April 2010


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April 2010

  1. 1. MONTE www.montepictures.net © PICTURES
  2. 2. MONTE PICTURES© Newsletter HISTORY Announcement Monte Pictures was originally founded by Javier Serrano in 2007. Monte Pictures© is the subject to the founder’s passion: to New establish a film company. At this time, Monte Pictures© runs independently through monthly newsletters composed by the founder and his editor-in-chief Julia Partnership Wieczorek. Copyrights with Global Music Database® © 2009 Monte Pictures. We acknowledge all photography, images, and icons are We’re happy to announce a new subjected to their original owners. Monte partnership with Global Music Database®, Pictures© was created to express, founded and run by music enthusiast Jay entertain and educate members of Monte Lee, C.M.O (Chief Music Officer). Pictures© the variety of film selections available. We do not sell our newsletters Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Mr. nor accept donations of any kind; we are Lee created Global Music Database in neither a corporation nor non-profit pursuit to become the world’s largest organization. interactive music database. You may be asking, why the partnership? Mr. Lee’s explanation, on his website, defines our true mission: CONTACTS The new partnership & Collaboration basically encourages members of both Javier Serrano, Founder websites to help each other grow by info@montepictures.net mutually submitting interesting posts and (858) 774-6108 comments, thus creating new content and providing encouragement for new Julia Wieczorek, Executive Editor members to also participate. info@montepictures.net We encourage all readers to interact through Global Music Database® and This newsletter Monte Pictures© by providing feedback, is dedicated to suggestions, and/or comments. You may contact Jay Lee through his email: Julia, and you, j.lee@gmdb.com or visit his website at www.gmdb.com. the reader
  3. 3. Monte Pictures© Newsletter CONTENTS Announcement … p. 2 The Oscars® … p. 4 The Hosts: Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin …. p. 5 Best Picture … p. 6 Best Director … p. 6 Best Actor … p. 7 Best Actress … p. 7 Best Supporting Actor … p. 8 Best Supporting Actress … p. 8 Best Original Screenplay … p. 9 Best Adapted Screenplay … p. 9 In Theaters … p. 10 Movie Reviews … p. 13 Entertainer of the Month: Diane Kruger … p. 18
  4. 4. Jeff Bridges Christophe Waltz the oscars ® Mo’Nique Sandra Bullock
  5. 5. Hosts: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin There definitely was a lot of surprises at this year’s 82nd Academy Awards from Best Actor to Best Foreign Language Film . The most unusual setting began at the very start: all ten Best Actor and Actress nominees stood on stage bashfully for their introduction.
  6. 6. Best Picture The Hurt Locker won the coveted Best Picture Oscar beating heavy favorite and all time box-office champ Avatar. One simply cannot compare the filmmaking crafts of James Cameron’s Avatar to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. You just can’t! The question that many Avatar fans want answered is: should Avatar have at least won Best Picture? You be the judge: With an enormous budget, stellar cast, visually stunning special effects, and master film direction by James Cameron, definitely, Avatar should have won Best Picture. On the other hand, The Hurt Locker expresses something quite unusual, and what a woman’s direction of a war-type film is. The members of the Academy love war films, however Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan lost to Shakespeare in Love, and The Hurt Locker is perhaps a redemption from Spielberg’s Best Picture lost, especially that this $15 million dollar film beat an all time box-office champ. Director For the past 81 years, the members of the Academy have acknowledged men with the honors of Best Director. However, this year’s 2010 Academy Awards beg to differ by honoring a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, the first female director to ever win. Kathryn Bigelow’s win proves that it’s definitely possible!
  7. 7. Actor Jeff Bridge’s performance in Crazy Heart is a fine performance that deserved to wipe every possible award given in a year. His performance is honest and deeply moving, yet not at all sentimental. This is Jeff Bridges first Oscar win, and for someone who has a solid acting career: starred in 60 films to date, and expanding four decades; this is too surprising. Besides the three Oscar nominations previously, his performance in Crazy Heart is simply the best. He has a quality many of the greatest American actors share like James Stewart, Marlon Brando, and yes, George Clooney. Actress The question that most people want answered is: Did Sandra Bullock deserve to win an Oscar? Of course, and so did Meryl Streep, Gabourey Sidibe, Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan – all four actresses gave a performance of their careers. Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side was riveting, inspiring and out of the ordinary from any other Sandra Bullock movie. Perhaps members of the Academy were awed by Sandra’s transformation from romantic-comedy to drama films. Sandra herself said at the start of her Oscar acceptance speech: “Did I really earn this or did I just wear you down?”
  8. 8. Supporting Actor This was definitely the year of the villains. Christoph Waltz was a definite favorite for everyone, taking home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. His performance was as strong and vital as Javier Bardem’s performance in No Country for Old Men. In Inglorious Basterds Waltz played the evil, vindictive Hans Landa, the “Jew Hunter”. Critics and audiences alike raved about Waltz’s performance as he performed in four languages: English, French, German, and Italian. Waltz’s acceptance speech was delicate and sincere and he dedicated his Oscar to the cast, crew, and his mentor, Tarantino, for their support. Also nominated for Best Supporting Actor were Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Matt Damon, and Christopher Plummer. Supporting Actress Speaking of villains, Mary Jones wasn’t as evil as Waltz’s performance as Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds, but more open to being hated in Precious: based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Mo’Nique portrayed Mary, Precious’ abusive mother both physically and mentally, taking home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, praising the Academy for their virtue of not being political, and appreciating the performance. She was indeed another frontrunner among the Best Supporting Actress category. The other incredible nominees were Penelope Cruz, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
  9. 9. Best Original Screenplay The Hurt Locker was the biggest winner of the night taking home 6 Oscars out of 9 nominations. Mark Boal, the screenwriter who risked his life in order to capture the true essence of war in Afghanistan, won Best Original Screenplay. The Hurt Locker is a groundbreaking achievement from a small independent film that ended up having a big impact on American society. Best Adapted Screenplay Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire was no slouch at the Oscars despite the Best Picture and Best Actress losses. Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher won Best Adapted Screenplay for his script, a mesmerizing and intelligent screenplay, the first African American to do so. In his acceptance speech he was so overcome and speechless he could barely speak.
  10. 10. The idea that a film could blend romantic comedy and a bounty hunter movie is definitely unbelievable. With a weak script, sassy, yet gorgeous Jennifer Aniston, and the often lacking The Bounty Hunter stand-up comedian Gerard Butler, The Bunter Hunter would be Directed by Andy Tennant best to view on network cable. There is no chemistry between Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Aniston and Gerard, sort of like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Gerard Butler in 2004, Gigli. This movie is simply forgettable. Grade: D In this era where remakes are a commonplace, Clash of the Titans does not disappoint. If anyone has seen the original Clash of the Titans version of Clash of the Titans (1981), then one will admit the Directed by Louis Leterrier visual effects were not so impressing. With the 2010 version Starring: Sam Worthington, they certainly did improve the effects drastically, even more Liam Neeson mind blowing than the original. Beyond the effects, the film portrays plot inaccuracies where it becomes a distraction from the original, thus making it difficult to explain each cause. Grade: C+ (Continued)
  11. 11. Coming Soon to theaters Date Night Directed by Shawn Levy Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey Date Night is definitely not a comedy classic, but it’s undeniably fun. The chemistry between Steve Carell and Tina Fey is irresistible! Just assume Steve Carell’s character Michael Scott from The Office and Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon from 30 Rock on a wildly-dramatic chase of their lives. Grade: B Opens May 14th Opens April 30th Opens May 7th Opens May 27th (Reviews in next issue)
