assistant Anton (Andrew Garfield) and lovely, coming-of-age daughter Valentina (Lily Cole), the good doctor manages to make just enough to scrape by. One day the troupe comes across a young man named Tony (Ledger), who appears to be either out of his mind, on the run, or perhaps both. Tony brings a much-needed burst of energy to the show, and soon is hawking the light-or-dark promises Parnassus makes possible through a seemingly worn-out prop on his fold-out stage. Tony's impromptu performances are timely; Parnassus is also embroiled in a series of wagers with Mr. Nick (Tom Waits), a dapper devil who wants Valentina for his own and challenges the doctor to a gathering of souls to see who keeps her.

Gilliam has always made terrific casting choices with expert results: Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges in THE FISHER KING, Depp and Benicio del Toro in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt in 12 MONKEYS. In PARNASSUS he front-loads so much great acting that you almost lose sight of the surreal story being played out. Plummer, Troyer and Waits are real standouts here, despite the bigger names as the various incarnations of Tony. Waits, in particular, is a delight to watch. His aloof, grinding voice and huckster's garb make for a wickedly ramblin' gamblin' man. He just happens to deal in eternal damnation.

As the wager moves forward, much time is spent in Dali-esque other-worlds, where temptation is offered by both parties - Nick with the easy, salacious offer, and various Tonys with more promising, but less fun, self-improvement. Or something like that. There are times the story doesn't make clear what exactly is being offered to obtain the souls in question, or what happens to the physical bodies of those whose "bad" choice causes them to seemingly be destroyed in the dream-world. But the look of the landscapes are a pleasure to behold. Gilliam's universe is one heaped with strange sights: a ship on the head of a giant, lizards in a tacky casino lounge, hovering monitors in a futuristic control room. The many realms found in PARNASSUS, if not conjured by the surreal dreamscapes of Dali, were at least inspired by some dark, Seussian vision.

THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS is also a film that could easily be recommended for family viewing; the surreal elements are never too dark or too lurid, and the sympathetic portrayals of the theater company are sweetly endearing. Gilliam has managed to leave us with something delightful and wondrous, which is far more palatable than his recent efforts, or even dark successes like FEAR AND LOATHING. Filled with striking images and terrific acting, PARNASSUS is that rare fantasy film where the strange and the unexpected mingle politely with delicate human emotion, yet no one element ever overwhelms the others.(Review by Steve Norwood - content provider for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas - AFFD)

News Bites:


Avatar 2 Likely To Leave Pandora

Attend The Tea Party In The New Alice In Wonderland Image

How Heath Ledger's last film Parnassus nearly died with him

Captain America Targeted for a June Start


'Red-band' Repo Men trailer is bloody sci-fi fun

Is Heath Ledger's final film, Parnassus, part of a curse?

34 amazing Star Wars Christmas cards you wish George Lucas sent you

Star Trek fan loses lawsuit over fake Data visor

New 'Season of the Witch' Stills, 'Frozen' Website Launch

Video: Charge the Castle with 'Solomon Kane', Creature Featurette

New 'Clash of the Titans' Images Conjure Up Magic

Mushroom Cloud Swarms Louisiana From Set of 'Battle: Los Angeles'

Escape Artists Books Return Trip to 'Hell'

Sorry Fans, Mr. T Will Not Appear In The A-Team Remake

Is DC Eyeing Up Hawkman?

First Robin Hood Posters Are Out

Producer Scott Stuber Talks Wolfman Tinkering

Feast Your Eyes on New Blackout Artwork

Poe Serving Up the Cannibalism

Will Bai Ling Ever Get to Run The Gauntlet?

Teaser Trailer - 9: Secret Sunday

New Stills from La Casa Muda (The Silent House)

Green Lantern's Oscar-Winning Crew

Mark Strong on Kick-Ass

Things Get Violent In The Book Of Eli Featurette

Second Prince Of Persia Featurette: Behold The Power Of The Dagger

Jet Li's Warlords Trailer

Ridley Scott Wants Robin Hood In 3D

'Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead' Release Date, First Stills!

Dallas Sci-Fi Expo - April 24th - 25th

Official Pix and C2 Ventures are bringing the science fiction celebrities, comic book artists, and vendors back to the Dallas / Fort Worth, TX area again for their semi-quarterly Sci-Fi Expo on April 24th and 25th. It's all taking place at The Richardson Civic Center (411 W. Arapaho Rd.) in Richardson, TX just north of Dallas.

This time around, they have got some really awesome guests appearing for the first time ever and some returning to greet there fans again. Newcomers at this show are Bruce Boxleitner (Tron, Tron Legacy, Babylon 5, Heroes), Mira Furlan (Lost, Babylon 5), Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica), Deep Roy (Star Trek, Return of the Jedi, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Transformers II, X-Files, and Chronicles of Narnia), Dickey Beer (Stuntman for Return of the Jedi who played Barada, Biker Scout, Gamorrean guard, Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett), Alan Harris (several different roles in the Star Wars movies including Bossk, Cloud city guard Merril, and more), and Roger Christian (Set director of STAR WARS: A New Hope - helped craft the very first R2 for George Lucas out of wood, 2nd unit director for Phantom Menace, production designer for Alien). Returning actors for this show include Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica series, Tom Zarek on the new Battlestar Galactica series), Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, voice of Boba Fett on Star Wars - The Clone Wars TV series), and Mike Edmonds (Empire Strikes Back - Ugnaught, Return of the Jedi - Logray).

After the jump, you can see more of the confirmed guests and get more info.

Every Official Pix and C2 Ventures event is a blast and well ran. I recommend attending whether you're a loyal convention goer or new to the whole idea. For more info on the con, go here.

2010 Dallas Film Festival - April 8th to 18th

The Dallas Film Festival will be taking place on April 8 through the 18th and MGF will be covering the event. There's films for everyone with any tastes. There's also award ceremonies like The Tex Avery Animation Award and the Target Filmmaker Award. There's also red carpet events, like opening night with actor Bill Paxton and Honorary Chairs Mayor Tom Leppert and Laura Leppert. There's a few good genre flicks we'll be covering, such as Earthling, The Loved Ones, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and a special screening of Up with director and 2010 Tex Avery Award recipient Pete Doctor in attendance. I'm sure there's more stars to be announced for the red carpet, as well. You can go to the official festival website for more info, the full film schedule, and tickets. After the jump, you can read a little more about the fest and it's sponsors.


