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Thursday, August 18, 2011

CineMarvellous Preview: Stylishly Action-Packed First Trailer for "Underworld: Awakening 3D"

Stylishly Action-Packed
First Teaser Trailer for
Underworld: Awakening [3D]

The first teaser trailer for the upcoming fourth "Underworld" installment, called "Awakening", is finally here, and thankfully, it's filled with plenty of stylish visuals and over-the-top action. In other words, exactly what I was hoping for! Check it out below and see for yourself.

Star of the first two films, the absolutely gorgeous Kate Beckinsale is back on track, and ready to kick more werewolf asses, this time in 3D. She returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

"Underworld: Awakening 3D" hits theaters on January 20, 2012.

CineMarvellous Preview: Short, Yet Mesmerizing New Trailer for Tsui Hark's "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate"

Short, Yet Mesmerizing New Trailer
Tsui Hark's WuXia Epic
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate

After the eye-popping trailer for Ching Siu-Tung's "The Sorcerer and the White", released a month ago, here's the new trailer for another hugely anticipated martial arts flick - Tsui Hark's 3D wuxia epic, "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate". Judging from the surprisingly short trailer, the visuals are absolutely stunning, and the wire-fu-driven action looks both, stylish and thrilling. Check out the new teaser below, and hopefully it will make you just as excited as it made me.

The movie stars Jet Li, Chen Kun, Zhou Xun, Louis Fan Siu-wong, Kwai Lun-mei, Mavis Fan and Li Yu-chun, and tells the story of the struggle between a Ming Dynasty general (Jet Li) and his rival, a powerful eunuch (Chen Kun). Although this film is based on the story of 1992's "New Dragon Gate Inn", Tsui denied that this film will be a remake of the old classic but more of a re-imagine. Tsui also worked on the screenplay in addition to directing and producing the film, to ensure the originality of the story. "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" is shot entirely in 3D, being the first-ever 3D wuxia film in history, and it's scheduled for release in December this year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

[9.00/10] Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Full review: Ten years after Tim Burton's disasterous entry into the long-running franchise, director Rupert Wyatt brings us the latest "Planet of the Apes" installment, and much to our surprise, he not only manages to pull it off, but he delivers arguably the best and most entertaining of all "Apes" films released since 1968. Story-wise, "Rise of the Apes" doesn't really break any new grounds, and its plot feels a bit familiar here and there, however the lack of true originality is compensated by the smartly-written script, the fantastic cast, and the absolutely slick and spot-on execution. Moreover, the movie's perfectly smooth pacing and 'evolutionating' plot development draw us more and more into the story as the movie progresses. Some minor faults aside, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is as visually-breathtaking, as it's absorbing. Rupert Wyatt does such an incredible job behind the camera, it's really hard to believe that this is just his second full-length film. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is so skilfully-shot and creatively-composed, it feels more like Wyatt has a huge directing career behind his back. He provides us with tons of fluid, yet dynamic camera movements, plenty of inventive angles and lots of diversity, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. The settings are excellent, both indoor and outdoor, but it's the visual effects that make the biggest impression. All of the apes shown in the movie are stunningly-designed, deeply-detailed, incredibly realisitc and crafted to perfection. Although the action comes a bit late in the film, it's striking, brilliantly-staged and worth every second of waiting. Apart from Rupert Wyatt's amazingly stylish direction, and the absulutely first-rate special effects, the most impressive thing about the latest "Apes" movie is Andy Serkis' sensational performance as Ceaser. He brings the ape to life in a very believable and natural way, and he turns in one of the most memorable non-human performances in history of cinema. James Franco grew so much as an actor over the past couple of years, it's really fascinating. Last year he blew us away in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours", and now he delivers another strong, mature and convincing performance as the tough, yet sensitive young scientist, Will Rodman. The beautiful Freida Pinto know for her role in another Boyle film, "Slumdog Millionaire" gives a solid supporting performance as Will's love interest, Caroline. John Lithgow also delivers in his formidable role as the nutty, yet sympathetic father who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

Overall summary: Featuring innovative direction, clever writing, brilliant performances and some of the most polished CGI effects ever put on film, and filled with action-packed thrills and electrifying moments, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is the best, most gripping and visually-striking movie of the summer so far, along with "X-Men: First Class".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Editor's Note: 200 Followers & 2 Years of Blogging!

CineMarvellous! Celebrates
Its SECOND Anniversary,
and Hits 200 Followers!

Hello, my dear blog buddies and readers. Today is a very special day for me, as my blog celebrates its 2nd anniversary. Yay! Happy Birthday, CineMarvellous! It's been two years now, and the blogging experience has been tremendous. I wouldn't change it for anything. Thank you, Blogger, for the opportunity!

So far, my blog has been visited exactly 77,437 times by 15,002 unique visitors from 143 different countries. Isn't that amazing? In my wildest dreams I would never imagined that my blog would become that fairly successful and read by thousands of people. Thank you all!

Furthermore, today I hit 200 (now 201) followers and I couldn't be happier that I got my 200th follower exactly on this particular day. Thank you, Doralynn for becoming the 200th member of my blog! A big thanks to all my followers and regular (and not that regular) readers. I've created this movie blog because of my huge passion for cinema, but mostly because of you, guys! So thank you for reading my amateurish movie reviews, and also thank you for all the lovely comments you've left on my posts throughout these 2 years. There will be special mentions, of course. ;) All the people mentioned below, I consider my closest and most endearing blog friends. I met all of them thanks to blogger, and I'm glad I did, because they're all fantastic! Just check them out and follow their wonderful blogs.

Mel @ Melissa's Imaginarium & The Movie411
Alex @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
Matty @ FilmMattic
J-Son @ SON:sation
Harry @ MM's Horror Movie Diary
HorrO @ Horro's Gory Reviews

And also:

Michele @ The Girl Who Loves Horror
Caledonia @ Writings, Musings and Other Such Nonsense
Russ @ filmsRruss
Lonelslander @ Bad MOvies... Positive Light
M. Hufstader @ The Smoking Pen
venoms5 @ Cool Ass Cinema
Mr. Review @ Mr. Review's Blog
M Pax @ Wistful Nebulae
Lesya @ Eternity of Dream
Andrew @ Who Wants Taters???
Ricky @ Ric's Reviews
Stevee @ Cinematic Paradox
Budd @ SciFi Media
Maurice @ Filmn Sketchr
Ty @ Comeuppance Reviews

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CineMarvellous Preview: Stunning New Poster and Quick-Cut Teaser Trailer for the Upcoming Marvel Superhero Hit "The Avengers"

(click to enlarge)

Stunning New Poster and Quick-Cut
Teaser Trailer
for the Upcoming
2012 Superhero Hit The Avengers

For those who still haven't seen Marvel's latest superhero flick, "Captain America", the news is that the studio reveals a rather cool, quick-cut teaser trailer for probably the most anticipated movie of 2012, "The Avengers", at the end of the recently released "Captain America: First Avenger". Check it out below, and enjoy the short, yet thrilling ride! Bring on the first proper teaser, Marvel! We are hungry for more 'Avenger' awesomeness and mind-blowing action!

CineMarvellous Preview: Gruesome Red Band Trailer for "Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings"

(click to enlarge)

Gruesome Red Band Trailer for
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

I, personally, loved the original movie. I thought it was intense, brilliantly gory, highly entartaining and a fine example for a "guilty pleasure" type of horror movie. However, the first sequel failed to deliver the chills, and the second one was hardly watchable. This fall, director Declan O'Brien will bring "Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings" - obviously a prequel to the 2003 surprise hit, and judging from the trailer, it looks surprisingly decent, despite the fact it is a straght-to-DVD movie. Check out the red band trailer below, and let me know what you guys think of it.

“Wrong Turn 4″ DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for Oct 18, 2011.

Monday, August 8, 2011

[6.25/10] Captain America: The First Avenger [3D] (2011)

Captain America:
The First Avenger
[3D] (2011)

Full review: We all know that Marvel-based superhero movies are money making machines, so when "Captain America: The First Avenger" was announced 'in production' no one was surprised by the news. Although it's a huge imrpovement over the 1990 disaster, the 2011 version of "Captain America" certainly doesn't rank amongst the best Marvel movies, nor is one of the worst. In other words, it's average at best, and a bit overrated by both the ctitics and audiences. "The First Avenger" is often inoherent and suffers from a weak script and lack of "WOW!" moments, however, it still remains satisfying, fun, and moderately entertaining. Joe Johnston's direction feels a bit all-over-the-place at times, but despite that, he manages to provide us with lots of deverse camera angles and dynamic camera movements, as well as some subtle that balance the pace and the energy of the movie. In terms of style and visuals, "Captain America: The First Avenger" suceeds vastly. The muted, 'smokey' cinematography suits the old-fashioned vibe of the movie amazingly well, and the authentic and incredibly atmospheric settings add to the already stunning look of the movie, however, the visuals hardly compensate for the lack of strong script and jaw-droppoing action. The action scenes themeselves are well-staged and fairly exciting, yet somewhat unimpressive. They start from the middle, jumping from one scene to another so fast, it's like watching them in fast forward. The 3D effects are passable, and yet sometimes unnoticeable, and... rather unnecessary. The performances range from mediocre to great. In the first half of the movie, Chris Evans does a good job as the skinny, overly enthusiastic soldier rejected from the military, but later on when he transforms into Captain America, his strong screen presence suddenly disappears, and he becomes very unconvincing, even goofy playing the title character. Usually, I don't mind heavy British accent, but Hayley Atwell's is maybe a bit too pretentious, and her performance - rather forgettable. Hugo Weaving, on te other hand, turns in a great villain, delivering the show-stealing performance as the nutty, intimidatin Nazi officer, Johann Schmidt / Red Skull. The rest of he cast deliver decent performances overall, but without any real standouts.

