Friday, January 29, 2010

Reesa Goes To The Edge Of Darkness
Boston Police detective Thomas Craven anxiously awaits the arrival of his daughter, Emma, that he hasn’t seen in awhile. He worries when she suddenly turns ill and rushes her out of the house for the hospital when she is hit by a shotgun blast from a masked gunman and dies in his arms. It’s an extreme opening of the story, and anyone with a child will feel like your heart is ripped out.

The police force rallies around the tragedy of one of their own. Craven manages to stay on the case despite his bosses recommendations and obvious conflict of interest. They believe at first that the shooter was going after Craven, but he finds a gun in Emma’s belongings. This leads him to question her friends, who are all nervous and paranoid about discussing what Emma was doing the past few weeks. Craven’s guilt and grief drives him to discover his daughter that he dearly loved but didn’t really know. Emma (Bojana Novakovic), with a master in science from MIT, was a research assistant at Northmoor which is a major government contractor in Massachusetts. The smarmy CEO of the corporation played by Danny Huston offers consolations but refuses to discuss her work at Northmoor due to confidentiality agreements that Emma had signed. If this didn’t set off Craven’s detective radar, then a mysterious meeting with shadowy operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) would. He tries to get Craven to drop the case, which definitely makes him more determined.

Edge of Darkness, taken from a 1985 BBC television program, is directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale and some the original BBC episodes of Edge of Darkness) and updated by screenwriters William Monahan (The Departed) and Andrew Bovell. This is a welcome return for Mel Gibson to the big screen. Gibson’s face shows the history of a man like his character Craven, who has seen the ups and downs of life. His craggy visage shows that he has not indulged in the Hollywood nip and tuck remedy so used by aging thespians. Craven’s pain of losing his child is palatable, tears brimming in eyes and refusing to fall, while trying to maintain his investigative skills in finding the shooter and the reason why Emma was killed.

There’s big business, political shenanigans, and a growing body count. Some of the plot is a bit convoluted and confusing. Especially when trying to decipher Gibson’s bad Boston accent. His voice took on a nasal quality with marbles rolling around in his mouth. The conspiracy involving corporate and government hi-jinks are not as interesting as Craven’s struggle and his eventual resolution to expose them. No one kicks butt with such satisfaction as Gibson does with his nothing to lose characters like in Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, and even Braveheart. He doesn’t display the usual mugging that is supposed to be angst as he’s done in the past. There is a new quality of stillness which he infuses in his character that shows a maturity in Gibson’s portrayal. A little grayer and a little heavier, he still manages to capture the heart of the man - slightly unhinged and unraveling at the edge of darkness. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)

If You Heart Jonas, Then This DVD Is For You!

Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Disney hooked us up with a copy of the new I Heart Jonas DVD to give away to a lucky person out there. Yes, Yes, again I know that this doesn't fit our format here at Movie Geek Feed, but I know that there are many of our readers out there who have Jonas fans for sons or daughters. Actually, I do. Some of you are probably secret Jonas fans yourselves - come on, admit it! All you've got to do to win it is enter our drawing. Send us an e-mail to and tell us who the DVD is for. We want to give this away to someone who is really going to use it. We'll do a random drawing and see who wins this puppy. We're waiting for our e-mail box to fill up and get shut down. Go!

Crushin' on JONAS? Get ready to experience the lovable antics of three of the world's most famous musicians with 7 specially selected episodes of the hit Disney Channel Original Series in I HEART JONAS. Watch and see how Joe reacts when he discovers that Stella has a date with another guy, and check out what happens when the tables are turned and a struggling young actress makes a play for Joe. Plus, with the never-before-seen bonus feature, "You've Just Been JoBro'd! -- Surprising Jordin Sparks," I HEART JONAS is a must-have for any Jonas Brothers fan! Out now and you can get it right here!

Dallas Comic Con Starts Tomorrow!
UPDATE: MGF will be moderating the Daniel Cudmore Q&A on Saturday starting at 1:30PM. You will not want to miss this, as Mr. Cudmore is Felix (the Volturi who beats up Edward) in The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Colossus in X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. I'm sure he'll have plenty of very fun things to talk about.

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.

News Bites:

A HILARIOUS Video Where Scout Taylor Compton Talks 'Halloween 3'

Reynolds Collaborates with Deadpool Writers Every Day

Luc Besson's Script For Taken 2 Is Complete

Trek's Quinto calms fears that he's leaving the franchise


Why Mel Gibson won't appear in Mad Max 4

Taken director confides his plans for Dune remake

Tron Legacy light cycle races into our world

Zac Efron going back to the future?

Video: Watch 'The Wolfman' Transform, and Attack in 7 Clips!

Kevin Williamson Spills More on 'Scream IV'

Latest 'Solomon Kane' Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

New Footage in First 2 'The Crazies' TV Spots

Is This A Track From Tron: Legacy??

Is the Muppet Movie About to Get Wings?

Last House On The Left Director To Go To School

Saw VI Director Lets Loose on His Blog

New Red Riding Trilogy Individual Trailers / Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Dark Sky's Innkeepers Next Project for Ti West

UK to Get the Black Death this May

Frozen TV Spot Will Chill Your Living Room

Megapiranha Artwork Everything You Could Have Hoped For

The Trailer for The Losers!

Scott Pilgrim Takes on the World on August 13

Another Smallville: Absolute Justice Promo Online

New Photo From Iron Man 2

Sam Raimi Rebooting The Shadow?

Mel Gibson Reunites With Lethal Weapon Scribe To Fight Russians

Complete Shutter Island Image Gallery

First Batch of 'Saw VII 3D' Casting Brings the Obvious

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Romero's Survival Of The Dead Release Dates!
Finally! You knew that there was no way that this wouldn't be released in the U.S. somehow, but the wait could have been a whole lot longer. According to Bloody Disgusting, Magnet releasing has secured distribution for Survival of the Dead in the U.S. It will premiere on VOD, Amazon, and Xbox Live on April 30th. There will also be a limited release in theaters on May 28th. Very cool! I hope it hits the Dallas area somewhere.

Plum Island – a beautiful refuge whose isolation allows two powerful families to maintain a semblance of order in the wake of the zombie holocaust. But as the inhabitants slowly die off, the two clans become sharply divided: the O’Flynns believe that the undead must be destroyed without exception, while the Muldoons insist that afflicted loved ones be kept “alive” until a cure is found. The result is an escalating showdown with echoes of a classic Western stand-off that erupts in brutality and violence.

