Movie Of The Day: Alexander (2004)

Back in 1964, the huge financial failure of The Fall Of The Roman Empire pretty much single-handedly buried the big-budget peplum genre, and it wasn’t until forty years later that new attempts at grand American sword and sandal epics were made. Indeed Gladiator‘s success back in 2000 slowly revived interest in the genre, which led to the release of no less than three such films in 2004: King Arthur, Troy and Alexander.

Existing in three (very) different cuts, the film is obviously based on the life of Alexander The Great and follows the Macedonian king through his childhood, youth and tenure as king, his loves, conquests and relationships with friends and family. Directed by Oliver Stone (W.), who co-wrote the film with Laeta Kalogridis (Pathfinder) and Christopher Kyle (K-19: The Widowmaker).

Alexander stars Colin Farrell (Pride And Glory), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Val Kilmer (Felon), Anthony Hopkins (Fracture), Jared Leto (Chapter 27), Rosario Dawson (Eagle Eye), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Children Of Huang Shi) and Christopher Plummer (Closing The Ring) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

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Movie Of The Day: Nosferatu (1922)

Ironically, one of the the most infamous and well-regarded adaptations of Bram Stoker’s seminal novel Dracula, and one of the most influential vampire movies in the history of cinema, is not actually an official adaptation and would be lost today if it weren’t for some happy circumstances. It is the German color-tinted silent film Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, literally Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror but also known in English as Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Terror, Nosferatu The Vampire and Terror Of Dracula.

Directed by the legendary F.W. Murnau (Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans) and written by Henrik Galeen (The Golem), the film follows Dracula‘s story pretty well, mainly omitting some characters and changing names and locations. A real estate employee named Hutter is sent by his boss to meet with the reclusive Count Orlok and sell him a house. Strange events surround him as he arrives and he eventually realizes that Orlok is a vampire, and that his eyes are set on Hutter’s wife Ellen. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Touch (2005)

In 1981, mangaka Mitsuru Adachi (Cross Game) started writing and drawing what would soon become one of the most popular Japanese comic books of all time, the award-winning Touch (aka タッチ, pronounced Tatchi). The manga lasted 26 issues, ending in 1986, and was quickly adapted into an animated 101 episode TV show in 1985. In addition, five animated movies were produced, three for cinemas, two for television, as was a live-action TV mini-series . Finally, in 2005, Touch was made into a live-action movie for cinemas, adapted by Yukiko Yamamuro (A Long Walk) and directed by Isshin Inudou (Josee, The Tiger And The Fish). The film stars twin brothers Shota and Keita Saito (Kids War 4) and the charming Masami Nagasawa (Godzilla: Final Wars) among others.

Roughly adapting the manga’s first 8 issues, aka slightly less than 1500 pages of material, Touch loosely retells the source’s first, and best-known story arc. Identical twin brothers Tatsuya and Kazuya, and their next-door neighbor Minami have known each other since birth, sharing joys and pains, likes and dislikes. Now in their mid-to-late teens, they are still as close as ever, but other feelings are thrown into the mix as Minami’s blossomed into quite a lovely young girl. As for the twins, Kazuya is loved by all, studious, and the star pitcher of the high school’s baseball team whereas Tatsuya is more of a slacker and generally regarded as the inferior brother. Whoever eventually wins Minami’s affections, they all dream of seeing Kazuya and his team make it to the Kōshien, the finals of the National High School Baseball Championship. Exclusive subtitled trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Chasing Amy (1997)

Note: This marks the third in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that covers writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films. For the reviews of the first two films, Clerks. and Mallrats, click here and here respectively.

Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards are two comic book artists working on Bluntman And Chronic, a superhero series they created based on the dealing/mischief making duo Jay and Silent Bob. At a comic book convention, Holden meets female colleague Alyssa Jones and quickly develops an attraction, but there’s one problem, the fact that she’s lesbian. The two nevertheless strike a strong friendship and Holden falls harder and harder for Alyssa, much to the annoyance of Banky.

Chasing Amy stars Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks), Joey Lauren Adams (The Break-Up) and Dwight Ewell (The Guru). Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their roles from the previous films, Brian O’Halloran makes an appearance as another of his Clerks. character’s cousins and Ethan Suplee (Mr. Woodcock), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Matt Damon (the Bourne series) and comic book legend Joe Quesada all make appearances. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Melinda And Melinda (2004)

A writer, director and sometimes actor who’s enjoyed considerably more success abroad than in his own country but is nevertheless regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and able to attract big names to his projects, Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) is an incredibly prolific and rythmic worker, churning out one film a year like clockwork. Melinda And Melinda marks his 2004 offering, though it was released in 2005 in numerous countries.

Actually two stories in one (thus the title), the film has two playwrights arguing about whether life at its core is tragic or comic. One of their friends thus suggests a challenge by setting the premise of a troubled woman crashing a dinner party and asking whether the subsequent events would evolve into a tragedy or a comedy. Naturally, we see both options unfold at the same time.

As is common for Woody Allen films, Melinda And Melinda stars a substantial amount of notable people including Radha Mitchell (The Children Of Huang Shi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Redbelt), Will Ferrell (Step Brothers), Jonny Lee Miller (Aeon Flux), Amanda Peet (The X-Files: I Want To Believe), Chloë Sevigny (Zodiac), Wallace Shawn (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl), Josh Brolin (American Gangster) and Steve Carrell (Get Smart) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006)

One of the many straight-to-DVD cash-in sequels that have been coming out at an increasing rate in recent years (though it did get a theatrical release in some countries), The Butterfly Effect 2 has virtually no connections to the 2004 original, except for a vague useless mention of that film’s events, and some common crew, mostly in the producing, casting and music departments.

Written by Michael D. Weiss (Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D), The Butterfly Effect 2 pretty much follows the first film’s formula of a guy who discovers he has the power to alter his past and uses it to save the woman he loves and to try and make his life perfect.

The film stars Eric Lively (Live!, also Gossip Girl star Blake Lively’s older brother), Erica Durance (The CW’s Smallville), Dustin Milligan (The Messengers) and Gina Holden (Final Destination 3) among others and was directed by John R. Leonetti (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Mallrats (1995)

Note: This marks the second in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that covers writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films. For the first films review, Clerks., click here.

Set the day before Clerks., Mallrats centers on Brodie Bruce and T.S. Quint, two best friends who’ve been dumped by their respective girlfriends on the same day. At Brodie’s urging, the pair decide to go hang out at the local mall where, as luck would have their exes are spending the day too. Amidst pop-culture-related debates, sex talk, and run-ins with  dealers/mischief makers Jay and Silent Bob, Brodie and T.S. will attempt to win back their significant others.

Mallrats stars Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks), Jeremy London (7th Heaven), Shannen Doherty (The CW’s 90210), Claire Forlani (Hallam Foe/Mister Foe), Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Joey Lauren Adams (The Break-Up), Ethan Suplee (Mr. Woodcock) and Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their Clerks. roles, and Brian O’Halloran makes an appearance as his Clerks. character’s cousin. Most of these actors have gone on to appear in subsequent Smith films in these and/or different roles. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading