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Posts Tagged ‘Woody Harrelson’

Defendor, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 29, 2010

Director: Peter Stebbings
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Elias Koteas.

Score: 8.5 / 10

This review by AnotherZen.

I had heard almost nothing about this movie before I saw it, I had seen the cover/poster, and read the plot on IMDB. Comedy, Drama, normal guy who thinks he is a superhero and all that jazz. Mainly I wanted to watch it because of Woody Harrelson and it had some stuff about the Toronto International Film Festival thingy on the poster. So I thought, Woody in a indie film with superhero stuffs.. count me in.

So i started to watch the film, starting with a scene at a psychiatrist where Woody Harrelson is in a prisoner uniform. This was no straight comedy, the tone and acting gave it away within a few seconds.

Some 100 minutes later I was left with a feeling I get rarely, that feeling when you walk away from a movie and actually thinking about it and that it affects you in some way, moves you. This one did exactly that.

This is Peter Stebbings’s directional debut and with it, he instantly makes a name for himself as a great understander of character study, social study and how to portray this in an awesome way, holding the watcher both entertained and thinking throughout the film. Casting was key in this film too, and with the actors they have, every scene and dialogue comes across as real and emotional when it has to, cold, light hearted, clever and both the subtle and not so subtle comical themes comes across loud and clear but never over the top.

Woody Harrelson plays a simple minded, yet determined man who is out at night, fighting crime in the hopes of finding Captain Industry, someone that ties into to his past. With his arsenal of weird gadgets and tactics, he goes from a child to a hero once he goes donnes the duct tape’d D sweater, with a VHS recorderon his back and his spy camera helmet, trying to rid the streets of punks. Kat Denninings surprises me too here, never seen her in anything before and she just takes the character and creates this lovable yet despisable young prostitue with a secondary story that ties inn very good and gives the movie its noticeable depth. Her motives are unclear most of the time, giving us hints of frustration, loneliness, yet lights up the movie with joy and fun as she and Defendor try to get along. The third character that makes this triangle work is Elias Koteas’s splendidly acted corrupt officer character. He just oozes of this bad, crooked police man that has a bad taste for drugs and a is using Kat Dennings character for his own pleasure.

The fourth “character” that I think is vital in this movie is the radio commentator, who basiclly gives us headlines from the people in the streets. What some people are thinking, what others are not aso, and gives the movie this small but needed reminder of the bigger picture.

The movie does feel abit long, there are some scenes that are a bit drawn out, and it dozes off somewhat after 2/3 of the movie, but then gets back up and finishes with a what I would call a perfect ending.

Satire done right.

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2012 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 27, 2010

Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover

Score: 6/10

Reviewed by pjowens75

What is it about Roland Emmerich? Why is he so much fun to hate? Maybe it’s because there has to be an Irwin Allen in every movie generation. Irwin Allen is best known for his disaster movies, TOWERING INFERNO and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. And that’s what Roland Emmerich has become: this generation’s King of disaster flicks. I mean is there anyone out there who does the end of the world better than him? At least we know what to expect from one of his movies: great special effects, little logical story, and convenient forgettable characters. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we keep going back for the thrills, plain and simple. We want to sit back with our bag of popcorn and give our brains a rest for a couple of hours. And in 2012, we get what we paid for.

2012 is the ultimate disaster flick, based on several ancient civilizations predicting the end of the world, as we know it, on December 21, 2012. It seems that on that date, all the planets will line up, causing untold catastrophe. Well, at least according to the Mayans, anyway. Gotta hand it to those Mayans, they could see the writing on the wall. I mean, let’s face it, they got the hell outta Dodge a couple of thousand years ago. So what if they bugged out a little early? Better safe than sorry, I always say. And who better to show us exactly what catastrophes we’ll face than the King himself…the ultimate popcorn movie maker.

One of the things about Emmerich is that he always manages to get a couple of respectable actors in each of his films; actors of enough caliber that it leaves you scratching your head going “What the hell are they doing in here?” In this case it’s John Cusack as our hero, and Danny Glover as the President of the United States. But as you can guess, they are only there to add some dialog between each new earthquake, eruption, or tsunami. What story there is has Cusack trying to save his recently estranged wife and kids by stowing away on some gigantic secret ships the governments of the world have been building for just such an occasion. And that’s really all you need to know about the plot. Period. If you want a decent script, you’ve picked the wrong movie, dude.

Because 2012 is all about destruction, with one “can you top this” disaster after another. From cars trying to outrun the giant crack-in-the-earth appearing beneath the rear wheels in Los Angeles, to St. Peter’s Basilica collapsing and rolling over the thousands of faithful in Rome, to a giant tidal wave crashing over the Himalayas, be grateful you can watch all this on film because you sure wouldn’t want to be there in person. If you should make the mistake of actually stopping to think about some logic-defying event you’ve just seen, like how it only takes a couple of hours to drive the 1000 miles from LA to Yellowstone Park, don’t worry, something will come along shortly to numb that thought right out of your head.

Amidst all this hellfire and brimstone, there always seems to be one scene that makes you stop and go “wow”. In 1998’s GODZILLA, it was the scene of the submerged lizard chasing the poor fisherman up the dock. In 2012, it involves Glover, wearily looking up after the collapse of the Washington Monument. From over his shoulder, we see a faint object gradually materializing through the thick dust and smoke, eventually becoming recognizable as the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy being carried high up on a massive tsunami. Like I say, no one films destruction like Emmerich.

The problem is, where does he go from here? With each successive film, his disasters have gotten bigger and bigger. Now that he’s pretty much destroyed the Earth, what does he do next, take on the destruction of the entire solar system? I mean, what is there left to destroy? My hope is that he does something completely unexpected, perhaps a small, intimate character study. Because I’ve got to believe that he wants to be more than a “Johnny One Note”. Or maybe I’m wrong and he is perfectly happy making the movies that he does. Maybe he’s content to be the most expensive “popcorn maker” on earth.

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Defendor – Feature Trailer for Woody Harrelson’s crazy superhero thing

Posted by LiveFor on February 15, 2010

Bruised and beaten, arm in a sling, neck in a brace, Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) sits in front of court-appointed psychologist Ellen Park (Sandra Oh). After making her swear to secrecy, Poppington begins to tell the story of his secret life as “Defendor” – yes, that’s an “OR” – spelling is not one of his super powers. By day, Poppington directs traffic around road construction sites, but at night he dons a pair of black tights, a black jersey with a crude “D” duct-taped to his chest, and trawls the streets as his alter ago. As Defendor, Poppington engages in what he believes is a super heroic fight against crime in an attempt to fulfill his unrealized dream of capturing his archrival, Captain Industry – a gun trafficking crime lord who Poppington mistakenly believes is responsible for the death of his mother.

Defendor’s problems with the law begin with his intervention in a trick gone bad. When coming to the aid of Katerina Debrofkowitz (Kat Dennings), an underage prostitute, Defendor tangles with her pimp, Chuck Dooney (Elias Koteas) – a crooked undercover cop. By doing so, Defendor bumbles his way into a criminal underworld, and the stage is set for a showdown with Captain Industry.

Defendor is the ultimate underdog story about the unlikeliest of super heroes. While he may be deficient in super powers, he has a surplus of heart and sometimes that’s all you need to make a difference
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Defendor – Featurette – Origin Stories

Posted by LiveFor on February 13, 2010

Reality intersects with delusion in the mind of Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), a regular man who adopts a superhero persona known as Defendor, and combs the city streets at night in search of his arch-enemy, Captain Industry. In his attempts to combat crime and bring down Captain Industry, a drug and weapons dealer who he mistakenly blames for the death of his mother, Defendor ends up befriending a young prostitute, Katerina Debrofkowitz (Kat Dennings). Armed with unconventional weapons of mass confusion, aided by his new friend, and putting his life on the line, Defendor proves that everyone is capable of making a difference.

Defendor is both written and directed by Canadian actor-turned-filmmaker Peter Stebbings and is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival.

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I much prefer the previous poster without all the quotes on it. Just think it works better.

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Defendor – Poster for Woody Harrelson film

Posted by LiveFor on November 3, 2009


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The Messenger – Trailer for film starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster

Posted by LiveFor on October 8, 2009

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Kat Dennings wants to Hack/Slash

Posted by LiveFor on October 6, 2009

denningsKat Dennings was chatting to MTV about her new film “Defendor” with Woody Harrelson when she mentioned the comic action-horror series “Hack/Slash”. I mentioned the possibility of a Hack/Slash film back in June.

“You know who’s a cool girl comic book thing?” said Dennings. “Hack/Slash!”

Commercial director Fredrik Bond had taken over directing the film, replacing Todd Lincoln. The Devil’s Due Publishing series is currently in development with Rogue Pictures, the Relativity Media subsidiary responsible for “Shaun of the Dead” and “Doomsday.”