Survival of the Dead is directed by George A. Romero and stars Alan Van Sprang Kenneth Welsh Kathleen Munroe Devon Bostick Richard Fitzpatrick Stefano Colacitti, and Athena Karkanis.

Interview With Mel Gibson For Edge Of Darkness
I know, I know. It's not a straight-up action movie. It's more of a political thriller and drama. It's got some action in it, though. And it's directed by Martin Campbell, who's directed action movies like Casino Royale, The Legend of Zorro, Vertical Limit, GoldenEye, No Escape, and the upcoming Green Lantern - that justifies it being on here right? After the jump, you can check out an interview with Mel Gibson for the upcoming film Edge of Darkness. He discusses his character, what happens to him in the beginning of the story, his character's mental state, the challenges of the role, the character Jedburgh, the character Bennett, and doing some of his own stunts. Footage provided by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Thomas Craven is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma, is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous looking-glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder -- and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven's solitary search for answers about his daughter's death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption.

Edge of Darkness was directed by Martin Campbell and stars Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, and Shawn Roberts.

The movie opens Friday, January 29th.

Dallas Comic Con Adds More Actor Guests!
It seems like the guys over at C2 Ventures and Official Pix never stop adding talent to their guest list. As I would everyone already knows, Dallas Comic Con is this weekend (January 30th through the 31st) at the Richardson Center in Richardson, TX. That's right on the edge of Dallas, TX. If you're in the DFW area, then you definitely don't want to miss this. This time around, they've got tons of comic book guests appearing including Tim Sale (Artist for NBC's HEROES, DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, SPIDER-MAN: BLUE, HULK: GRAY, BATMAN DARK VICTORY), Adam Hughes (Cover artist of CATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN, TOMB RAIDER, POWER GIRL, and JSA CLASSIFIED), Michael Golden (THE 'NAM, ROM, DOCTOR STRANGE, MICRONAUTS, BATMAN, HOWARD THE DUCK, BUCKY O'HARE, and SHE-HULK), Josh Howard (Creator and artist of DEAD@17), and many, many more. They've also got legendary actors like Adam West (TV's Batman), Charisma Carpenter (Buffy, Angel, Legend of the Seeker), and Herb Jefferson Jr. (original Battlestar Galactica's Boomer) in attendance. On top of that, far all you Twihards out there, they have The Twilight Saga: New Moon's very own Daniel Cudmore (Felix, the Volturi guard) coming out on Saturday. Daniel also played Colossus in X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. As if that wasn't enough for one weekend, they've went and added more guests that you can check out after the jump.

They just added Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints, Boondock Saints 2, Young Indiana Jones, The Dead Zone, Powder), Anne Lockhart (original Battlestar Galactica's Sheba, Troll, Airwolf), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca in Star Wars Episodes III, IV, V, and VI), and Cliff Alliston (Return of the Jedi - Rebel Assualt Trooper from the Battle of Endor). What an impressive line-up for the first Dallas Comic Con / Sci-Fi Expo event of the year. You can get your tickets now and more info right here

News Bites:


Avatar Became The Biggest Movie Of All Time On Monday

Green Lantern Concept Art Introduces Kilowog And Tomar-Re

Howard Shore to score ‘Twilight: Eclipse”


Rest in Peace: Zelda Rubinstein

Michael Bay on where Transformers 3 will rampage

George Lucas abandons sci-fi for an animated musical fantasy

Clash of the Titans, Harry Potter VII to be 3-D

Confirmed: Avatar star to bite into new Dracula

Intriguing Casting for Clint Eastwood's 'Hereafter'

Inside the Black Super 'Predators' Costumes Are....

A New Battle For Mankind Begins in 'Mortal Kombat' Tourney, Redo in the Works

Keanu Reeves Heads to Space With a Director

Star Trek Writers Talk Sequel

Take A Ride Into Hogwarts Castle

Cars 2 Production Sketch

Anchor Bay Sails into the After.Life

Dead Rising: The Movie? Watch the Trailer Now!

Saw VII 3D vs. Paranormal Activity 2 Rivalry Getting NASTY!

Ti West Talks House of the Devil, Cabin Fever 2, and More!

English-Subbed Teaser Trailer and Posters for La Casa Muda

Kevin Feige on Upcoming Marvel Studios Films

Guy Ritchie Exits Lobo

Sony Imageworks to Create Green Lantern Effects

Empire Features Kick-Ass Fold-Out Cover

AC/DC's Music to be Featured in Iron Man 2

Knight & Day Set Photos: Tom Cruise Outruns Cameron Diaz

Last Airbender Posters: Fire Bad, Wind Good

Alice In Wonderland Mini-Featurette: World Building

Monday, January 25, 2010

Steve Norwood Watches Legion Fall From Grace
For the record, angels are usually portrayed on film in one of three ways:

- benevolent, gentle individuals who learn about life on Earth from the daily happenings of pleasant, middle-American folks, in the process making the less pleasant ones nicer by showing them the error of their ways

- grimly determined malcontents who will happily melt your face off or suck the life force from your body as they carry out a mission they have conveniently misinterpreted from the man upstairs

- solemn watchers who observe and report, only occasionally joining in on the fun of human life

Scott Stewart's LEGION has cemented its story firmly in that middle camp, though its dazed protagonists get an assist from a more reasonable angel in the form of Paul Bettany. Bettany's Michael proves he's our guy right from the start as he cuts off his own wings, sews up his wounds and gathers a sizeable arsenal to fend off something that likes to play JACOB'S LADDER shaky face with the local gentry.

Cut to a lonely diner out in the California wastes: very pregnant waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) and her would-be protector Jeep (Lucas Black) head into another dusty day of helping the occasional stranded driver with a meal and some repairs. But Jeep has been having horrible dreams about Charlie, and feels compelled to watch over her. Into their impossibly dull lives comes a little old lady who attracts flies, eats raw meat, and wanders around the ceiling like Spiderman after showing off her knowledge of every known four-letter word in the English language. What follows is actually far worse.

Black is a sturdy actor who is unfortunately saddled with one of the most awkward character names in film history. Every dramatic line that ends with "..., Jeep" caused much-needed but unintentional laughter. The film has little humor to begin with, and abandons the intentional kind altogether about a third of the way in. As Jeep's father, Dennis Quaid gets to bark empty threats and emptier nuggets of folksy wisdom, and his one-armed short-order cook buddy Percy, played by Charles S. Dutton, gets to start a story by saying " daddy told me...Perrrcy...".

The few-and-far-between action scenes are held in place by a lot of talk, and LEGION is unfortunately mired by some of the silliest dialogue in some time. Action stops suddenly, only to allow a string of personal moments where each character gets to wax soulful about the failures in their lives. It's enough to make you wish an army of zombie-angels would attack a diner.

After the upward trend from DAYBREAKERS to THE BOOK OF ELI, it looked like LEGION might continue the positive pattern of apocalyptic January genre flicks that exceed their expectations. But clearly ELI was the peak oil of that brief bell curve. If LEGION teaches the average filmgoer anything, it can be summed up in the following tic sheet of helpful hints for when avenging angels descend upon mankind for sketchy reasons:

- know the location of all Asian-run toy stores hiding weapons caches

- land lines will beat out cell phones and television every time

- stock up on steaks, beer and ammo

- keep a substantial amount of propane on hand

- just because he's got ice cream doesn't mean he's nice

- barricades are there for a reason

And ultimately, that's the worst offense in LEGION: God, like certain screenwriters, doesn't play by the rules. Characters that die or disappear return at opportune moments. Crowds of marauding death-dealers ready to chew on you one minute are bowed the next. God is apparently a Mamet puppet-master, playing a confidence game with his soldiers in a test of their arch-ethics. (Review by Steve Norwood - content provider for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas - AFFD)

MGF Hits The Mall With Percy Jackson's Cast
I’ve always loved Greek mythology. In elementary school, one of my reports was on the subject. I actually remember going to the old Showplace 6 Theater in Austin, TX to see Clash of the Titans when it came out.
All that being said, of course my interest was peaked when I heard about the Percy Jackson movie for the first time. I had never read the books and just barely had heard of them in passing. It’s difficult not to immediately disregard the project as the next in a long line of fantasy-oriented films tailor-made for the whole family like Narnia, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Harry Potter, and Eragon.
Well, whether you like it or not, it’s hard to deny that the themes of Percy Jackson and the fantasy elements of the mythological Greek world are popular when you see 600 teen boys and girls standing in line to meet the young actors who will be portraying their beloved characters from the book series. That was the exact scene at Stonebriar Mall outside of Dallas, TX on Sunday, January 17th. The main cast members of the upcoming Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief movie were on a press tour, hitting the Hot Topic at the mall to greet fans and sign autographs.
Jake Abel (Luke), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover), and Logan Lerman (Percy) all hugged, shook hands, and chatted with the crowd who had been lined up for somewhere in the realm of three hours. There were screaming girls and fans reading their books, most of them dressed in Percy Jackson Tour t-shirts. One group brought a sign for Logan Lerman that wished him an early Happy Birthday, as Tuesday was actually the big day that the actor would turn 18.
As I stood outside the exit of the line, I kept an eye on the kids and parents coming out. Every one of them seemed pleased with their experience of meeting the actors who will be playing their favorite heroes in the upcoming film. They were smiling, crying, squealing, or giddy. One thing for sure - they all seemed content. You can check out some video below that I took of the actors greeting fans and signing autographs. I also interviewed a few fans to see what they had to say about the event and Percy Jackson. There's also a link posted to a photo album with tons of pics from the signing.  (Article by Eric Shirey)

More Pics:

Director Found For Dead@17 Movie
Just read some good news about the rumored Dead@17 movie straight from the mouth of the creator. Josh Howard posted on his Twitter that they "finally have a director" and they will be "Meeting with a certain cable/movie studio next. Cross your fingers and say a prayer :)" I'll most definitely be praying. As I've said before, I think that Dead@17 has all the elements needed to make a really hip and timely film that would be attractive to both adults and teens - if it were well-executed and directed.

If you're unfamiliar with the Dead@17 series and always read my post updates on the movie project and say "What's he talking about?" then check out the "Dead@17: Ultimate Edition" to get caught up with the story. Then, seek out the new trade paperback of "Dead@17: Afterbirth". After you read those, get a copy of the "Dead@17 Sourcebook" to make sure you are brushed up on all the characters and their backgrounds.

Josh also announced that he is going to be drawing a Ghostbusters comic for IDW. He says it should be coming out in the summer. That is very cool news.

You can meet Dead@17 creator / writer / artist Josh Howard at this upcoming weekend's Dallas Comic Con. He'll be there with tons of other comic book artists to sign autographs and showcase his work. If you're in the area, don't miss it! You can get details here.

News Bites:

Don't Feed Warner Bros. After Midnight, Could Result in 3D 'Gremlins'

The Apes Are Back in Town

First Hobbit Movie To Possibly Appear In 2012

Avatar has now officially made more than Dark Knight


Martin Campbell on Green Lantern 

More Gruesome 'Piranha 3D' Behind-the-Scenes Stills

Key to Avatar's success: It's a chick flick?

Overture Films Puts the Breaks on 'Freaks of the Heartland'

Fox Wins Studio War For Robert Rodriguez' 'Machete'; Now His New Filmmaking Home

Naomi Watts Takes Residence in Murdered Family's 'Dream House'

'Repo Men' X-Ray Posters Reveal Cyber Organs

Lionsgate Gets 'Buried' with Ryan Reynolds

'The Killer Inside Me' One Sheet, Stills

Director Scott Stewart Talks Priest

Director and Cast Interview: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Plot Details, Teaser Trailer, and Two Clips from Vektor

Black Sunset Next Project for The Butcher Brothers

Catch the Premiere of Closed for the Season this March

James Marsden Forced To Become The Easter Bunny's Butler

Isla Fisher To Get Cozy With Simon Pegg In Burke And Hare

Friday, January 22, 2010

Get A Head Start To The Edge Of Darkness

MGF is co-hosting the advanced screening of the upcoming action thriller Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson. The screening is on Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30PM in Dallas, TX. As usual, we're not just going to hand you a pass because we like you (although we do). You have to answer one simple question and be one of the first 25 people to e-mail us the answer to Sounds simple enough, right? Well, here's the question:

What is the name of Mad Max's wife who is run down by the motorcycle gang in the original 1979 movie?

