June 13, 2014 |
JAY BARUCHEL and "How to Train Your Dragon" director Dean DeBlois had more than their Canadian upbringing to bond them during the making of the first film. They were both sort of artsy, skinny kids who grew up in the hockey-mad, rough-and-tumble Great White North, not sure how they were going to fit in - not unlike skinny little Hiccup, the Viking boy in "How To" who's a misfit among his burly countrymen, not to mention his burly countrywomen. "It's a story that I lived through, and I know Jay did as well.
June 25, 2010
Green Zone . 1/2 (Universal Pictures, '10) $29.98. 115 mins. A U.S. Army officer questions his country's mission when his hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq reveals covert intelligence. With Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla. R (violence and profanity) The Last Station . 1/2 (Sony Pictures Classics, '09) $27.96. 112 mins. The declining health of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who denounces material wealth, leads to a battle between his wife and a chief follower over his fortune.
February 6, 2009
"We storm the ranch, or we die trying!" Who doesn't want to like a jokey road movie about a band of Star Wars nerds breaking into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to steal a print of Episode I ? Set in the fall of 1998 - six months before the release of the fabled Phantom Menace (seems like ancient history) - Kyle Newman's slapdash feature boasts cameos from Star Wars alums Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams, along with Danny McBride, Seth Rogen (in dual roles as a Star Trek geek and a Las Vegas pimp)
October 15, 2010
WHILE 2010 WASN'T the watershed year for animation that 2009 was, there were some pleasant surprises, like "How to Train Your Dragon. " It's the winning story of a puny medieval Viking boy (Jay Baruchel) who is courageous enough to befriend one of the dragons that makes periodic raids on his homeland. He nurses the downed and injured creature back to health, and comes to understand that humans and dragons can coexist, an idea he must sell to his warlike community. The movie is lively and funny, and the title character - a sleek, black dragon with an almost space-age feel to it - is a triumph of design and animation.
December 3, 2010
"THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE" DVD is made with fans in mind. If you select the commentary feature, for instance, you don't get input from some dweeby writer or director - you get Rob Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and series author Stephenie Meyer. There is also a photo gallery with plenty of Edward and Jacob beefcake, a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary, music videos of the film's songs, and the usual extended and deleted scenes. Those who've outgrown "Twilight" might consider "Knight and Day," but only if desperate.
March 25, 2010 |
THE TITLE creature in "How to Train Your Dragon" is an object lesson in how to entrance a young audience with animation. The movie itself is a pleasant time killer with a stock story and characters, but its dragon is a triumph of conception and design - part beast and part Stealth bomber. Sleek, black, medieval in origin, space-age in design and movement (best seen in 3-D). It's wounded and then befriended by a Viking boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who's been raised by his warlike father (Gerard Butler)
March 26, 2010 |
There's a bit of Pandora in the piney mountainscapes of DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon, and more than a bit of the Na'avi, too, in the swooping aerial sequences involving this kid-friendly picture's hero and heroine: There they go, straddling a giant winged beast and spiraling through the misty skies. Add a pair of 3-D glasses - How to Train Your Dragon is being presented in the pricier stereoscopic format in almost half the theaters where it's booked - and at times it seems that this lively, colorful animated fantasy comes by way of James Cameron.
June 14, 2013 |
Alien invasion? Zombie attack? A massive, catastrophic earthquake? Nope, in This Is the End it really is the end - an old-fashioned, New Testament apocalypse, straight out of the Book of Revelation and happening right now, in plain sight of the Hollywood sign. But not to worry. "Who do they rescue first?" asks Jonah Hill, the Oscar-nominated thespian, trying to reassure his fellow real-life movie, TV, and music biz stars, all of whom have flocked to James Franco's new million-dollar digs for an unfortunately timed housewarming party.
July 13, 2010
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (3 p.m., NBC10) - Queen Latifah; Justin Bieber performs. Dr. Phil (5 p.m., CBS3) - Parenting children with behavorial disorders. Losing It With Jillian (8 p.m., NBC10) - Jillian visits Huntington Woods, Mich., to help parents Amy and Todd Franklin, who have been overweight most of their lives. After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, Amy lost 100 pounds but since then has regained half of that, while Todd secretly snacks compulsively, alarming his two daughters.
July 13, 2010 |
Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer whose films include National Treasure and Pirates of the Caribbean , has a formula. It goes something like this. Take a mainstream script - the hunt for missing treasure, say - and cast it with an off-center actor to give the marshmallow some texture and edge. So it is with The Sorcerer's Apprentice , a hearty helping of movie comfort food, the seventh collaboration between Bruckheimer and Mr. Live From Off-Center himself, Nicolas Cage.