The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today's world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual DALLAS International Film Festival, to be held April 8 -18, 2010, is a presentation of The Dallas Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, The Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, visit

SPONSORS Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Behringer Harvard, Barefoot Wine, Brierley + Partners, Brilliant Magazine, CBS Radio, Central 214, Colibri Promotions, Convergence Network Solutions, D Magazine, DART, Design Expediting Services Inc., Deux, Digital 3 Printing, El Creative, e-Rewards, e-Miles, Faulkner Design Group, Hotel Palomar, Informate DFW Magazine,, Mockingbird Station, Modern Luxury Dallas, MODIA Home Theater Store, Movie Magic, MPS Studios Dallas, Neiman Marcus, Paul Paredes, Post Asylum, Pure Evil Sound & Music, REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT, The Residences at Palomar, Screen International, Southwest Airlines, Stella Artois, Stoli Vodka, Studio Movie Grill, Target, The Dallas Morning News, Time Warner Cable, The Container Store, TM Advertising, TXU Energy, Univision 23, vitaminwater, West Village, WFAA-TV, Whole Foods Market, World Affairs Council, WRR Classical 101.1 FM.

Twilight Indian Actor At Dallas Indian Market This Weekend!

I just got wind of this today, but definitely wanted to help promote it. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there that don't know about it. The 21st Annual Texas Indian Market and Southwest Showcase is this weekend at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX. The event starts today and goes through Sunday, March 28th. Among the many activities that are going on during the whole weekend, they have a few pretty cool actors that will be on-hand to meet and greet their fans. Scheduled to appear are The Twilight Saga's Gil Birmingham (Billy Black - Jacob Black's father). He's also been in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You can also meet Irene Bedard (voice of Disney's Pocahontas, Steven Spielberg's Into the West, Smoke Signals), Steve Reevis (Dances with Wolves, Geronimo, The Missing), and Moses J. Brings Plenty (Pirates of the Caribbean, Hidalgo). Other very cool attractions at the event include Navajo Weaving Market, Native American Books & Music, Indian Food Court, and Photo Opportunities with a bald eagle, and more. Cost is $10 for adults and 13 and under are free. Go to the official website for more info.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Moon DVD Release Party With Bella's Truck!

Tomorrow night is a monumental moment for all fans of The Twilight Saga. At midnight, New Moon will be released on DVD and Blu-ray. There are tons of DVD release parties all over the Dallas / Fort Worth, TX area, but only one will have Bella's rusty red Chevy truck at it. That's right - Sterling Biegert, the owner of Bella's truck will be at the Lewisville Borders Bookstore. You can have your picture taken sitting in the truck for a small donation. All money goes to Biegert's charities. Read on for more info straight from A Galaxy Called Dallas after the jump. James Pickering, who runs the site, also is the host of the release party and works for Borders. There's also a picture of Sterling sitting in her prized possession.

"If you’re a fan of Twilight and live in the Lewisville, Texas area, then Friday might be of interest to you. Friday, March 19th, Borders Books all across the country will be having a midnight movie release party for the New Moon DVD. To add to the festivities at the Lewisville store, though, local celebrity (at least she is to us), Sterling Biegert will be in attendance with her pride and joy, Bella’s old Chevy pick-up truck from the movie.

Sterling will allow photos of the truck alone, but if you want a photo of yourself sitting in the truck, a small donation will be asked. All donations go to Sterling’s favorite charities.

The event starts at 10pm and will run until about 1am. In addition to the regular DVD and Blu-ray editions, Borders will be selling an exclusive set:
Includes exclusive medallion necklace on a silver chain—gold side features wolf-pack tattoo design, silver side shows the Cullen crest.
PLUS, enjoy over 25 minutes of previously unreleased EXTENDED SCENES such as Jake in Bella's Room and Edward meeting the Volturi and many, many more! INTERVIEWS with cast members Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, the Cullen Family, the Wolf Pack, the Volturi and Director Chris Weitz; unrivaled RED-CARPET FOOTAGE from the movie premiere; front row seats to The Twilight Saga: New Moon WEBCAST.
Also includes additional Special Features: A revealing AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Chris Weitz and Editor Peter Lambert; a riveting 6-PART DOCUMENTARY that takes you behind the scenes; exclusive band REHEARSAL FOOTAGE with Muse; and MUSIC VIDEOS from Death Cab for Cutie, Anya Marina and Mutemath.

Just remember that even though Borders feels they have enough stock to meet the demand, supplies are limited. There will also be more ‘New Moon’ merchandise to satisfy even the most hard-core collector, so join them for food, fun, and ‘New Moon’ Friday, March, 19th at 10pm."

The 2010 Dallas Oscar Watching Party Tomorrow Night!

Red Carpet Crash, The MungleShow, and present the best place in Dallas to watch the 2010 Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7 – at the Historic Lakewood Theater. We’ll have the biggest night in entertainment on a massive screen, and you’re invited to watch it with us!

The staffs of Red Carpet Crash, The MungleShow and will be there, along with local actors, filmmakers and a few surprise guests. It’ll be a fun night for movie lovers, and you don’t want to miss it!

The 2010 Dallas Oscar Watching Party is brought to you by Lone Star Beer, the National Beer Of Texas; and the Dallas Observer.

Admission is free, with VIP tickets available for $10. VIP ticket holders will receive a badge & lanyard giving them access to the prime seats in the Theatre, one free drink ticket, and complimentary Lone Star Beer through the event. There’s a limited number of VIP tickets available, so reserve yours now at!

There’s a red carpet entry for all attendees, with photographers stationed for “paparazzi” shots in front of the Lakewood. It’s not a “black-tie affair,” but you certainly won’t feel out of place if you decide to suit up.