“Hack/Slash” stars Cassie Hack, a girl who travels the world hunting supernatural serial killers with the help of her partner, a lumbering giant named Vlad and it is a very cool comic.

Justin Marks, the screenwriter for “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” and drafts of the “Super Max,” “Grayskull” and “Voltron” movies, penned the script for “Hack/Slash.” The fact he wrote the recent Street Fighter film is a little worrying. Has anyone got a copy of the Hack/Slash script they can send my way?

Do you think Dennings would make a good Cassie Hack? Who could play Vlad?

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Zombieland, 2009 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 1, 2009

ZOMBIELANDDirector: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard
Score: 9 / 10

Here we go with this first review in the 31 Days of Horror run up to Halloween. Send me your horror film reviews.

This excellent review is by Jay Pugh.

Zombieland has to have one of the flashiest openings in memory. There is no subtle build up. You are dropped right into Zombieland as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) begins listing the rules to survival. Of course each rule gives you a hysterical example of why the rule is in place. Anything that has been taboo for horror films at one time is met head on. I won’t list each as not to spoil the movie but Zombieland has a unique ability to make almost anything seem comical. This includes the fact that for some reason it seems that every zombie in Zombieland has a blood belching problem. Literally every zombie has blood spewing from their mouth. This is captured best in the intro as you almost feel like you are supposed to have the 3D glasses in place.

Columbus is funny enough with his phobias and geek lifestyle that proves to be what keeps him alive but it isn’t until he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), that things really kick into gear. Harrelson seems to have been born for this role. He has more one liners than any character in recent memory. Each line is typically vulgar but even if offensive it is near impossible not to laugh. Let’s face it, if you are completely offended by language or blood then you aren’t likely to be sitting with a crowd watching Zombieland in the first place.

A little romance is thrown into the mix when Columbus and Tallahassee come up on Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). For a zombie comedy I thought Eisenberg and Stone actually had decent chemistry. Not that much time is dedicated to romance but what is there comes across as sincere and lets us watch as Columbus transitions from geek to hero. Even without the romance the girls are an important part of the chemistry of Zombieland. They help to even out the brawn and the brains between the four characters.

Zombieland has a simple story. The guys are loners. Columbus with the simple mission to stay alive and Tallahassee with a never ending search for any and all of the remaining golden Twinkies left on the planet. The girls are sisters who are trying to get to an amusement park in CA where they believe, or at least want to believe it is zombie free. A small part of the film feels like the movie Vacation with zombies. The comical trip with a destination which you can just feel isn’t going to be what the characters hope for. Like Vacation it shows that the journey is far more important than the destination.

The biggest moment of the film has to be the mystery cameo. I’m glad I didn’t know who it was and I won’t spoil it for anyone else. I will say that it was brilliantly written into the script. PERFECT! It really goes to show how much they focused on getting Zombieland to be a top notch flick that should go down as a horror-comedy classic to remember. It will certainly fit alongside Shaun of the Dead in my movie collection.

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Zombieland – TV Spot – End of the World

Posted by LiveFor on September 29, 2009

Due out on 2nd October 2009

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Patrick Swayze could have been in Zombieland

Posted by LiveFor on September 19, 2009

patrick-swayze-at-lakers-game-thumbRhett Reese and Paul Wernick are the guys who wrote Zombieland. When they started it they wanted someone famous to appear in it as a Zombie. There first choice was Patrick Swayze who sadly passed away recently. Speaking to STYD this is what they had to say about it.

“That was many years ago, before he got sick,” explains Reese. The script got its start as a television pilot before it was groomed for the big screen and found its stars Jesse Eisenberg (as Columbus) and Woody Harrelson (as Tallahassee). “It was [going to be] a Patrick Swayze zombie. They got attacked by him zombified and we had these wonderful moments where they found a potter’s wheel and there’s Columbus on the wheel and these other hands come up behind him and it’s Patrick Swayze the zombie. Ultimately, they fight and Patrick bull rushes Tallahassee who grabs him and lifts him into the air, a la Jennifer Grey, and smashes him into a pillar.”

When Swayze unfortunately had to bow out, Reese and Wernick set their sights on a number of other actors including Sylvester Stallone, Joe Pesci, Mark Hammill, The Rock, Kevin Bacon, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Matthew McConaughey. But none of them worked out.

However, they did manage to get someone famous to cameo as a zombie but we have to wait until 2nd October to find out.

Will it be Bill Murray as a Zombie Ghostbuster?

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