Summer of Smackdown: Sci-Fi & Horror

June 9, 2011 The FilmGuru

When I was young, summer always heralded some of the best science fiction films. All year long, I would wait to see what to would come next to the local theaters: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Alien — to name a few.

These were the films that made me glad to be a kid. I would walk out of a movie theater into the summer night, look up into the sky, and wonder what was out there among the stars… or what horrors awaited us here on Earth.

This year, the Summer of Smackdown includes some pretty original entries. Green Lantern could rightly be called science fiction. But we covered it — and other comic book heroes — in the spotlight we did on superhero movies. So I won’t repeat them here. […]

Summer of Smackdown: Wizards, Warriors & Pirates

May 15, 2011 The FilmGuru

The “Summer of Smackdown” continues! Last week we took a look at the superhero movies vying to be this summer’s big blockbuster. Forget about beefy gods in capes or super soldiers slinging shields. We’re moving from the land of comic books to the realm of full-on fantasy & adventure.

For me, this is what summer is all about. I love a good blockbuster adventure, be it of the Indiana Jones or Flash Gordon variety. A good action-adventure film can transport us to new worlds, different times, and show us unimaginable things made real.

Unfortunately, Hollywood has recently begun transferring films in this genre to 3D in post-production, creating a cheesy effect at greater expense to the viewer. Each of these films has been given the 3D treatment, but only Pirates was filmed in 3D. […]

Summer of Smackdown: The Superheroes

May 4, 2011 The FilmGuru

The “Summer of Smackdown!” has officially begun. With the release of Thor over the weekend, the battle for blockbuster superiority is now in full swing. Thor dropped the hammer on the competition, taking in over $66M in its opening weekend in the U.S. — this after grossing more than $100M worldwide since its international release.

Now that Thor has started things of with a thunder crash, let’s a take a look at what other movies are in the running to shake the heavens this summer.

First off, it’s no secret that this is the summer of superheroes. An unprecedented number of comic book adaptations are coming to the big screen this summer, and four of them are superhero favorites. […]

Girl Wins Boys Club Award

January 31, 2010 Sherry Coben

With her historic win, the narrative going into the Academy Awards gets a little trickier and a lot more fun. As everyone knows who cares, “Avatar” director James Cameron and Ms. Bigelow were once married. It’s like the perfect set-up for a Nancy Meyer rom-com. The other likely Oscar nominees — Jason Reitman, Lee Daniels, and Quentin Tarantino — go into the race as also-rans and bridesmaids, unburdened with the compelling domestic drama — Divorcee Twelve Million Grossing David Potentially Clobbers Her Ex-Box Office Goliath. No one’s betting on a big upset. After all, only six DGA winners have failed to repeat their wins on Oscar night. Forty-seven of the films that won the DGA prize went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards, and so the “Inglorious Basterds” momentum that seemed to be building at the SAG awards screeched to a sudden halt. “Avatar” has splintered every box office record in its path, but Cameron’s Golden Globes acceptance speech wasn’t terribly humble or eloquent; Bigelow’s at the Broadcast Film Critics was. These early awards season speeches are dry runs, virtual auditions. The industry tunes in and decides which player they want to represent them on the Big Night. Reitman’s consistently adorable and convincingly humble; they’ll surely give him a screenplay award. Tarantino is something of a loose cannon; if he dressed a little better, he’d probably have more of a chance. Hollywood is a giant high school, and the directors are running for class president. (The movie stars vie for prom king and queen.)
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