Edge of Darkness

Director: Martin Campbell

Synopsis:Edge of Darkness” is an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter’s secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous, looking glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder – and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven’s solitary search for answers about his daughter’s death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption. “Edge of Darkness” is directed by Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) and stars Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”), Ray Winstone (“The Departed”), Danny Huston (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), Bojana Novakovic (“Drag Me to Hell”) and Shawn Roberts (“I Love You, Beth Cooper”). A GK Films Production based on the BAFTA Award-winning BBC miniseries of the same name, “Edge of Darkness” is produced by Academy Award® winner Graham King (“The Departed,” “The Aviator,” “Gangs of New York”), King’s business partner Tim Headington and Michael Wearing (producer of the original BBC miniseries). The screenplay is by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed”) and Andrew Bovell (“Lantana”), based on the original television series written by Troy Kennedy Martin. The executive producers are Dan Rissner, David M. Thompson, Suzanne Warren, Gail Lyon and E. Bennett Walsh. “Edge of Darkness” was filmed on location in Boston, Northampton and other areas in Massachusetts. Opening nationwide on January 29, 2010, “Edge of Darkness” is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Studio: Warner Bros.

Release Date: Friday, January 29, 2010


EXCLUSIVE! Percy Jackson Cast Interview
MGF was invited to a very special press event for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief at the posh and elegant Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, TX on January 18th. First, we got to see 20 minutes of clips from the film. I'm not talking filler parts or unfinished scenes, either. We're talking very important and pivotal parts of the film that showcased the special effects and action. To put it bluntly, the movie looks great. I was especially impressed with the scenes using digital water. The water actually looked real, which is very hard to do (see both The Mummy movies). After the screening, we were ushered into a lounge area, where we got to have a sit-down chat with the cast. It was very cool, as I was only paired with one other media outlet, instead of the usual five or six people sitting at a table firing questions at the actors.

Below the jump, we've posted the video clips of the interview we did. Seated left to right in the clips are Jake Abel (Luke), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover), and Logan Lerman (Percy). We discussed comparisons between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, working with Chris Columbus, the physicality of the film and training, Alexandra's love of acupuncture and the guys' collected hatred of it, researching Greek mythology for their parts, Brandon's ad libbing in the film, working with special effects and using their imaginations, encouraging kids to use their imagination, comparing the film and the novel for the fans, and who read the book before filming. It had to be split into two videos because of the length.

Reesa Tells Nothing But The Whole Tooth
Derek Thompson is an aggressive minor league hockey player who has earned his nickname “Tooth Fairy” because of his hard-charging blocks that causes the opposing player to become separated from his pearly whites. After an attempt to tell his girlfriend’s daughter that there isn’t a real fairy that replaces a missing tooth under her pillow with money, he receives a summons to serve as a real tooth fairy.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has found his niche playing bigger than life comedic characters with his perfect muscular body and a great white toothy grin. As Derek, he displays all the egotistical bravado of a WWF wrestler. Derek, once a major’s player, loves the adulation even if it is in the minors - until a new younger skater comes in and starts to steal his glory. His cynical attitude rubs off in his advice to young fans, thinking he’s doing them a favor by telling them to lower their expectations in life. He also doesn’t understand why his girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd) becomes upset with him when he tries to tell her daughter there isn’t a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy.

One night, Derek receives a summons to appear in Tooth Fairy court, where he’s sentenced to serve as one for 2 weeks for his transgressions of killing people’s dreams. He’ assigned a case worker, Tracy (Stephen Merchant and at 6’7” towers over Dwayne Johnson), who must make sure that Derek performs his job. First off, Derek is outfitted with his fairy uniform - a tunic and blue tights. He’s given a bag of Tooth Fairy tools from Jerry (Billy Crystal) that include invisible spray, shrinking paste, cat-a-way, and amnesia dust. When Derek receives a text message with an address, he must stop everything he’s doing because the wings will pop out and he’ll be dressed in his tights. Derek can’t get his wings to fly or his wand to help him because it takes belief to get them to work, and he just can’t believe in what’s happening to him. He tries to take all the short cuts to complete his duty and according to the Tooth Fairy boss Lily (Julie Andrews), Derek is the worst Tooth Fairy EVER!

It takes awhile for Derek to warm up to his handler, Tracy, who also dreams of being a Tooth Fairy. He’s also trying to bond with Carly’s kids, Randy (Chase Ellison) and Tess (Destiny Whitlock), all the while trying to hide why he’s running off whenever the phone rings. Just when you think he’s finally coming around, he blows it when a really bad day on the ice rink causes him to explode at everyone around him. In this cathartic moment, Derek realizes that he must make amends and start to believe.

Director Michael Lembeck, who has done mostly TV and a couple of The Santa Clause movies, knows his way around family fare. The comedy is comfortably predictable and slapstick. The situations are painted in broad strokes so that you know what’s coming and easy to understand for the kids. It’s great seeing Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal acting silly, but its Stephen Merchant who steals the film. It’s interesting to see The Rock looking up at someone for a change. The movie is carried on the charisma of Dwayne Johnson, who fills the screen with his manly physique. Yes, moms will have a reason to take the kids. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)

Reesa Wrestles Angels & Fights Off A Legion
God is upset with humanity. In his wrath, he sends his angels to exterminate the world’s population in Armageddon. The Archangel Michael cannot carry out God's command and has become a fallen angel to protect a pregnant woman who may be carrying the child of  The Second Coming.

If you have seen Terminator, The Matrix and The Mist, then you will have seen Legion. Paul Bettany is the Archangel Michael who defies an order by God. He comes down to earth Terminator-style in an alley way in LA. He removes his collar and loses his wings. He then finds a stash of Matrix-style weapons and some very nifty clothes. A patrol car comes across him when he blows the doorway open in the shape of a cross. One of the cops starts shaking and becomes this possessed person and a gun battle begins.

Meanwhile out in the desert at this remote pit stop diner called Paradise Falls, Jeep (Lucas Black) awakes from a disturbing dream. Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is 8 months pregnant and works for Jeep and his father Bob (Dennis Quaid). Jeep wants to care for Charlie and her baby even if it’s not his, and she wants to give it up. Inside the diner there’s a well-to-do couple (John Tenney and Kate Walsh) and their teen daughter. Their BMW broke down and they are waiting for Jeep to repair it. Charles Dutton plays Percy the cook with a hook for a hand. Later, Kyle (Tyrese Gibson), who is lost on the highway, arrives looking for a phone. Enter this little old lady in a walker who orders a very raw steak, starts chanting that the baby will burn, bites the husband, and starts walking on the ceiling. After Kyle shoots her, they try and take the husband to the hospital but are turned back by a massive cloud of bugs. They are stuck in the diner like in The Mist’s grocery store, with no phones, TV, or radios and no way to find out what’s going on.

