6 items from 2007
- It's that time of year here (we wish our faithful readers happy holidays) at Ioncinema.com where we put up various Top 10 & Top 20 lists commemorating and celebrating the past 12 months/52 weeks of movie-watching, movie-reviewing and movie-reporting. To start things off: we have our Top 10 list for our favorite poster one sheets (click here and here for 2006’s Top Ten). Once again our preference goes to original marketing eye candy, posters with narratives, and illustrations with a wow-factor and basically anything that caught our attention span for more than a minute. Come back tomorrow for our Top 5 posters of 2007! 10. The Savages Distributor: Fox Searchlight Comments: My personal preference of graphic novel art means that this one became my tenth overall pick – for those who have seen the film you might be able to read what I read into it: two siblings caring for their ailing father by supporting one another »
- One of many awards that confirm the heavy favs for Feb’s Oscar winners, the Screen Actors Guild crowned names that we are overwhelmingly familiar with. Here’s the list of winners excluding the television awards. ActorLeonardo DiCaprio - "Blood Diamond"Ryan Gosling - "Half Nelson"Peter O'Toole - "Venus"Will Smith - "The Pursuit of Happyness"Winner: Forest Whitaker - "The Last King of Scotland" ActressPenelope Cruz - "Volver"Judi Dench - "Notes on a Scandal"Winner: Helen Mirren - "The Queen"Meryl Streep - "The Devil Wears Prada"Kate Winslet - "Little Children" Supporting ActorAlan Arkin - "Little Miss Sunshine"Leonardo DiCaprio - "The Departed"Jackie Earle Haley - "Little Children"Djimon Hounsou - "Blood Diamond"Winner: Eddie Murphy - "Dreamgirls" Supporting ActressAdriana Barraza - "Babel"Cate Blanchett - "Notes on a Scandal"Abigail Breslin - "Little Miss Sunshine"Winner: Jennifer Hudson - "Dreamgirls"Rinko Kikuchi - »
PARK CITY -- Weapons brings the perennial problems of teenagers into the twenty-first century with a decidedly downbeat treatment. The film's stylish and innovative look, influenced by the slowed-down rhythms of Southern hip-hop, doesn't quite carry the elemental story of love and revenge. Its heart and soul may appeal to the new lost generation, but not the standard indie crowd.
Shot in the suburban nowhere of Southern California, the film could really take place wherever kids are restless, bored and disaffected. That's always been a recipe for violence, and director Adam Bhala Lough does not disappoint on that count. Film opens with a particularly gruesome shooting in which a kid's head is blown off in a hamburger joint. The story bobs and weaves backwards in time to eventually reveal how this came about.
Weapons centers on two groups of friends, one white and one black, who, in a nice touch, seem to more or less peacefully coexist until the explosion. On the white side is Jason (Riley Smith), a one-time high school basketball star who has fallen into a life of drugs and easy sex. His best buddy Sean Mark Webber) has, somewhat unbelievably, just returned to the neighborhood from his first year in college. Rounding out the trio is the Loose Cannon Chris (Paul Dano), a classic misfit who goes around sticking a video camera in everyone's face.
The story ignites when Reggie (Nick Cannon) discovers his kid sister Sabrina (Regine Nehy) with a black eye. She says Jason did it and in a rage Reggie sets out for revenge accompanied by his best friend Mikey (Jade Yorker) and Mikey's younger brother James (Brandon Mychal Smith). Although he's probably no more than sixteen Reggie is intent on getting a gun from Mikey's crazy uncle (Arliss Howard), who seems to be channeling the stoned-out Dennis Hooper from Apocalypse Now. After Reggie bludgeons him with a fire extinguisher all bets are off.
In between constantly getting high and stumbling around in a daze, the aggrieved parties are gradually drawn together with tragic results. But despite the buildup, the killings don't carry much weight when they finally happen. These are not characters most people can sympathy with. One tends to watch dispassionately as the inevitable plays out.
Constructed around the music of the southern hip hopper DJ Screw, which aims to simulate the laconic sound of a codeine high, the film relies on endless handheld shots and slow motion sequence in cars and at parties. There is a lot of super-saturated color meant to suggest the drug-induced state.
For their part, the kids are so high most of the time they have become matter-of-fact about the violence around them. Performances by the ensemble cast feel authentic, especially Dano as the loser Chris and Smith as the burnt out Jason. Amy Ferguson, as one of the neighborhood girls who has been around the block at sixteen, captures the dead-end feeling of a life evaporating before it starts.
