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Blogs GET HIM TO THE GREEK (2010) (***)

Arriving in 2008, Nicholas Stoller's FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL was a surprise comic gem. Now Stoller brings back the sexually charged rocker, Aldous Snow, in his own movie. Going into this spin-off, I was leery of how it would work bringing the broadest character in the previous film to the forefront. Plus you don't have the charm of Jason Segel or Mila Kunis in this movie either. But GREEK avoids all the potential problems by simply making Snow a real character.

Snow (Russell Brand, BEDTIME STORIES) is now on a professional and personal free fall. His latest album "African Child" was named not only the worst album of the decade, but the worst thing to happen to Africa since apartheid. He's in a long-term relationship with pop star Jackie Q (Rose Byrne, TV's DAMAGES), think of a less subtle version of Lady Gaga, which blows up in his face in a very embarrassing televised interview. And after what she said about him, he falls off the wagon big time. Meanwhile, record exec Sergio Roma (Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, MONSTER'S BALL) is looking for the next big thing. Intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill, playing a different character than he did in SARAH MARSHALL) suggests having an anniversary concert to celebrate Snow's legendary performance at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Roma warms to the idea and tasks Green to go to London and retrieve Snow and bring him to the concert.

Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – Stick with the Classics

While others will be running out this week to rent ALICE IN WONDERLAND or WOLFMAN, I’d stick with classic releases instead. A lot of Clint Eastwood profiled this week and an underrated Spielberg film.

Pick of the Week

The Man with No Name Trilogy
Sergio Leone massively influential trilogy of Westerns is now available in this Blu-ray set. In actuality my pick of the week is THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, because it's the only one I've seen. I have no excuse so I'm not giving one. Eastwood and co-stars Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach shine as the good, the bad and the ugly, respectively. And it’s key to note that the good means skilled not holy. The trio is looking for $200,000 worth of gold buried in a grave at a cemetery. Eastwood’s Blondie knows the name on the grave and Wallach’s Tuco knows the cemetery. Van Cleef’s Sentenza is looking for them. This iconic Western is a visual treat where Leone likes playing with our expectations.

Blogs Where are the standards? How come the film industry is always behind in adopting and creating new developments?

How come that every cheapo 100-Dollar point-and-shoot digital still camera automatically records EXIF data (metadata) about lens size, F-Stop, etc., and I can put any autofocus lens on every 500-Dollar SLR camera out there, and it does the same, but the 20/50/180,000-Dollar (or the I'm-so-expensive-you-can-only-rent-me) digital film cameras don't have that?

Blogs MAX 2010 Announces Official Kai-Ki Hyaku Monogatari Contest

Attention aspiring film makers and writers. Here is your chance to put your creative talents to work. The grand prize: your work will be debuted at the world premiere of Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror From Tokyo at Club Nokia on July 1, 2010.

Blogs Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum Podcast on MemorRADdaycal Weekendture

Welcome to The Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum's MemorRADdaycal Weekendture Hiatus-Restus Episode-Reload BBQ R'nR'n-Stravagastic Ameri"can-of-beer" Party-bration Party-storm Party-Down Get-away Club! Join Joel, Alan, Myself, and my new love, Sam Olschan, in a hearts-across-the-globe citizen-fest of remembering, eating, traveling, economy-boosting, and kick-off-summering while we all rest our ears and grow fond our hearts 'til the brand new Epsiode 9 posting of the Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum podcast next Sunday! Until then, check out episodes 1-8 while you wait in traffic.

Love, The FFAF Computer

Blogs MICMACS (2010) (****)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet makes films full of whimsy and imagination. Most will remember Audrey Tautou as the irresistible waif in his modern classic AMELIE. Jeunet takes the same wide-eyed innocence and mischievousness of that film and mixes in a little HUDSUCKER PROXY and YOJIMBO and comes out with a delightful satire with boundless originality.

When Bazil (Dany Boon, JOYEUX NOEL) was young, his father was killed by a landmine. The tragic event drove his mother mad. As an adult, he takes a job at a movie rental store where one fateful night he is a victim of a random accidental shooting. Luckily, he survives with the bullet still lodged in his head. Unluckily, he loses his job and end out on the streets where he begins performing for pocket change.

Blogs PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (2010) (***)

Mike Newell's film is the best movie adapted from a video game made thus far. It also happens to be the first good movie based on a video game. But the bar was set pretty low so Prince Dastan could easily jump over it with the help of Mr. Spectacle producer Jerry Bruckheimer. While I'll probably need the sands of time to travel back and remember the film by the end of the summer, the journey while I was sitting in the theater was a nice trip.