That is until Michael drives up in a LA police car. He gets them to barricade themselves indoors with ominous warnings of something coming. He arms his new companions who then battle it out with hordes of possessed humans. They demand to know what is going on, and Bob has a hard time believing Michael’s explanation that they are fighting angels and he’s protecting Charlie’s child. Charlie exclaims, “Why me, I don’t even have a car!” just as Terminator’s Sarah Conner protests, “I can’t even balance my checkbook!”

A lot of fighting ensues, culminating in a very nice battle between Archangel Gabriel and Michael. I had always thought of angels as being God’s messengers. In this movie, the Archangels are generals in God’s army. They wear leather and have swords and scary sharp mace-like weapons that turn into rotating saws. Their wings are also used as shields and can cut one like a knife. Make no mistake; these are ninja angels not Fed Ex angels.

Writer and director Scott Stewart has some heavy visual effects experience and it shows. However the plot is a bit murky as to exactly why God wants to destroy humanity outside of God being tired of the BS. As Michael explains, the last time God was angry he sent the floods. This time he sent angels. Aren’t fallen angels who defy God supposed to be sent to Hell? No mention of that here. There’s also no explanation as to why after the baby is born the battling angels in their possessed human form bow their heads in reverence and let the survivors escape in a car. Try not to think on it too hard especially about Jeep and the tattoos. Maybe there’s a sequel in the works. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)

Welcome to the new MGF
Well, here it is. A new site for a new year. I know, I know. It's already the end of January you say. What can you do? I had to wait for my ever reliable but very busy web designer Rob Angells (respectively) to get some free time to get it done. If anyone notices anything not working, please let us know. As with all new sites, we are still ironing out some small kinks. Believe me, patience is a virtue that I don't have either. Thanks to all our loyal readers out there who have been with us from the beginning and all the new folks that come here and visit with us. The old website is still there and was last updated on Thursday of this week with some content. You can get to the old site by going here.

News Bites:

J.J Says The Goal Is For Tom To Be In 'MI:4'

New Tron Legacy Yellow Lightcycle Poster

More Spider-Man Reboot Details?

Night At The Museum 3: Battle Of The Liberace Museum?

Jason Momoa is Conan! And wait'll you see who might play his dad!

Wolverine's robot boxing movie Real Steel shoots in summer

Man supposedly dies from watching Avatar

Versace launches fashion line (really) inspired by Tron

The British like Avatar—and District 9, too

New Behind-the-Scenes Look at 'Predators'

Official Casting for John Landis' 'Burke & Hare' Comedy

'Ghostbusters 3' Adds a Whole New Dimension.... 3-D

Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Duhamel Have 'Sympathy for the Devil'

'Saw' Co-creator/Director Takes on 'The Further'!

New Images Of Season Of The Witch Starring Nicolas Cage's Hair

Uncover a New Clip and Trailer for Buried

Ridiculous Rumor of the Day: David Tennant as Bilbo Baggins

Franco and Dunst Comment on the Spider-Man Reboot

Photos From the Red Set

Favreau on Iron Man Having No Secret Identity

Trailer Debut: After Dark's ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

International Shelter One-Sheets

A Clip from Dante's Inferno - The Animated Feature

Danny Elfman WILL Be Scoring The Wolfman Afterall

Italian Zombie Horror Returns in Eaters

A-Team Director Explain's B.A.'s Lack Of Jewelry

Brief Mad Hatter Featurette

Tron: Legacy Revelations From Director Joseph Kosinski

Behind-The-Scenes Looks And Concept Art For Alice In Wonderland

New Adidas Line Makes Star Wars Look... Cool

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Interview With Julie Andrews For Tooth Fairy
After the jump, you can see an interview with legendary actress Julie Andrews for her role as Lily in the upcoming family film Tooth Fairy. She discusses what she envisioned the tooth fairy to look like when she was a child, what the exchange rate for teeth was when she was younger, does her iconic stature effect the decisions she makes about film roles, what makes a good family film, how was it playing the head tooth fairy, and working with Dwayne Johnson. Footage provided by 20th Century Fox.

"The Tooth Fairy," also known as Derek Thompson, is a hard-charging hockey player whose nickname comes from his habit of separating opposing players from their bicuspids. When Derek discourages a youngster's dreams, he's sentenced to one week's hard labor as a real tooth fairy, complete with the requisite tutu, wings and magic wand. At first, Derek "can't handle the tooth" - bumbling and stumbling as he tries to furtively wing his way through strangers' homes-doing what tooth fairies do. But as Derek slowly adapts to his new position, he begins to rediscover his own forgotten dreams.

Tooth Fairy was directed by Michael Lembeck and stars Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, and Seth MacFarlane.

The movie flies into theaters this coming Friday, January 22nd.

2009 BFCA 15th Annual Critics' Choice Awards Winners
Avatar cleaned house at the 2009 BFCA 15th Annual Critics' Choice Awards Winners last Friday night. it pretty much won any category that had anything to do with anything technical. Surprisingly (haha), What it didn't win was best Actor or Best Actress awards. There were a few other genre-oriented movies that did really well for themselves at the ceremony, which was held at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2010. 15 out of 25 awards went to action, sci-fi-fantasy type pictures. Not bad at all. You can check out all the winners after the jump. 

BEST PICTURE - The Hurt Locker

BEST ACTOR - Jeff Bridges: Crazy Heart

BEST ACTRESS - TIE: Meryl Streep: Julie & Julia and Sandra Bullock: The Blind Side

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Cristoph Waltz: Inglorious Basterds


BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS - Saoirse Ronan: The Lovely Bones

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE - Inglorious Basterds

BEST DIRECTING - Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Quentin Tarantino: Inglourious Basterds

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner: Up In The Air




BEST COSTUME DESIGN - The Young Victoria

BEST MAKEUP - District 9





BEST COMEDY - The Hangover




BEST SONG - "The Weary Kind" by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett - Crazy Heart

BEST SCORE - Michael Giacchino - Up

News Bites:

Avatar could mean 3-D Star Wars at last

'Let Me In' Dark and Scarier Than 'Twilight'

Spidey Snagged Its New Director. But Who's Playing Peter Parker?

'Bruce Vs. Frankenstein': The Sequel to 'My Name is Bruce' Gets the Go Ahead!


Tobey Maguire Re-Rumored As Bilbo Baggins - Updated!

Paranormal Activity sequel risks being a Blair Witch 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to Film in Hawaii

Why Green Lantern won't be a cheesefest; plus, the villain!

Avatar has officially made more money than Star Wars!

Ben Stiller in Talks (with a Cat and Dog?) for 'The Voices'

Arquette and Cox Have Different Perspectives on Craven's Involvement in 'Scream IV'

First Batch of Stills from 'All About Evil'

Burton Puts a Spin on Sleeping Beauty

New Inception Pic Reveals Nothing. What Deception!