Doors at 5:30 pm, with Red Carpet coverage from the Kodak Theatre on the big screen. The Oscar broadcast begins at 7:00 pm.

Oscar ballots will be handed out to all attending, with prizes awarded for correct guesses on each category. There’s also a Grand Prize for the total number of correct guesses.

The Lakewood Theater, a restored 1938 Art Deco Movie Palace in East Dallas is home to a world of movies, concerts, plays, corporate and private special events, film and music festivals and premieres, community gatherings, and more.

Come find out who will take home the big awards, and perhaps take home some goodies of your own!

UPDATED PRIZE INFO (updated as of March 1, 2010)

Every attendee of the 2010 Dallas Big Gold Statue Awards Watching Party will be given a full Awards ballot, where they can choose who they believe will win each award that night.

The person who gets the most correct guesses* will win a pair of Star Passes for the Dallas International Film Festival. Each pass is valid for:

    * One invitation to the Opening Night Gala on April 8, 2010, subject to availability. **
    * One invitation to the Closing Night Gala, subject to availability.
    * Invitations to select parties during the Festival.
    * One DALLAS IFF Swag Bag.
    * Access for two people to the Filmmaker Lounge.
    * Admission for one person to all Centerpiece Screenings and associated parties, subject to availability. Seating is limited, and RSVP is required.
    * Admission for one person with priority seating to all regular film screenings and panel discussions.
    * Eligibility to buy additional tickets in advance of public box office opening.

Visit for more information on the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival, coming April 8 – 18.

Prizes will also be awarded for correct guesses in each category (the winner will be drawn from all correct guesses), including:

    * “District 9” on Blu-Ray
    * “Up” on DVD
    * “The Hurt Locker” on DVD
    * “Inglourious Basterds” on DVD
    * “Coraline” on DVD
    * The “Avatar” Soundtrack on CD
    * The “Up In The Air” Soundtrack on CD
    * The “Inglourious Basterds” Soundtrack on CD
    * One pair of two-day passes for the April 24-25 Sci-Fi Expo in Richardson, TX.
    * One pair of standard weekend passes for Texas Frightmare Weekend, April 30-May 2.

Thanks to Warner Music Group, the Sci-Fi Expo, and Texas Frightmare Weekend for their participation in making the 2010 Dallas Big Gold Statue Awards Watching Party a bigger smash.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. All 2010 Dallas Big Gold Statue Awards Watching Party attendees 17 years old or older are invited to participate (must be 17 or older to win). Must be present to win. Winners will be randomly selected from correct entries for each Awards category on Sunday, March 7. Winners’ names will be announced from the stage during the Event, and prizes must be claimed on Sunday, March 7 at the Lakewood Theater.

* In the event of a tie, one winner will be drawn at random from the pool of entrants.

** Please note: Dallas International Film Festival Opening Night Gala availability is limited, and attendees must request tickets by March 17, to ensure event attendance.

Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Screening News

National CineMedia and Fathom Events sent us an e-mail press release about a really cool event coming up on March 11th. It's the The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event with an Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Retrospective by Creator/Writer/Director Troy Duffy. It will be shown in more than 450 select movie theaters in the U.S. There's about 14 theaters it will be showing at in the Dallas / Fort Worth, TX area. After the jump, you can see the entire press release we were sent and get some links for more info.

NCM Fathom Presents The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event

with an Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Retrospective by

Creator/Writer/Director Troy Duffy in More than 450 Select Movie Theaters

Centennial, Colo. – February 8, 2010 – Ten years after emerging as a cult sensation, “The Boondock Saints” will return to the big screen in a special one-night presentation, The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event, on Thursday, March 11th at 7:30 p.m. local time. Creator, writer and director Troy Duffy will introduce the event and share rare behind-the-scenes experiences and footage as well as exclusive interviews with cast and crew members including Norman Reedus (Murphy MacManus) and Sean Patrick Flanery (Connor MacManus), captured especially for this anniversary celebration. Audiences will also be treated to special performance clips by The Dirges, Ty Stone and Taylor Duffy whose music is part of the upcoming soundtrack to The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, along with a sneak peek into the mobile games, comic books and graphic novel currently in development.

Presented by NCM Fathom, The Boondock Saints, LLC, and Hot Topic, tickets for The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event are available at and presenting theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the web site (theaters and participants are subject to change).

“Twenty-ten is already shaping up to be an amazing milestone year for The Boondock Saints and for the millions of fans who have literally carried us to where we are today,” said Duffy. “I know I speak for Sean and Norman as well when I say that it’s going to be a year-long celebration of our connecting with, thanking and entertaining as many fans as possible just for the pure thrill of it all…and it starts on March 11th.”

Initially released in 2000 as a limited engagement to theaters following the Columbine tragedy, “The Boondock Saints” has gained a tremendous cult following, selling more than seven million DVDs to date. Acclaimed by critics and fans alike, “The Boondock Saints” is a story about fraternal twin brothers Connor & Murphy McManus who embark upon a mission to rid Boston of human evil. After killing two members of the Russian mafia in self-defense, these hard-drinking brothers take the law into their own hands. No public outcry is heard and even FBI agent Paul Smecker begins to feel that the brothers are doing a good deed.

“The Boondock Saints” was previously presented by NCM Fathom in 2006 in 130 select theaters.

“’The Boondock Saints’ special event was a hit four years ago as thousands of fans experienced this cult classic in their local movie theaters,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “For those who have only seen this crime thriller on the small screen, this is a unique opportunity to experience it on the big screen like never before with an exclusive retrospective from Troy and the cast members who are part of ‘The Boondock Saints’ decade-long journey.”

The Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary Event will be shown in 457 select movie theaters including, AMC Entertainment Inc., Celebration! Cinema, Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Clearview Cinemas, Georgia Theatre Co., Goodrich Quality Theaters, Hollywood Theaters, Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, National Amusements and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters, as well as Arlington Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA), Bainbridge 5 (Seattle, WA), The Carolina (Asheville, NC), Palace Cinema 9 (South Burlington, VT) and Penn Cinema (Lititz, PA), through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network – North America’s largest cinema broadcast network.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray™ and DVD will be available on March 9. Both the Blu-ray™ and DVD include two commentary tracks with filmmakers & cast, deleted scenes, and two behind-the-scenes featurettes: the making-of documentary “Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes” and “Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited.” For more information about The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Blu-ray™ and DVD, please visit

Dallas Comic Con - January 30th To 31st
Comic book artists, writers, and movie actors will be invading the Richardson Civic Center again on January 30th to the 31st. We've been avid supporters of the Dallas Comic Cons and Sci-Fi Expos for many years now. MGF will be in attendance again, bringing you all the interviews, photos, and video you can stomach and more. Official Pix and C2 Ventures puts on the absolute best and well-organized comic book and movie events in the DFW area and you will not want to miss it! Check out the info on who's going to be there after the jump!
Dallas Comic Con
January 30th to 31st
Richardson Civic Center
411 W. Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX

Actor Guests:

Daniel Cudmore - TWILIGHT NEW MOON: Felix the Volturi Guard, X-MEN 2 and X-MEN THE LAST STAND: Colossus. 1st Texas appearance! Twi-Fans don’t miss meeting him! Appearing Saturday only.

Charisma Carpenter - BUFFY THE VAMIRE SLAYER & ANGEL: Cordilia Chase, CHARMED: Kira, LEGEND OF THE SEEKER and more! Appearing Saturday only.

Adam West - Batman (1960s hit TV series), Family Guy: Mayor Adam West, and much more! Appearing Saturday and Sunday.

Sean Patrick Flanery - Star of YOUNG INDIANA JONES, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS I and II, SUICIDE KINGS, POWDER, and THE DEAD ZONE (series) Appearing Sunday only.

Herb Jefferson Jr. - Battlestar Galactica’s Boomer! Appearing Saturday and Sunday.

Anne Lockhart - Battlestar Galactica’s Sheba! Appearing Saturday and Sunday.

Cliff Alliston - Return of the Jedi: Rebel Assualt Trooper from the battle on Endor.

Comic Book Guests:


Adam Hughes - Cover artist of CATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN, TOMB RAIDER, POWER GIRL, JSA CLASSIFIED, and so much more. Adam has also designed several statues for DC Comics and Sideshow Collectibles.

Michael Golden - Industry legend responsible for art on THE 'NAM, ROM, DOCTOR STRANGE, MICRONAUTS, BATMAN, HOWARD THE DUCK, BUCKY O'HARE, SHE-HULK, and so much more. This is Michael's first Dallas Comic Con!




Brian Denham - Artist of IDW's ANGEL (sold out!), Marvel's IRON MAN HYPERVELOCITY and NOVA, Wildstorm's THE X-FILES, Top Cow's DARKNESS, Extreme's VIOLATOR VS. BADROCK, cover artist of PRESIDENT EVIL.


Bill Williams - Writer of IDW's ANGEL (sold out!), contributor and publisher for Lone Star Press.


Kerry Gamill - Artist of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST, SUPERMAN, FALLEN ANGELS, and more. Kerry will be promoting his new book BELA LUGOSI'S TALES FROM THE GRAVE.

and MANY more!

To check out all the info, go here.

Dallas All-Con 2010 - March 12, 13, and 14

The annual Dallas All-Con starts this Friday, March 12th at The Crowne Plaza in Addison (14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001). Of course, MGF will be on-hand to cover the crazy going-ons. As usual, I'll let the professionals handle the event description. According to All-Con's official website, "for three days All-Con provides an umbrella of content supporting fans of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Renaissance, Anime, Costuming, Theater / Performing Arts, Mystery, Art, Crafts, Collecting, and Film Making. To help 'give back' there are several charity events at the convention every year." This year, the festivities include appearances by actors and artists like John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox", Enterprise / "Mike Spencer", True Blood), Anne Lockhart ("Sheba" on the original Battlestar Galactica, Starship Kelvan's computer voice in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek), Larry Hama (Writer/Editor, Marvel Comics / G.I. Joe), Kazushi Hinoki (Manga artist, Japan), and Keisaku Kimura (Indie filmmaker, Japan). There's also Burlesque, Imperial Gladiators, Cosplay, Console Tournaments, Laser Tag, Rocky Horror, Texas Hold 'Em, Ms. Star Wars competition, vendors, and tons of other panels, activities, and contests. Believe me, there's something for everyone. Last year's event was very fun.

You can go here to see a full list of all the panels and activities going on at the con. To register in advance and get a hotel room for easy event access, go right here for more information. You might want to get a room if you're a big con-goer since the days activities at All-Con don't end until 2AM on both Friday and Saturday nights. The "hotel offers special rates to convention attendees, superb room accomodations, an affordable lobby restaurant, and free parking. Six elevator banks move traffic quickly between the convention space and the 560 guest rooms."

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Real Reason Behind Christmas

Merry Christmas to all from!
This movie, The Nativity Story, was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who has recently become famous as the person who helmed the first Twilight movie. After the jump is the first 9 minutes of the movie. You can go here to see the rest of the links for the entire movie.

In Nazareth, a town oppressed by the devastating taxation practices of King Herod, a teenage girl, Mary, is told by her parents that they have arranged for her to marry Joseph. Distraught by the idea of marrying a man she hardly knows, Mary takes refuge in a grove to collect her thoughts. There, she is visited by an angel, who tells her that she has been chosen by God to bear his son. Despite the public scorn from an unwed pregnancy, together, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for a census mandated by the King. It is here, with a great celestial event revealing his prophecy, in a history-defining event, that Jesus is born.

Through all the busy running around and traveling you do, don't forget to remember the real reason behind the holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MGF Has A Christmas Present For Some Lucky Folks - Free Passes To The Lovely Bones

What better present can we give to the movie lover? Get yourself something for Christmas this year! Win yourself and a friend, wife, significant other, whatever passes to see Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones before it comes out in theaters. We are co-hosting a screening of the film at Studio Movie Grill Royal (11170 North Central Expressway)in Dallas, TX on January 12th at 7PM. All you have to do is e-mail with the answer the following trivia question:

What is the first victim to become a zombie in Dead Alive bitten by that infects him (be specific)?

Susie Salmon, a young girl who has been murdered, watches over her family -- and her killer -- from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

The Lovely Bones was directed by Peter Jackson and stars Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon, Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, and Michael Imperioli.

The movie came out December 11th in limited theaters and is opening wide on January 15th, 2010.

Steve Norwood Reviews Sherlock Holmes
Until SHERLOCK HOLMES, the phrase "period piece" would not have been attributable to Guy Ritchie. But one of the most surprising and pleasing aspects of the director's new film is that he gets the look and feel of Victorian London down so well that if it weren't for the slow-motion, bare-knuckle fight scenes and recurring, signature "here's what really happened" sequences, you might not have thought it was a Guy Ritchie film at all. The set design, costumes, re-imagined architecture, background images and infrequent, almost flawless CGI effects depict the sprawling city quite well. Ritchie more than adequately pegs the sense of a different, tumultuous age, right down to the tools and jargon used by each character. The depth of these surroundings allows the viewer to more easily swallow Holmes' shenanigans as the film's mystery unfolds.

And what a strange mystery it is! The powerful and grave Lord Blackwood has been caught dealing in the dark arts after a string of murders, and is hanged for his crimes. But soon after, he is resurrected and sets about instigating a Very Sinister Plan. At once eerily distracting and wholly predictable, this supernatural angle almost makes the film seem like more than a basic whodunnit. But it's no coincidence that the story takes place during an era when science and technology are coming into their own.

Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law play Holmes and his unflappable assistant, Dr. Watson. Watson, it seems, has tired of said shenanigans and is parting ways with the renowned sleuth, forging a relationship with his fiancee and a medical practice far away from 221-B Baker Street. But Holmes has had Watson by his side for so long that the detective is having trouble parting ways.

For all his intuitive bravado, Holmes is a bit of a head case. Acutely focused on disseminating the reactions and consequences of every act (his deductive skills are summed up nicely when he rattles off the answers to a string of potential "next cases"), he remains a bit of a slob, socially inept, and a casual gambler and drinker. Drug use is alluded to briefly but quickly dropped; apparently the near-Autistic wiring of Holmes' brain (and thus his behaviors) supplied more than enough fodder for the film. If his intellect weren't so great and his crime-solving abilities not necessary, he wouldn't be a very likable chap.

As entertaining as Downey is (in full, Victorian Tony Stark mode), it's Law who runs away with the film. His Watson is capable in every way, yet must frequently alternate between Holmes' tough-love parental figure and crime-fighting partner. As Lord Blackwood, Mark Strong has little to do but glower and speak in a menacing tone. The actor has quickly become one of my favorites thanks to solid supporting performances in Ritchie's REVOLVER and ROCKNROLLA and the Ridley Scott drama BODY OF LIES. It is one of the few flaws of the film that there isn't more dimension to the villainous character.

On the side, there is a subplot about an international criminal played by Rachel McAdams who has a past connection with Holmes. She is currently employed by a shrouded figure who wants to de-stabilize the sleuth for some nefarious purpose. It is within this subplot that the seeds of franchise are buried.

As strong as its physical settings are, dialogue is critical in a tale of endless minute detail, and the bickering between Holmes and Watson accounts for much of its gleeful success . The banter is swift and crackles, both with wit and melodrama. If the plot winds down in a rather familiar fashion, getting there is a lot of fun.

Good-looking, briskly paced and filled with clever wordplay and physical action, SHERLOCK HOLMES makes for a highly entertaining package that should please a wide variety of moviegoers. Up against the musical NINE and the character dramas CRAZY HEART and A SINGLE MAN, it seems poised to do quite well as the only full-fledged adventure opening Christmas day. And deservedly so. (Review by Steve Norwood - content provider for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas - AFFD)

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Review
Alvin, Theodore and Simon have become teen pop stars since their last cinematic adventure. After a performance in Paris, their “father” Dave is injured due to Alvin’s antics and has to stay in the hospital to recuperate. He sends the chipmunk’s home to be cared for by Aunt Jackie. Unfortunately, she’s also becomes incapacitated and they are left in the care of her clumsy video gamer grandson, Toby.
Toby (Zachary Levi of TV’s Chuck), is an uncomfortable adult with arrested development. He tries hard and has a good heart, but would rather hide in his game world than deal with the needs of his little charges. Dave (Jason Lee) had enrolled the “munks” into high school to take a break from their music careers. They may have been big on stage, but in the school hierarchy they end up being the next targets of teen aggression.

Alvin (Justin Long), the instigator, runs rampant in the house without Dave’s constant admonishments but misses being yelled at by Dave. Theodore (Jesse McCartney) is having nightmares and Toby can’t seem to provide the reassurances that he needs. Alvin is arguing with Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler) about spending more time with the football team. Alvin’s need to be accepted finds him playing along with his team members’ harassment of his brothers. When Principal Dr. Rubin (Wendie Malick) asks them to perform to save the school’s music program, The Chipmunks agree.

However, there are some new ‘munks in town. A trio of female chipmunks (Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler) had Fed-Ex’d themselves to The Chipmunks’ former agent, Ian Hawke (David Cross). They were inspired by The Chipmunks’ success and want to follow the same path. Little do they know that Ian’s been homeless and without a job since he was fired as The Chipmunks’ manager. He’s been looking for another animal act since then. But The “Chipettes” are unaware of this fact and they believe the slander and the promises of greatness while Ian attempts to exploit them. He enrolls The Chipettes in the same high school. The Chipettes are instantly attracted to their counterpart Chipmunks, but they are untrusting of each other due to Ian’s involvement and manipulations. He gets Dr. Rubin to hold a “sing off” to see which Chipmunk group will represent the school. It doesn’t help that Alvin’s self interests are also causing a riff especially when he misses an important performance. The Chipettes don’t realize until it’s almost too late that they have made a big mistake.

