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Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – Vengeance Trilogy Hammers Onto Blu-ray

This is a week to seek vengeance. On Blu-ray that is. Chan-wook Park's seminal modern classic trilogy is in the spotlight this week. There are also four new releases that are piquing my interest as well.

Pick of the Week

Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/Oldboy/Lady Vengeance)
Chan-wook Park's vengeance trilogy is to South Korean cool as The Man with No Name trilogy is to Spaghetti Westerns. In the States, OLDBOY quickly became a cult hit upon its release with its twisted narrative about a man locked up in a room for years without knowing why. Upon his sudden release, he seeks revenge against those that imprisoned him.

In SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, a young couple kidnaps the daughter of a high-profile businessman to pay for an operation for the young man's little sister. Of course nothing goes as planned as the audience's allegiances shift as the story spins further and further out of control.

Blogs The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child - Animated by a Child

Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest, an animated short, is about Ms. Ingrid Pitt, a young Jewish girl and Holocaust survivor. When she was 8 years old, Ms. Pitt miraculously escaped the Stutthof concentration camp with her mother, surviving in the forest until the end of the War. I have the great honor to be invited by Beyond the Forest director and producer Mr. Kevin Sean Michaels and two-time Academy Award nominee Mr. Bill Plympton to be the sole animator for this film.

Blogs Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 10

On this decisode of the Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum, Alan and Joel lament over the mysterious disappearance and unplanned obsolescence of The FFAF Computer, while entertaining a career in side-show freakery. Then Baman Piderman's own power-couple, shoe-illustrator Lindsay Small and shoe-phobic Alex Butera, discuss dinner, dating, working in cartoons, cartoon networking, avant-god animation assignments, and how perfectly complimentary skill sets boost both animation production and home economy. FFAF then gets a personal invite to their wedding where Joel and Alan will release doves through inventive voice-acting calisthenics.

Blogs Gundemonium Collection Launches on Playstation®Network

Featuring 2-D anime-style game play, high-impact weaponry, multiple levels, and remote play capability, this collection will satisfy your shooter game fix! Hell, you can even take snapshots of your gaming action and post it on YouTube.

Blogs THE A-TEAM (2010) (**)

The original TV series was one of my favorites growing up as a kid. I eagerly tuned in each week to watch what new adventure these soldiers of fortune got themselves wrapped up in. You knew they'd get themselves in deep and need to use whatever they had to get out of a pickle. And who could forget that badass theme song? As the feature began and team leader Hannibal Smith was introduced, I thought I might be getting a cool iconic soldier of fortune flick. Then I got past the first five minutes.

This origin story of sorts begins with Hannibal (Liam Neeson, TAKEN) freeing himself from corrupt Mexican cops who have taken his partner Face (Bradley Cooper, THE HANGOVER) hostage. Apparently Hannibal's master plan to save his friend is to walk across the desert and hope someone drives by. Luckily the person who drives by is B.A. Baracus (UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson), who has just retrieved his beloved van from some thugs. Hannibal shoots B.A. in the arm and then convinces him that he needs to go on a mission to save a fellow ranger. Arriving just in time to save Face from being burned to death, the trio races across Mexico to an insane asylum where they have lined-up patient Murdock (Sharlto Copley, DISTRICT 9) to fly them to safety. If you think that is preposterous, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Blogs THE A-TEAM (2010) (**)

The original TV series was one of my favorites growing up as a kid. I eagerly tuned in each week to watch what new adventure these soldiers of fortune got themselves wrapped up in. You knew they'd get themselves in deep and need to use whatever they had to get out of a pickle. And who could forget that badass theme song? As the feature began and team leader Hannibal Smith was introduced, I thought I might be getting a cool iconic soldier of fortune flick. Then I got past the first five minutes.

Blogs Blu-ray: SHUTTER ISLAND (2010)

Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller comes to Blu-ray in a rich transfer. The color range is quite impressive as muted dank colors mix with vibrant flashes. This is never more evident then when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels first arrives at the prison where the grays of the patients’ uniforms are in stark contrast to the lush greens of the yard and deep purples of the flowers. Likewise, in the dream sequences, the bright colors of Michele Williams’ dress radiate off the screen, spotlighted by the dark ash raining down. The blacks are crisp especially in the scenes in Ward C where Robert Richardson’s shadowy cinematography meets its peak. The clarity of the picture brings out the lines on DiCaprio’s face more fully as he sinks deeper into the labyrinth of the story.