Bunch Of New Stills For 2010 Films

Bruce Willis Will Start Seeing Red Beginning Today

Some Guy Who Kills People Casting News

Proyas Offers Another Dracula: Year Zero Status Update

Dolan's Cadillac Driving Directly to Home Video

Better Look at Piranha 3D Trailer

Nakata to Direct The Incite Mill

Smallville: Absolute Justice Promo and Poster

Gregg's Agent Coulson to Appear in Thor

Scooper Has Seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World!

Iron Man 2 Will Have A Secret Dragon

Weaver Finally Ready To Bust Ghosts Again

More Performance Capture Behind-The-Scenes From Avatar

Jonathan Levine Adapting Zombie Romance Novel Warm Bodies

Sam Raimi May Take A Break Before Directing Warcraft

Does Robert Downey Jr.'s Goatee Say Something About Tony Stark's Future?

Monday, January 18, 2010

DVD Straightjacket - Happily N'Ever After 2
Fairy tales collide when Mambo and Munk tip the scales of good and evil once again. This time Princess Snow White is a misguided teenager who’d rather have fun with friends Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and Little Bo Peep than help peasants. When Snow White’s father is matched up with Lady Vain- a scheming witch brewing to rule the kingdom- Snow White becomes a thorn in Lady Vain’s side. Snow White is soon tricked by Lady Vain (with Rumpelstiltskin’s help) into spreading vicious gossip about the townspeople, forcing her to flee. Through rebuilding the three little pigs’ houses with the seven dwarves leading the way, Snow White learns the value of helping others. Only Snow White can foil her dad’s wedding to stop Lady Vain. With Mambo and Munk in tow, Snow White proves she can rule the kingdom, while bringing balance back to the scales of good and evil.

Special Features:
Includes 3 Interactive Games: Snow White and the Great Hall - Using hints and tips from Mambo and Munk, make your way down the great hall - all the while Rumpelstiltskin will try to blast dark magic at you by aiming the Mirror in your direction; Red Riding Hood Challenge - Using Red's basket of goodies, test your cunning vision to see if you can keep track of the different kinds of pastries that come and go in a limited amount of time; Bo Peep and the Sheep - Outsmart the Ogre in a game of Odd Sheep Out. The Ogre will present several visual challenges that involve Bo Peep's sheep.

Happily N’Ever After 2 is a slight guilty pleasure. I found it quite humorous to watch one of the most beloved fairy tales get butchered and twisted because I’m just that kind of guy. Apparently, the theatrical release of the first film didn’t pay off well enough to merit a big-screen sequel. It did, however, justify the studio milking the concept in a direct-to-DVD format. No voice actor from the original returns – not even the guys who did Mambo and Munk’s voices.

Imagine, if you will (or care to), a collision between Snow White, Fractured Fairy Tales, and Bratz. Can you picture it? Basically, what you’ve got is a sort of modernized version of Snow White that still takes place a long time ago in Fairy Tale Land. Somehow, though, all the characters know contemporary slang and even carry cell phones. When Snow and her friends hang up with each other, they say things like “Holla!” Now are you getting it? Lucky you. They also go to nightclubs with techno dance music throbbing and disco balls spinning. Sounds like a visual mess, doesn’t it?

Speaking of a visual mess, let’s move on to the animation. It might be passable if it were the year 1995. It just seems plain and aged. Definitely nothing new or attention-grabbing.

The only real tie that I could see between the first film and this one are the two “storytellers”, Mambo and Munk, who control the balance of good and evil. Of course, one of them has to bump the scale over into evil to cause some kind of forward motion in the plotting of this thing. They pretty much end up having absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the story and their segments serve as nothing more than annoying distractions.

I guess in closing you have to take into account who this was made for – the kids. Will they be entertained? Most likely. Will it leave a lasting impression on them? Probably not. Let’s hope they don’t start yelling “holla!” at each other. It will no doubt make the studio some extra spending cash. And after all, isn’t that what straight-to-DVD releases are REALLY all about? (Review by Eric Shirey)

Interview With Dwayne Johnson For Tooth Fairy
After the jump, you can check out an interview with Dwayne Johnson about his role in the upcoming family film Tooth Fairy. In it, he discusses what his vision of the Tooth Fairy was when he was a child, comparing that to the film's vision, what was the "exchange rate" for teeth when he was a child, wearing a tutu, his belief in the project and script, the message behind the film, and what his favorite Tooth Fairy gadget is. Footage provided by 20th Century Fox.

"The Tooth Fairy," also known as Derek Thompson, is a hard-charging hockey player whose nickname comes from his habit of separating opposing players from their bicuspids. When Derek discourages a youngster's dreams, he's sentenced to one week's hard labor as a real tooth fairy, complete with the requisite tutu, wings and magic wand. At first, Derek "can't handle the tooth" - bumbling and stumbling as he tries to furtively wing his way through strangers' homes-doing what tooth fairies do. But as Derek slowly adapts to his new position, he begins to rediscover his own forgotten dreams.

Tooth Fairy was directed by Michael Lembeck and stars Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, and Seth MacFarlane.

The movie flies into theaters this coming Friday, January 22nd.

Can You Smell What The Tooth Fairy Is Cooking?

MGF will be co-hosting an advanced screening of 20th Century Fox's Tooth Fairy this coming Thursday, January 21st at 7:30PM in Dallas, TX. Want to win passes good for two to see it before everyone else? Come on. You know you do. Who doesn't want to see The Rock in a tutu? I know I do! All you've got to do to win passes is e-mail the answer to the following question:

What famous iconic sci-fi television series did Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appear in as The Champion?

"The Tooth Fairy," also known as Derek Thompson, is a hard-charging hockey player whose nickname comes from his habit of separating opposing players from their bicuspids. When Derek discourages a youngster's dreams, he's sentenced to one week's hard labor as a real tooth fairy, complete with the requisite tutu, wings and magic wand. At first, Derek "can't handle the tooth" - bumbling and stumbling as he tries to furtively wing his way through strangers' homes-doing what tooth fairies do. But as Derek slowly adapts to his new position, he begins to rediscover his own forgotten dreams.

Tooth Fairy was directed by Michael Lembeck and stars Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, and Seth MacFarlane.

The movie flies into theaters this coming Friday, January 22nd.