Overall summary: For better or worse, "The First Avenger" feels like an entrée before the main meal ("The Avengers" 2012) - thanks to its outstanding retro production design and atmospheric visuals, it's a real feast for the eyes, yet sadly, it somewhat fails to deliver a compelling story, memorable protagonist and stupendous action scenes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

[9.00/10] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 [3D] (2011)

Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows - Part 2 [3D] (2011)

Full review: This year, "it all ends". Sadly. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" is the last and arguably the best, darkest and most mature entry in the hugely-popular franchise. A few dragged-out scenes and some rather unnecessary flashbacks aside, "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" is thrilling and thoroughly captivating from beginning to the end. The story unfolds at brisk, yet smooth pace, balancing action-packed, epic scenes with dialogue-driven ones quite well, while the long-awaited conclusion is utterly predictable, yet somewhat satisfying. British director David Yates simply outdoes himself this time around. Back in 2007, he did a good job with "Order of the Phoenix" and his direction was competent and everything, however, not necessarily exceptional. Yates stepped things up with "Half-Blood Prince", but his directing skills were still far from perfect. Having said that, last year with "Deathly Hallows - Part 1" he proved to all of us he already 'gets' the whole Harry Potter concept 100%. Now, with "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" it feels that he has gotten even more comfortable with the source material, and it's more than obvious that he grew up loving the characters and the entire story with all his heart, as his fourth installment is filmed and crafted with such a passion, imagination and zeal, it shines through the screen. In terms of visuals, the film is nothing short of spectacular. The grim, washed-out cinematography fits the dark tone of the movie incredibly well and creates an intense, yet magical atmosphere, and the uber-slick production design is so stunningly impressive you will be wowed by it for sure. The CGIs are absolutely first rate and a true feast for the eyes, and the action scenes range from great to stupendous, with special mention goes to the Tresor/Dragon sequence in the middle of the movie, which is, in my book, the real highlight of the film. Another memorable moment is the attack on Hogwarts, which sadly ends up a bit shorter than expected. The 3D effects are passable, but they hardly add any depth to both the visuals and the story. Acting-wise, "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" also meets and even exceeds our expectations. The charming trio Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are all better than ever before, and the top-notch supporting cast does an incredible job at bringing their characters to life, however, it's Ralph Fiennes that steals the show as the mean and vicious Lord Voldemort.

Overall summary: Compelling, emotionally-powerful, wonderfully-crafted, and visually mind-blowing, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" not only ranks as the best installment in the super-successful franchise along with Alfonso Cuaron's "Prisoner of Azkaban", but it's also a great and truly magical way to end the series. Farewell, Harry Potter!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

[7.00/10] Bad Teacher (2011)

Bad Teacher (2011)

QuickRating: Sexy, shamelessly naughty and laugh-out-loud hilarious, "Bad Teacher" is not only a breath of fresh air into the tired comedy genre, but also hands down the funniest movie of the year so far, thanks to Cameron Diaz's larky, yet alluring performance, the absolutely marvellous supporting cast, and last but not least - the smart and witty script full of clever jokes and amusingly awkward situations that bring tons of laughs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

[4.50/10] Your Highness (2011)

Your Highness (2011)

David Gordon Green's latest effort boasts beautiful scenery, and succeeds partially in the acting depatment because of its uber-talented A-list cast, yet unfortunately, "Your Highness" falls short on pretty much every other aspect - the jokes are ridiculously lame, the script is uninspired, the CGIs are sub-par, and the pacing is incredibly off. If you want to see the most amusing parts of the movie, just check out the trailer instead.