With a keener eye for detail than story, Lough has definitely tapped a vein in the underbelly of America's youth. But for all its snappy editing (by Jay Rabinowitz) and visual bravado (by cinematographer Manuel Albert Claro), Weapons is not a pretty picture.
Fried Films/Pantry Films
Credits: Director: Adam Bhala Lough; Writer: Lough; Producers: Rob Fried, Dan Keston, Bill Straus; Executive Producers: Jason Lust, Sol Tryon; Director of Photography: Manual Albert Claro; Production Designer: Alan E. Muraoka; Music: DJ Screw; Costume Designer: Tere Duncan; Editor: Jay Rabinowitz.
Reggie: Nick Cannon; Chris: Paul Dano; Sean: Mark Webber; Jason: Riley Smith; Sabrina: Regine Nehy; Nikki: Amy Ferguson; Mikey: Jade Yorker; Mikeyis uncle: Arliss Howard; James: Brandon Mychal Smith
No MPAA rating, running time: 85 minutes
The best picture prize was accepted by Scorsese and producer Graham King. Scorsese received a rousing standing ovation when presenter Steven Spielberg read his name as best director with a satisfied sigh.
"I started out trying to make a traditional cop-gangster movie, in the tradition of Warner Bros. movies like 'White Heat, ' " Scorsese said. "Then something else came out of it."
"Thank you, critics", Mirren said as she accepted her award. "And I never thought those words would ever come out my mouth."
"Sunshine" swept the best young actor and actress awards, with the prizes going to Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano. Breslin, 10, won over the audience when she blurted, "Oh my gosh, this is so cool!" After thanking the "Critics Broadcast Association", she thanked her parents, "who have supported me for forever."
Dano recalled shooting the movie in the back seat of a hot, sweaty van and sitting next to Alan Arkin. »
Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Departed" won the best picture and the film's Martin Scorsese won the best director award at the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.'s 12th Annual Critics Choice Awards, held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Friday night.
Forest Whitaker won the best actor award for his performance in Fox Searchlight's "The Last King of Scotland", while Helen Mirren was crowned best actress for her work in Miramax's "The Queen".
Other big winners of the evening were Fox Searchlight's "Little Miss Sunshine" and Dreamworks-Paramount's "Dreamgirls", which each won four prizes apiece.
The best picture prize was accepted by Graham King and Scorsese. Scorsese received a rousing standing ovation when presenter Steven Spielberg read out his name as best director with a satisfied sigh.
"I started out trying to make a traditional cop-gangster movie, in the tradition of Warner Bros. movies like 'White Heat.' Then something else came out of it," Scorsese said.
"Thank you critics", said Mirren. "And I never thought that those words would ever come out my mouth."
"Sunshine" swept the best young actor and actress awards, with the prizes going to Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano. Ten-year-old Breslin won over the audience from the get go, when she blurted "Oh my gosh, this is so cool!"
After accidentally thanking the "Critics Broadcast Association", she thanked her parents "who have supported me for forever."
Dano recalled shooting the movie in the back seat of a hot sweaty van, sitting next to Alan Arkin. »
- Babel, Dreamgirls and Little Miss Sunshine garnered 3 noms each while Blood Diamond, The Departed, Little Children and Notes on a Scandal grabbed a pair each. Winners to be announced on Jan.28th, the SAG noms are chosen by a panel of 2,100 guild members. Here is the complete list for both film and television.Motion PICTURESActorLeonardo DiCaprio - "Blood Diamond"Ryan Gosling - "Half Nelson"Peter O'Toole - "Venus"Will Smith - "The Pursuit of Happyness"Forest Whitaker - "The Last King of Scotland" ActressPenelope Cruz - "Volver"Judi Dench - "Notes on a Scandal"Helen Mirren - "The Queen"Meryl Streep - "The Devil Wears Prada"Kate Winslet - "Little Children" Supporting ActorAlan Arkin - "Little Miss Sunshine"Leonardo DiCaprio - "The Departed"Jackie Earle Haley - "Little Children"Djimon Hounsou - "Blood Diamond"Eddie Murphy - "Dreamgirls" Supporting ActressAdriana Barraza - "Babel"Cate Blanchett - "Notes on a »
6 items from 2007
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