2010 Golden Globe Winners
There were a few genre-oriented films that did well last night at the Golden Globes. I'm sure one of my staff actually watched it. I was too busy running around covering the Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief exclusive cast autograph session and eating at Boston Market with the family to even think about it. Either way, here's the list of winners. We've highlighted the genre-themed ones. Check it out after the jump.

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"

Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
"The Hangover"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Robert Downey Jr., "Sherlock Holmes"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mo'Nique, "Precious"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Foreign Language Film
"The White Ribbon"

Best Director - Motion Picture
James Cameron, "Avatar"

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air"

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Michael Giacchino, "Up"

Best Original Song -- Motion Picture
"The Weary Kind," "Crazy Heart"

Best Television Series - Drama
"Mad Men"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

Best Television Series - Comedy

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
"Grey Gardens"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Drew Barrymore, "Grey Gardens"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kevin Bacon, "Taking Chance"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Chloe Sevigny, "Big Love"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
John Lithgow, "Dexter"

News Bites:


Leaked photos make the new Predators look GOOD (spoilers!)

Michael Bay: Transformers 3 will focus on character. Right

Cameron Not Interested in Spider-Man Reboot

J.J. Abrams on 'Cloverfield' Sequel, "We're Working on Something"


'Fright Night' Vampires to be a Uber-Violent Killers

John Carter of Mars fires up in London! New details

Was Avatar ripped off from Russian sci-fi books??

Drones: The Office meets Day the Earth Stood Still (trailer)

Missing Star Causes 'Prisoners' Delay

'The Crazies' Continue to Go Viral with the Trixie Virus, Exclusive Wallpapers

Todd Farmer on How 'Halloween 3D' Fell Apart, or, How the Weinsteins Waste Everyone's Time

New Final Poster For Kick-Ass

This Just In! Paul Reubens Spills The Beans On His Pee Wee's Playhouse Movie

Mel Gibson On His Viking Movie And Mad Max 4

Actor Bryan Cranston Talks John Carter Of Mars And More

Jean-Claude Van Damme Explains Why He Wasn't In The Expendables

Trailer Debut: After Dark's The Final

Another Spin on the Piranha 3D Delay

Willem Dafoe Talks Daybreakers, Vamps, and Going to Mars

Saw a Devil Next for Tales of Two Sisters Director

The 4th Reich Steps It Up with Some Concept Artwork

Sinestro Might Not be So Bad After All

Mark Strong in Talks to Play Sinestro

Mike De Luca Dishes on Priest, Mentions August as Possible Release Date

Frozen Clip: Snow Plow

Teresa Palmer To Ride Mad Max's Fury Road?

Is Mr. T In The A-Team After All?

Brad Pitt And Matt Damon Lending Voices To Happy Feet 2

Did Spider-Man 4 Die Because Raimi Wanted It To Be Like Avatar?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Percy Jackson Is Coming To Dallas And You Could Meet Him!

Are you waiting in fevered anticipation for opening day of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief? Have you read the books so many times that the pages are falling out? Well, then you're EXACTLY the type of person we're looking for to win 1 of 20 wristbands for an exclusive autograph session with the cast of 20th Century Fox's Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief in Dallas, TX on Sunday, January 17th. That's right - you get to MEET Percy Jackson! Cast members confirmed to be there are Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth Chase), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood), and Jake Able (Luke). This is an exclusive event and only 500 lucky people are going to get into the session. Do YOU want to be one of them? Then just email the answer to the question below to Deadline for entries is Saturday, January 16th at 10AM! Here you go:

Who did author Rick Riordan begin making up the stories for that became the basis for the Percy Jackson book series?

It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy adapts to his newly discovered status as a demi-god (his father is Poseidon), he finds himself caught between the battling titans of Mt. Olympus. He and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was directed by Chris Columbus and stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Uma Thurman, and Pierce Brosnan.

Lightning strikes theaters on February 12th.

Reesa Likes What She Reads In The Book Of Eli
In this post apocalyptic landscape a lone walker transverses the barren landscape. There’s very little color in this devastated world. Everything is dried out and dusty. He’s armed with a bow and arrows, a gun, and a very large knife that he cares for every night, listening to his MP3 player, and reading this leather covered book that he carefully folds into cloth and carries in his backpack. He’s headed west because a voice had told him that it was important.

The walker Eli (Denzel Washington) comes upon a gang of thieves that want to steal his water and belongings, which he quickly dispatches in an amazing one shot fight scene. He views other violence on the road, but keeps himself from getting involved. When he stops at a settlement to get a recharge on his music battery, he runs into the motorcycle gang that he had previously failed to stop. The motorcycle gang is part of a road crew that was sent out to gather books, although no one in this world knows how to read anymore. Carnegie (Gary Oldman) is looking for a specific book; a special book that he believes will give him the power to exert over the settlers. At the saloon Eli is bartering goods for a small canteen of water. Carnegie controls the water in this town from secret underground springs. One of the motorcycle members picks a fight with Eli who whispers that he will have to pay for his crimes that he committed on innocent travelers. The fights gets the attention of Carnegie who thinks the walker is an “old one”, someone who remembers things from before the “end time.” He’s intrigued by Eli’s fighting skills and that he also likes to read and does so everyday. He locks up Eli to have him think over his offer of a job. He then sends him Solora, (Mila Kunis) the daughter of his blind concubine Claudia (Jennifer Beals), much to her sorrow. But Eli is not easily lured by a pretty young girl. He treats her with respect and offers to share his dinner with her. Before they eat, he shows her how to say grace. In the morning, she repeats this ritual with her mother at breakfast. Carnegie realizes that Eli may have the book that he so desires.

The reason for the end of the world is vaguely referred to as the sky opening and the sun burning the world. People who were sheltered underground were the most likely to survive. After a year, people came out and started to drift around. No food or water forced some to cannibalize each other. The telltale signs are shaking and discolored nails. The sun is bright and unrelenting and everyone wears sunglasses to protect their eyes as some have lost their eyesight in the early days. Chapstick becomes a valuable commodity for barter. According to Wikipeidia, the year is supposed to be 2043. According to Eli, 31 years had passed which would make the event that changed the world occur in 2012.

Eli explains that all the Bibles had been destroyed because people believed that the book was the reason why it happened. Carnegie believes that he can control the people with the lure of the book as it did in the “before time.” One would think that a movie about two men fighting over a Bible would certainly contain some heavy handed religious overtones. But this issue is smartly handled without overt proselytizing for any one religion.