Directed by Betty Thomas, the film moves swiftly along with the live action/CGI special effects. The Chipmunks look incredibly real and kids will love the singing dancing rodents. The familiar TV faces will give the parents something to enjoy. They will also appreciate the message of being true and loyal to one’s family. After listening to the musical numbers in this movie, I am convinced that today’s teen pop singers have all been influenced by The Chipmunks. (Review by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins)

Sherlock Holmes Review
I love Sherlock Holmes. I have loved Sherlock Holmes since I was about 9 years old. I remember staying up late at night reading the abridged version of The Hound of the Baskervilles and being mesmerized by the story, illustrations, and characters. That led to a healthy appetite for the original Basil Rathbone / Nigel Bruce ‘30s and ‘40s films that I would stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights to watch. Man, I even have a newspaper that was in print at the same time that Holmes “existed.” I have a framed collage hanging on my office wall that features pictures of the guarded doorway to 221B Baker Street in London, a wall painting and Holmes silhouette tiling in the subway, and a card that has the actor who plays Holmes onstage’s signature (of course, he signed it “Sherlock Holmes”). I also love the ‘80s film Young Sherlock Holmes. So when it was announced that Guy Ritchie was doing an adaptation of the famous character, I was very excited to say the least.

Sherlock Holmes is everything a fan of the character could ever want in a new adaptation of the legend. It’s adventurous, dark, mysterious, and humorous. It remains absolutely faithful to the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories while taking a chance and expanding on some aspects of the character such as physicality, the way his mind works, the curse of his mental “gifts,” and his drug use to obviously try to slow down his overactive and over stimulated psyche. It shows the back story of the character and delves into his personal world.

I can’t even begin to say enough about how well Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law work together. The chemistry between the two is unbelievable and something that I would compare to catching lightning in a bottle. Robert Downey Jr’s English accent is beyond unfaltering and you never once doubt that he is channeling the very character that Doyle would have approved of taking right off the page. Jude Law plays the straight-laced and grounded Dr. Watson the way you would expect him to be – gentlemanly and calmly skeptical of the situations he finds himself in.

The story is pretty well put together and you really don’t know what is going on until the very end. It has a kind of similar dark tone and subject matter like Young Sherlock Holmes, but isn’t an exact replica or copy of the story. The pacing is a bit off and there are a few lulls in action here and there, but it’s for the sake of the storytelling.

My only real complaint about the movie is the characterization of Irene Adler in the film. She really is tossed around and bossed around like some helpless and defensive woman, which is completely contrary to how you would think that Holmes’ would act. It wasn’t Rachel McAdams fault at all. She did what she could with what she was given to work with.

Guy Ritchie really is on to something here. This movie could be the jump start to a whole new franchise. It would be a shame to see the Downey Jr. / Law chemistry put to rest with this first film. There is so much more story and ground that could be covered. We just have to hope that this doesn’t end up getting lost in all the post – Avatar hype and the holidays. (Review by Eric Shirey)

News Bites:


First official Twilight image from Eclipse

Red-band Kick-Ass trailer: Meet Hit Girl! 

Bryan Singer in search of a Battlestar writer

International Trailer For Christopher Nolan's Inception


Peter Jackson developing a sci-fi movie: Mortal Engines

Glimpse the sci-fi vampire future in 3 new Daybreakers clips

The Karate Kid Trailer

First Frozen Trailer

The Cow Says Moo In This Third Teaser For Universal's Despicable Me

New International Trailer For Robin Hood. Now With More Arrows.

Don't Look Down At This New Inception Poster

Set Visit: Interview with '30 Days of Night: Dark Days' Creator Steve Niles

First Ever Look at Screen Gems' 'The Roommate', Hi-Res 'Priest' Teaser

Platinum Dunes Updates 'Friday 2' and 'Elm Street' Reshoots

Frankenstein-like Mist Transforms in 'Night and Fog'

'Transformers Writer to Pen 'the forgotten' Comic Adaptation

Two New Clips from Demonic Toys 2: Personal Demons

French One-Sheet and Trailer for The Horde

Maneater Trailer Shows Some Teeth

The Irish Offer a Portrait of a Zombie

Set Visit: Deon Taylor's Dark Christmas / Updates on Chain Letter and Dead Tone

X-Men: First Class Might Supersede Magneto Spin-Off?

Furry Vegeance Trailer: Brendan Fraser Rips Off Over The Hedge

Update From Producer Of Bone And Tom & Jerry

Two New Prince Of Persia Images Stick To The Status Quo

First Trailer For Luc Besson's Adventures

Tom Hanks Ready To Return For A Third Da Vinci Code

Iron Man 2 Will Not Be In 3D

Final Shutter Island One-Sheet

Pixar Releases Gorgeous Toy Story 3 Script Art

Monday, December 21, 2009

Interview With Robert Downey Jr. And Jude Law For Sherlock Holmes
Below the jump is an interview with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law about their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Guy Ritchie's upcoming Sherlock Holmes film. They discuss how physical the film is, what the actors did to keep in shape for the action scenes, and how Jude Law is adapting to his nickname of "Hotson." Footage used with permission of Warner Bros. Pictures.

In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

Sherlock Holmes is directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, and Eddie Marsan.

The film is coming out December 25th.

UPDATED! Join MGF For Horror Remix - You Better Watch Out! 3 Holiday Slashers In 2 Hours!
UPDATED!!! Horror Remix mastermind Edward Antilla just informed me that there is 10 minutes of new footage added to You Better Watch Out! this year, so don't just write it off as something you've already seen.

Movie Geek Feed will be in full force to celebrate Christmas with Horror Remix this coming Wednesday night. We're going to be having a sort of Holiday get together and want to invite everyone else out to enjoy themselves and kick in the season with a little slasher fun! We'll have some giveaways, too, so "Ho Ho Ho!"

Horror Remix Presents… You Better Watch Out!

2 Hours of Holiday Slashers
Wednesday, December 23rd 10PM

Alamo Drafthouse
Winchester, VA

Alamo Drafthouse
Austin (Lake Creek)

Alamo Drafthouse
Houston (West Oaks)

Studio Movie Grill
Addison, TX (North Dallas)

Start a holiday tradition like no other. Three holiday horror classics (Christmas Evil, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part Two, and Iced)  sliced and diced down to a power-packed 2 hours. Plus, lots of fun extras, shorts and your puppet MCs, Cheesecake and Thunderclap. SO BAD… IT’S GOOD! For more info, go here!

