Carla Gugino and Malin Akerman’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Director Zack Snyder challenged two of his former leading ladies, Carla Gugino (Sucker Punch) and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ladies accepted — and decided to have a little fun with it, despite the serious subject matter.

Hey, I just remembered: Carla was in Watchmen as well, playing the Golden Age Silk Spectre, mother to Malin’s Silver Age version. So I guess that makes this a little… weird.

Horror Flick Willow Creek Has a Scary-Good Poster

willowcrkpstyIf you’re not familiar with the work of artist Alex Pardee, you should get acquainted. The guy is a genius when it comes to twisted visuals. His work can be a bit shocking and even funny, but it’s always inspired and out of the ordinary. (He worked on designs for Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch.)

Here, we see Alex’s genius in the poster for Bobcat Goldthwait‘s Bigfoot movie, Willow Creek. Yes, that sentence is a lot to take in, so I’ll understand if you need to go back and reread it — but add this thought: Bobcat wrote and directed the flick. And early word from people who have seen it is… positive!

The premise of the movie finds young couple Jim and Kelly venturing into the woods of the Pacific Northwest, seeking to retrace the footsteps of Roger Patterson who, in 1967, shot the most famous alleged film footage of Bigfoot. In the small town of Willow Creek, which is a mecca for Bigfoot believers, the couple gets all sorts of different and often conflicting descriptions of the beast. Despite dire warnings, Jim and Kelly set off into the woods to videotape the creature  — and the results are revealed in found-footage format.

The flick premieres April 29 at Independent Film Festival Boston.

“Lost” Sucker Punch Rehearsal Footage

Regular readers of my blog know it’s no secret that I love Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch – probably more than most people in the country. I gave it a positive review when it was released in theaters, and even wrote a piece defending it from the rabid criticism the film generated.

Now, I’ve just come across the web page that features footage for one of the lost musical numbers from the movie. As you probably remember, in “Brothel Life,” the girls at Lennox House practiced dance steps for elaborate musical pieces. Sadly, these productions were cut from the theatrical release, and only one (set to “Love Is the Drug”) was restored on the Blu-ray release. In this brief clip, the film’s choreographer, Paul Baker, conducts a dress rehearsal with Jena Malone. Her character, Rocket, is dressed as a sexy nurse, and begins this snippet dancing inside a giant hypodermic needle! Too bad that didn’t make it into the movie.

Hopefully all of the girls’ individual production numbers will surface at some point! For now, let’s watch Rocket work it…

11 Thoughts About 11 Films From 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

With just about two weeks of 2012 under our belts, I figure we now have a little perspective on 2011, so why not take a look back at some of the cinematic achievements — good and bad — of the year?

I limited this survey to 11 films because I don’t want to ramble on at length. Wherever relevant I linked to my full reviews of the movies mentioned. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the 2011 films I have opinions about; these are just the movies that leaped immediately to mind. There may be more where this came from. (I hope that sounds like a promise, not a threat!)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 raked in $1.3 billion dollars at the box office last year, marking one of those rare times when a film’s financial success was commensurate with its artistic success. I really enjoyed this fun adventure flick, which seemed to contain all the action that was missing from the lugubrious Part 1. This movie reminded me of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as far as being a suitable wrap-up to an epic series. The characters reached a natural end point, and viewers felt satisfied that a complete story had been told.
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In Defense of Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is not a bad movie. I mean, it’s not that bad. I think it’s a misunderstood film that will, years from now, be rehabilitated and reinterpreted – possibly becoming something of a minor classic, much like Dark City.

If you did not like Sucker Punch, that’s fine. Go in peace. We all like different things, and I’m sure we don’t agree on lots of stuff. However, in recent weeks, Sucker Punch has been subjected to some of the worst, most savage reviews of 2011 – critiques that have not been merely negative, but outright vicious rants. I saw one screed that blamed the decline of Western moviemaking on Sucker Punch! (I gave it a positive review, though.) Anyone who hasn’t seen it might be forgiven for assuming that the movie stars Mel Gibson and Bernie Madoff, and was directed by Moammar Gadhafi.

It was directed and co-written by Zack Snyder, who did the stylish 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, then adapted Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, followed by an adoring translation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ beloved Watchmen comic-book series. It stars Emily Browning as Babydoll, Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea), Jena Malone (Rocket), Jamie Chung (Amber), Vanessa Hudgens (Blondie), Carla Gugino (Madam Gorski) and Scott Glenn (The Wise Man).
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Sucker Punch (2011)

If you have ever wanted to see a true live-action anime, then Sucker Punch is your movie. More than a comic book, more than a cartoon, Sucker Punch is anime with a video-game polish. It is a visually stunning movie that can best be described as feast for genre fans.

Don’t be put off by the venomously negative slams from mainstream critics who have gone way (way) out of their way to blame this movie for every ill from global warming to the Kennedy assassination. That’s a lot to lay at the feet of a movie that simply asks you to pay attention and use a little imagination. If you’ve ever been to – or ever wanted to attend – the San Diego Comic-Con or any similar event, this movie is for you. If not…well, why are you reading this blog?
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Back at the Keyboard (for a bit)

Ack! The crackling of knuckles and the popping of tendons! I have not typed in over a week because I was on vacation and thus took eight days off from WordPress, Twitter, Facebook – all that cyberstuff. I even went without e-mail! (Doncha just love wading through all the accumulated spam and mail after a long break…) Anyway, I’ve only been home for a few hours and simply could not stay away from the computer for much longer.

I’m not going to type out a long treatise about my trip – well, not yet, anyway – but I really did want to get my feet wet again. So I tweeted, and now I’m blogging a bit. Little by little, things will get back toward normal. And my fingers will loosen up; they actually hurt now! Yikes! I have a friend who types about 80 words a minute, while I clock in more around eight words per minute (which causes her no end of dismay). I had lately been boosting my skillz to around 12 or maybe even 14 words a minute! But now, these rickety old joints have stiffened, and I feel like I’m back to the single digits. Ow!

Anyway, in a transparent bid to fill some space and save my fingers, I thought I’d link to this great new teaser promoting the upcoming fantasy flick Sucker Punch, which is now less than a month away! This is a moody clip that really captures the dreamlike quality that I understand the movie to have. Enjoy…


Sucker Punch, directed by 300 and Watchmen auteur Zack Snyder and starring Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung and Abbie Cornish, will be released March 25. (BTW, that music is Panic Switch by Silversun Pickups.

Newest Sucker Punch posters

Are you looking forward to the release of Sucker Punch this March as much as I am? The answer is probably “No,” because I’m looking forward to it rather a lot. (And here’s a list of 10 other movies I am also eagerly awaiting.

I mention this because several new posters for Sucker Punch have been released, including five posters of the individual characters…

So why am I so eagerly anticipating this film? Check out the official synopsis after the cut:
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11 Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2011

Since it’s 2011, you’ll be seeing lots of “Top 11” lists, so let me get in on the action right away, with the movies I am most looking forward to seeing this year. I know not every one will live up to expectations (Honestly, is they any way that Sucker Punch can be even half as fantastic as it looks?), but it’s the ones that do excel that make movie-going worth it. So here are my top 11:

1. Sucker Punch
2. Cowboys & Aliens
3. Thor
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
5. The Hangover Part II
6. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
9. X-Men: First Class
10. Green Lantern
11. Super 8
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