The Hughes Brothers (Dead Presidents and Menace II Society) who have not made a film since 2001 personally offered the role of Eli to Denzel Washington, who wanted to be a producer of the film. Denzel, who at 55 years old, trained for 4-5 months so that he could do his own stunts with fight coordinators Jeff Imada and Dan Inosanto. The fight scenes alone are worth the price of admission. I was okay with the movie when I left the theater, but after reflecting on it, a growing appreciation has developed. But do you think those skinny jeans worn by Mila Kunis’s character would have survived after 31 years? Something to ponder. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins)

Reesa Visits The Spy Next Door
Bob Ho is a spy on loan from China to the US to help capture a Russian terrorist. After he completes the mission, he plans to leave his counter intelligence work and settle down with his next door neighbor in the suburbs. Unfortunately the Russian escapes with the help of some inside information.

The movie opens like any Jackie Chan feature, with him performing amazing stunts. Climbing buildings and chasing bad guys with amazingly tricky moves. But when we are introduced to the US team in charge of the mission, one realizes that this is obviously lighthearted fare. George Lopez is Glaze, who is in charge, and Billy Ray Cyrus is Colton James whose job is unknown, but he seems to be in charge of something other than spouting cheesy colloquialisms. He informs Ho that the only way the Russian could have escaped is because there’s a mole in their operations.

The scene cuts away to a single mom home with three precocious kids. There’s the 13 year old with a bad attitude, the smart nerdy son who speaks in big words, and an adorable 4 year old. Even with so much running around the house, yelling screaming, and sibling fighting the mom, Gillian (Amber Valletta) is good natured and happy. She’s dating the Asian guy next door, Bob Ho, who’s spy cover is a pen salesman. Bob plans to tell Gillian about his secret life at a dinner, but is interrupted when Gillian tells him that to get serious with her is a package deal with her 3 children. Right now, the kids do not like him. Gillian has to go out of town when her father is ill and Bob offers to care for the kids in hopes of winning their favor.

Colten sends Bob a secret file that he needs to decode. The wise guy son snooping on Bob’s computer downloads the file on to his Ipod thinking it’s a Swedish rock group performance. The Russians with really bad accents trace the IP address so they can find out who stole their file. Meanwhile, Bob is using every spy tool in his suitcase to out maneuver the threesome who are doing all they can to sabotage his care giving attempts. But soon chaos ensues and they are fighting off Russians.

The best part of Jackie Chan movies is the knowledge that all his stunts are real without wires or CGI. There are some pretty nifty fight scenes, which include a bicycle and folding chairs. That’s pretty much what this movie has going for it. Director Brian Levant, who also did Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins, paces the movie like a TV show. Lopez and Cyrus are too painfully awkward to be believable spies. It’s also hard to believe that Gillian and Bob could be romantically involved. The kids are cute but annoying and don’t have clear boundaries or respect for the adults around them. But Chan manages to express himself well with his limited English skills to convey sincerity winning the kids hearts. There’s a little bit of The Pacifier and Get Smart in this movie but with more creative fighting scenes. The question is, however, is it really entertaining to put kids in the middle of danger and violence no matter if it’s slapstick? As always stay for the outtakes during the ending credits. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins)

Steve Norwood Abridges The Book Of Eli
Once you stop reminding yourself how many post-apocalyptic action films THE BOOK OF ELI initially looks like, you'll realize it is much closer to the classic western in many ways. The lone, quick-with-a-weapon, short-on-words anti-hero who passes through town could be any early Clint Eastwood character. The Friendly Shop-keep who is alternately on the defense and just informative enough to move the exposition along is a staple in such films. The town's centerpiece is a saloon and hotel where a dominating local leader presides over gangs of toughs that run roughshod on any unsuspecting travelers foolish enough to walk the roads alone.

But those post-apocalyptic notes ring true as well. Over 30 years before, a war tied to religion wiped out most of the country (it is unstated if the whole world is in a similar state), and now bands of humans scrounge the wastes for water and food. Strange that the film has so many parallels to the recent drama THE ROAD; replace the young boy of that film with Mila Kunis and beef up the action (while watering down the emotion), and you have two very similar movies about men journeying to a coast for vague reasons. But where the trailer for ELI and its release date (those soggy doldrums of January-February) give the impression it will be a standard-fare action flick, the film turns out to be far more than that.

For starters, THE BOOK OF ELI immediately feels washed out, the blanched, grey hues of the wasteland and the roiling sky above almost obliterating any shape on the horizon. Eli (Denzel Washington) walks a solitary path, headed "west" for reasons not made clear until much later in the story. He is quietly self-sufficient, able to feed and protect himself while maintaining a regimen of nightly comforts: cleaning up with KFC handi-wipes, listening to classic songs on an iPod (there's one way to fit music into a story where it shouldn't exist) and reading vigilantly from his prized possession, a leather-bound book that he keeps hidden while amongst strangers.

Arriving in a small town, Eli meets Carnegie (Gary Oldman, withered and wearing Robert DeNiro's CASINO glasses while speaking with a strange accent that occasionally sours into a Southern dialect), who runs everything but needs something powerful to sway the locals. Carnegie has his men searching the wasteland for any books they can find, but their searches are coming up light (that a copy of Oprah's "O" magazine exists after the apocalypse is perhaps scarier than the event itself). Carnegie's woman, Claudia (Jennifer Beals, a lovely sight for post-apocalyptic eyes) is a blind hostess whose daughter Solara (Kunis) works in the saloon. Solara is coveted by Redridge (Ray Stevenson), Carnegie's right-hand man.

But just as the visuals are all grey, the characters are also never quite so easily black and white with their motives and choices. Carnegie, in some ways, feels similar to Gene Hackman's Little Bill Daggett from UNFORGIVEN. He seems to have a purpose that is truer than his actions allow for, and in the grand scheme probably isn't a bad leader, just unpleasant if you get on his bad side. Similarly, Redridge isn't just a violent lackey, and some of his actions speak volumes about a character with very little to do on screen. The women, unfortunately, fare less well. Beals' Claudia is pivotal, but isn't allowed to do much. Mila Kunis, on the other hand, is given loads of screen time, but her young student just isn't a very compelling character, and where she ends up seems obvious.

THE BOOK OF ELI ends up supplying a sufficient amount of action, some weighty contemplation and even a nice twist of an ending, throwing in a few cameo appearances that make for some pleasant surprises. Is it powerful enough to be remembered by the end of the year, or even next month? Maybe not. But for the slowest part of the film year, it is a solid and entertaining film that works on multiple levels, and that's pretty rare no matter what month it is. (Review by Steve Norwood - content provider for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas - AFFD)