Upon meeting editor-in-chief Eric Shirey for the first time, it was made clear to me that Movie Geek Feed was specifically about action, horror and science-fiction films. There would be no accolades shown to TOKYO SONATA or REVANCHE here. That's fine, I understand the need for niche. Genre films have been a backbone of cinema for as far back as that first train robber who fired a pistol into an unsuspecting audience. And 2009 was actually a great year for really good genre films. It also made room, as most years do, for some mightily disappointing ones...but we'll get to those later.

Sure, there are some masterpieces of 2009 that I could try to pigeon-hole into this...INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and THE HURT LOCKER will be at the top of a different list of mine, found elsewhere, but they both have action elements with which I could have tried to sway Eric. But I want to adhere to the rules of the house, and so I offer you:



A gruesome but loving ode to Halloween lore that stretched taboo boundaries enough times that distributors balked at a theatrical release. That's usually a sign that they just don't get the joke. TRICK R TREAT is devoted to an old-school belief that horror can be grotesque and dark and still make you laugh, while you grip the seat in suspense.


So polished. So cheaply made (by comparison). It didn't seem possible that an alien allegory for Apartheid could be so slick and entertaining and still manage to offer emotional and dramatic heft. Shame on those who immediately talked about sequels. Why can't genre movies stand on their own anymore? Oh, and it's fun, too.


This re-launching of the revered science fiction staple was a success for many reasons: terrifically astute casting, an engaging story that was not entirely predictable, and a sense of fun that made you not mind re-living something that seemed all-too-familiar. One of the few summer films in 2009 that was worth the price of admission.


Nicolas Cage gets a bad rap for doing Disney blockbusters, and Alex Proyas' excellent films often get overlooked. So when the two worked together on this mostly quiet, frequently thoughtful drama about the end of the world, too few critics saw it for the small masterpiece it really is. Cage does some of his best acting in years here, and Proyas creates yet another world where the easy answer will not be found. The film also happens to be beautifully shot, with some devastating moments.


Is it The Time Travel Film As Murder Mystery? Or just a more fun version of PRIMER? TIMECRIMES is a creeping, mysterious slice of low-budget, foreign science-fiction that immediately was sought for remake by Hollywood, because Hollywood knows when they've been beaten by simple, elegant quality.


Again, at the heart of an otherwise nerve-jangling horror/action film, we find the purest human emotions. Something is loose in a small U.K. village, and the locals face both this unknown evil and military troops who kill on sight. So what's a failed parent to do when their child comes to town for Christmas? Yes, this is a holiday film.


There are many fictions that have been deemed un-filmable. Alan Moore's WATCHMEN is one. But Zack Snyder has proven again that he is a filmmaker to watch, taking the entirety of Moore's alterna-history superhero drama to the screen and making it seem easy. Vast, colorful, perfectly shot and in certain cases (I'm looking at you, Crudup, Haley & Morgan), exquisitely acted. WATCHMEN is the closest thing genre has to a David Lean epic.

3 - [REC]2

This Spanish horror sequel is to its predecessor what ALIENS was to ALIEN. Which is to say a more beefed-up, highly-charged version of a classic original. To say anything about what goes down in the quarantined apartment building this go-round would be saying too much. Let it suffice that if you can find [REC]2 anywhere, run to see it. "Nail-biting" and "hair-raising" may be hyphenated clich├ęs, but this film manages both, in spades.


An apocalyptic road film that offers no easy answers and takes no prisoners, but does so with great characterization and depth of emotion on a seeming shoestring budget. Like TRICK R TREAT, it was mismanaged for theatrical release, but is available on DVD. Find this film. It is greater than its horror-themed intentions.


It's all about commitment, baby. Neveldine/Taylor made a giddy, outlandish joke with the original CRANK, the action-film-as-energy-drink: consume, excite, throw away. But with this sequel, they create something far more visceral, wild...quite possibly insane. CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE is the flaming fist of unyielding commitment. And it's aimed at your face.


8 - SURROGATES - How funny they should make a film about robots that has no heart. An empty shell of science-fiction intentions. An argument against comic/graphic novel adaptations.

7 - BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE - A feature-length, live-action version of an excellent 30-minute animated film. Unfortunately, it stinks. With effects work that looks like a SyFy reject.

6 - PUSH - Paltry, silly and un-engaging take on the I've-got-better-mental-prowess-than-you-do-despite-your-ability-to-see-the-future-because-I-can-make-guns-float-in-the-air genre. Wait, is that a genre? PUSH is the absence of fun.

5 - PANDORUM - I have a lot of love for Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid (both of whom were in other, far better films in 2009), and PANDORUM had a strong finale. But I found this science-fiction tale steeped in noise and flash-editing that made it painful to watch. It attempts to hit the EVENT HORIZON target, and misses by light-years.

4 - TRANSFORMERS 2 - Clang clang clang. Awkward attempt at humor. Clang clang clang. Slow-motion running while something explodes in the background. Clang clang clang. 'Nuff said.

3 - WOLVERINE - The Wolverine of comic books had character. The film version of Wolverine is a pallid execution of that source material. Perhaps it is the best we can expect in this PG-13-is-more-consumer-friendly-than-R world we live in. But WOLVERINE the movie was a bland endeavor that only promised good (if not great) things, then barely delivered. It creates in its target demo the need for a better film. In Hollywood, this should be considered failure. In its wisdom, they are planning a sequel for one character and a spinoff for another.

2 - PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - Watching people sit in their living room and quietly disagree is possibly the worst narrative tactic a genre film can take. This isn't a Ken Loach film. Between such discussions are creepy, time-elapsed shots of a couple in bed. And occasionally something sort-of scary happens, and in the end, something else. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is a film that trucks in constant anticipation, but that only works with sufficient payoffs, which the film sorely lacks. Don't believe the hype: a movie in 2009 that trades off of an early viral video from the 90's is not new or creative or good. You have drunk the Kool-aid, America. It is bitter disappointment, personified.