Blogs Blu-ray: SHUTTER ISLAND (2010)

Read my original SHUTTER ISLAND review.

Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller comes to Blu-ray in a rich transfer. The color range is quite impressive as muted dank colors mix with vibrant flashes. This is never more evident then when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels first arrives at the prison where the grays of the patients’ uniforms are in stark contrast to the lush greens of the yard and deep purples of the flowers. Likewise, in the dream sequences, the bright colors of Michele Williams’ dress radiate off the screen, spotlighted by the dark ash raining down. The blacks are crisp especially in the scenes in Ward C where Robert Richardson’s shadowy cinematography meets its peak. The clarity of the picture brings out the lines on DiCaprio’s face more fully as he sinks deeper into the labyrinth of the story.

Blogs Movie & DVD Review – 'Alice in Wonderland'

By Perry Chen | Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 10:01am

Tim Burton’s new film adds a unique twist to the classic story. It is about love, courage, sacrifice, dreams, and reality. The June 2, 2010 release of the triple DVD set includes blu-ray, regular DVD and a digital DVD for the computer. It is a real treat!

Blogs Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 09

On a Full Forum Super-Seven-Student Panelpalooza, Joel and Alan survey animation students who study animation at Boston's extra-prestigious School of the Museum of Fine Arts about their likes, dislikes, and the future of future animation futures. During the course of the discourse, many fundamental life questions are questioned; what's the best way to animate glitter raining down on a stripping cat?, would you really give up your right pinky for the abilities of a changeling?, how can one take a shower in the classroom?, and most importantly, can Hamburger Helper help you to help yourself?

Blogs Blu-ray Buzz – Blu-ray Shutters

It’s another light week for good new releases, but again the trio of films in this week’s column is really worthy of attention. Martin Scorsese, Wong Kar Wai and Oscar-winning animation make for a great week on DVD and Blu-ray.

Pick of the Week
Shutter Island
Martin Scorsese’s twisting and turning thriller is a great mind game. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal investigating the disappearance of a patient at a remote mental institution. The amazing cast includes Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson, Elias Koteas, Jackie Earle Haley and John Carroll Lynch. Scorsese is such a master of the filmmaking he knows exactly how to set the right haunting mood from the start. In the end this film turns into a great character piece as well as a psychological thriller.

Blogs Movie Review & Red Carpet Interviews: 'Marmaduke'

I was invited to the red carpet premiere of MARMADUKE at the annual surf dog beach party held at San Diego’s Imperial Beach on May 22, 2010, and interviewed director Tom Dey and voice talents Owen Wilson (Marmaduke) and George Lopez (Carlos the cat). I give Marmaduke 3.5 starfish. It is packed with humor, romance, and action.

Blogs SPLICE (2010) (**)

This horror film is about scientists who take risks, much like its director Vincenzo Natali does with the story. The problem is these are bad scientists. I mean that in what they do and how they do it. They fool around with experiments they shouldn't… or should they. The film likes to put out these kinds of ideas, but isn't really interested in developing them. It's interested in getting to its Freudian nightmare of an ending.

Blogs SPLICE (2010) (**)

This horror film is about scientists who take risks, much like its director Vincenzo Natali does with the story. The problem is these are bad scientists. I mean that in what they do and how they do it. They fool around with experiments they shouldn't… or should they. The film likes to put out these kinds of ideas, but isn't really interested in developing them. It's interested in getting to its Freudian nightmare of an ending.

Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody, THE PIANIST) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley, DAWN OF THE DEAD) are famed biogeneticists. The couple and partners have successfully combined the DNA of various creatures to create a new life form. The giant maggot-looking creatures are named Fred and Ginger. The pharmaceutical company they work for will make millions on the animal disease cures the creations will create. While the company wants them to synthesize proteins for the next five years, the duo want to take their experiments to the next level by including human DNA into the mix. Of course company crony William Barlow (David Hewlett, TV's STARGATE: ATLANTIS) won't allow it, not because the firm has moral objections, but because it would be a marketing disaster.

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.

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