King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN) had two sons — Tus (Richard Coyle, TOPSY-TURVY) and Garsiv (Toby Kebbell, ROCKNROLLA). One day out in the market, he has a run in with Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal, BROTHERS), an orphan boy who saves another young child from having his hand cut off by palace guards. Taken by the boy's spirit, the king adopts Dastan as one of his own.

Blogs MICMACS (2010) (****)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet makes films full of whimsy and imagination. Most will remember Audrey Tautou as the irresistible waif in his modern classic AMELIE. Jeunet takes the same wide-eyed innocence and mischievousness of that film and mixes in a little HUDSUCKER PROXY and YOJIMBO and comes out with a delightful satire with boundless originality.

Blogs PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (2010) (***)

Mike Newell's film is the best movie adapted from a video game made thus far. It also happens to be the first good movie based on a video game. But the bar was set pretty low so Prince Dastan could easily jump over it with the help of Mr. Spectacle producer Jerry Bruckheimer. While I'll probably need the sands of time to travel back and remember the film by the end of the summer, the journey while I was sitting in the theater was a nice trip.

Blogs J-Pop Idol Mano Erina and Tales of Terror From Tokyo land at Club Nokia

The J-Pop/J-Rock presence at the Los Angeles Anime Expo continues to grow. Yes, Mano Erina will be attending the world premiere screening of her first film Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror from Tokyo. She will also be performing.

Blogs 17th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 11:31am

The 17th edition of the International Trickfilm Festival of Animated Film, May 4 through 9 in Stuttgart, Germany was definitely bigger and better than ever. The only problem I had was that there was so much to see and do that I had to make some difficult choices.

Blogs The Filmmaker’s Toolbox Continues to Expand – On Set Pre-Viz and Compositing

The Previzion system allows the user to pre-composite on set thereby greatly reducing the labor required for post production compositing. This will prove a great asset to editors as they will have clean, possibly final versions of green screen shots that they can rely upon while cutting the film.

Blogs 17th INTERNATIONAL TRICKFILM FESTIVAL OF ANIMATED FILM Stuttgart, Germany May 4 through 9 2010

The 17th edition of the International Trickfilm Festival of Animated Film, May 4 through 9 in Stuttgart, Germany was definitely bigger and better than ever.  The only problem I had was that there was so much to see and do that I had to make some difficult choices.

In addition to the five short film competition screenings there were four Tricks For Kids programs, four Young Animation presentations, four Panorama screenings, feature films, and a bevy of guests.

A rare appearance by the legendary Bruce Bickford was a special treat.  Bruce, an animation veteran of 40 years, introduced two of his films, the 45 minute Cas’l and Prometheus’ Garden.  He also answered numerous questions from the sold out audience.  In a separate program Monster Road, Brett Ingram’s 2004 film about the life and work of Bickford gave an intimate glimpse into the life and work of the self taught Claymation maste who spent 6½ years working with Frank Zappa to create such films as Baby Snakes and Dub Room Special.

Blogs Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 08

This week on the Frenzer Forman Animation Forum, Alan grills Joel about cheese, shoots the shot about pickles, and reveals his own unique down-home bathing technique. Joel blurts out starts to thoughts, pauses dramatically to think of what to say next, and concludes non-sequitarily. Then special guest, fan, animation motion maker, and high-seas adventurer, Sam Olschan, enlightens the discussion as she loquaciously elucidates on animation teaching philosophy, production practice, dance-fighting, the implausibility of Scrooge McDuck, Narwal Quick-Fire Challenges, and flirting with the FFAF Computer. Six-year-old animation entrepreneur Isaac Short then visits the studio to seek advice about his next very very very traditional stop-motion masterpiece.

Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – The Road to Blu-ray

The week is another light week, but features a quad of great releases. A great new literary adaptation makes its journey to home entertainment. Two must-see classics are arriving on Blu-ray. Additionally, Blu-ray sees a new Criterion anthology of shorts from one of the most influential experimental filmmakers in history.

Pick of the Week
The Road
John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's modern classic novel is a harrowing tale about the fears and hopes of parents. In a post-apocalyptic America, where cannibals roam the landscape, a father, played brilliantly and tenderly by Viggo Mortensen, travels toward warmer weather with his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The father knows the hardships of the world while his son remains innocent. While the film doesn't quite capture the scope of the novel (few two hour films can), the film version still retains the emotional weight of its main characters. Great supporting work also comes from Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Michael K. Williams. A challenging, harsh drama, but one of the best films of last year.

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