1 - DEAD GIRL - The only reason I dislike this movie more than the let-downs and failures of every film above is that DEAD GIRL represents nothing more than an extended vision of ugliness. It is a repellant film, short and simple. But for those attracted to films that are supposed to be bad, let's put it this way: two dudes find a "living" dead girl chained up in an abandoned hospital's basement, and decide to use it as a sex toy. Now, if that sounds like fun, we have no more to say. Steve Norwood - content provider for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas - AFFD)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Horror Remix - Zombies 2: 2 Hours Of Undead Madness
Thanks to an incredibly busy Halloween schedule, MGF couldn’t make it out to Horror Remix’s Zombies 2: 2 Hours of Undead Madness on Friday the 30th of October. It was a very sad occasion for me, being that attending the Horror Remix events have become a kind of tradition for us here at MGF. So I decided to get a hold of Horror Remix mastermind Edward Antilla to see if I could somehow acquire a copy of it on DVD to enjoy in the comfort of my own home. Thankfully, he sent me a copy. As is usual, we’ve been so bogged down here with everything that I just now got around to watching it and reviewing it.

Zombies 2: 2 Hours of Undead Madness is comprised of two of the wonderfully cheesy zombie flicks from the ‘80s that stand out just a bit more than all the other countless hundreds of zombie-related films. You take the original film, put it in a blender, cut out all the nonsense filler that made the movie 90 minutes long and viola – you have a watchable 45 to 50 minute movie with only the good stuff left. This time around, we had The Video Dead from 1987 and it ended with 1988’s Flesheater. Definitely of note is the fact that famous zombie from Night of the Living Dead, Bill Hinzman, directed and starred in this little gem. I thought that was pretty cool. In between these two main courses were a couple of quick snacks by the name of Sugar Hill and Burial Ground. Now on to the individual parts’ reviews.
The Video Dead had your typical wretched acting. Not as bad as some of the 80’s horror movies out there, but definitely close. The movie is about “an unlabelled crate from an unknown source that is delivered to a house in the woods. The homeowner unwisely accepts the delivery, only to discover it contains a TV set that starts spewing giggling zombies all over the place. When a new family moves into the now-abandoned house, the son discovers the haunted television and is soon told what he needs to do to send the zombies back where they belong. Knowing and doing, however, are two very different things, and the zombies are not likely to go quietly.” The film was cut from 90 minutes to 51. I have to say that this was a very unorthodox zombie flick. The typical way of killing a zombie by some type of head shot wasn’t used. You could trap them all together and they would eat themselves or you had to trick them into thinking they were dead by shooting them or something. I don’t know how any more than one zombie got killed in this film, as they were using one bow and arrow to hunt and kill like five zombies at a time. The killing scenes were pretty cool, though, with the best one being a zombie having an iron stuck in his head. The other thing that was interesting about this movie was the way that people knew that there were zombies coming. Supposedly, you could tell if a zombie was around by the ringing of copper bells. I don’t know where that came from, but it was different.
Next up came the two mini remixes. The first one, Sugar Hill, was what I would consider a 70’s blaxploitation zombie movie. What I’m sure started out as an 80 to 90 minute movie was trimmed down to 9. Now that’s good editing! This flick is about a woman named Sugar Hill’s “boyfriend getting brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken down by the local gangsters running their protection racket. She decides not to get mad, but BAD! Calling upon the help of aged voodoo queen Mama Maitresse, Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge. In exchange for her soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding. The bad guys who thought they were getting away clean are about to find out that they're DEAD wrong.” Of course, you didn’t see the entire back story with Madame Maitresse and the Dark Master in the 9 minute edit, but you definitely got the point. The zombies with these weird big silver balls over their eyes were pretty creepy looking.
The next short was 1981’s French film Burial Ground and our Horror Remix editor decided to make a 9 minute movie just focusing on one of the characters in the film named Michael, who is played by Peter Bark. Peter is supposed to be about 15 years old, but looks to be about a 30 year old dwarf. The original film was about a “Professor Ayres who discovers a secret in an ancient stone and when he opens a crypt, he revives zombies that kill him. He had invited three couples to visit him in his manor to reveal his discovery. However, they never get around to meeting the professor. Out of the blue, the zombies attack them and they seek shelter in the mansion. The creatures put the manor under siege while the couples protect themselves trying to survive the horde of zombies.” There’s some pretty nasty and gory scenes in this one. Michael is a pretty wacked out kid who has some serious mother issues, to say the least.
Lastly, came 1988's Flesheater: Revenge of the Living Dead. This was pretty much your typical zombie flick. Of course, since it was made in the ‘80s you have to have a group of idiotic high school or college kids going out together to drink and make a little whoopee. Mix that with some hungry undead and you’ve got the formula for some level of success. As the story goes, “a group of teenagers, taking a nocturnal hayride come across the grave of a man. Little do they know that this deceased man is a zombie. One by one, the actual living are falling victim and becoming zombies. Eventually there are zombies everywhere, and someone needs to stop them, but who?” This movie is probably known and possibly held in a type of cult status by some people because it was directed by one of the most memorable zombies from the original Night of the Living Dead. You can tell he was heavily influenced by and tried to stick to the zombie “habits” of George A. Romero’s classic. This flick, even at it’s edited down 46 minutes from 88, got to be a bit tedious. There was still just the right amount of cheese and bad acting to make this worth your time. Plus, if you’re into head shots there’s plenty of those in this.

Of course sprinkled throughout the film, Thunderclap and Cheesecake provided their usual hilarious commentary on the different movies. I just never get tired of the tasteless and sarcastic wit of those two sock puppets. It just wouldn’t be the same without their presence as the hosts of what has become for Movie Geek Feed a quarterly must-attend event.

In closing, I have to say that it just didn’t feel the same watching this at home alone. I missed the atmosphere and audience electricity that happens in the little old Capitol theater room at the Studio Movie Grill in Addison, TX. It made me realize that I will never miss another one as long as I can help it. Thanks to Edward and everyone else who helps put these things together. (Article by Eric Shirey)