  12. 12. Performances, overall, are a breath of fresh air. Mel Gibson’s role as Father Hess could be simply compared to his mesmerizing performance in Ransom, but in this case a priest struggling to regain his faith. Joaquin Phoenix exudes and controls his emotional feelings through some of the more difficult scenes. Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin both perfected their roles as brother and sister capitalized by fear from an unknown source. The sense of frightfulness in their faces illuminates gorgeously on screen. Signs ‘Shyamalan writes a Directed by M. Night Shyamalan; 2002 Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, perfect inclusion between Abigail Breslin humor and fear between There’s no argument that M. Night Shyamalan’s The the characters.’ Sixth Sense may be his greatest achievement to date. Unfortunately, his next film Unbreakable was definitely more daring than perfect. Perhaps movie After watching the film at least four dozen goers were expecting a little bit more in Unbreakable times, Shyamalan‘s trademarks are enacted because of Shyamalan’s success from The Sixth Sense. perfectly – his use of the camera, his visual For instance, he garnered Best Director and Best details and visual storytelling. However, the Picture nominations. However, what I found screenplay is the biggest achievement extraordinary in Unbreakable was the empowerment (Shyamalan received a reportedly $5 million and essence of the performances from Bruce Willis from Disney to write Signs, making his and Samuel L. Jackson. Plus, Shyamalan takes on a screenplay the most expensive to date), story that is quite different from The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan writes a perfect inclusion directing and producing on a comic book. between humor and fear between the characters. Realism is what Shyamalan has The film Signs, starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin gained in high quantity because he is able Phoenix, is utterly gorgeous. Mel Gibson plays to separate fact from fiction. Graham Hess, a former priest who recently lost his wife from a hit-and-run accident, who becomes intrigued after finding crop circles in his fields. His family, including his brother Merril (Phoenix), son Morgan (Rory Culkin) and daughter Bo (Abigail Breslin), believes the works of the crops are created by local neighbors. However, when more unexplainable events take place, and the news channels begin reporting crop circles appearing from around the world, they begin to believe something otherworldly could be to blame.
  13. 13. This strong adaptation from Witi Ihimaera’s novel, The Whale Rider, combines a coming-of-age narrative with Maori theology. The prologue depicts a very difficult birth resulting in death for both a young mother and her infant son. Fortunately, the twin sister survives. ‘This simple story challenges the ideology that traditions may Whale Rider be broken.’ Directed by Nikki Caro; 2003 Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Cliff Curtis The family is descended from a long line of tribal leaders, which according to We don’t often see mesmerizing child performances Maori tradition, the tribal founder on screen. Why is that? Filmmakers must comply with Paikea rode to shore on the back of a regulations after regulations with child actors, since whale. Pai (Castle-Hughes), the twin they’re allowed to work up to 6 hours a day. This sister grows up, yet her grandfather, Koro makes it extremely difficult to cast a lead child in any rejects the idea of Pai as his female heir motion pictures because of the constant struggles to as chief because for thousand of years relocate and recreate scenes under demanding time. male heirs have succeeded. This simple However, we simply don’t want to exclude them out story challenges the ideology that of the film industry because they are vital for traditions may be broken. commercial assets. For instance, the ensemble cast of the Harry Potter series has grossed over $5.4 billion Writer/director Nikki Caro captures in worldwide. Unfortunately, child actors don’t get the the characters the true beauty of recognition they deserve, however, when they do then individuality, challenging traditions, and success is enormous. For example, Anna Paquin, who overcoming sexism in While Rider. The stars in the television sitcom True Blood, won an Oscar film illustrates a gorgeous landscape that at the age of 11 for her supporting role in The Piano. incorporates sea photography, cultural Haley Joel Osmont was 11 years old when he garnered fashion, and spoken Maori language. an Oscar nomination in the supporting actor category for his role in The Sixth Sense. Other child stars like Dakota Fanning, I am Sam and Man on Fire, and Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine, have set the standard in Hollywood for aspiring young actors. However, what makes Keisha Castle-Hughes so unique? It’s simple! She had no acting experience whatsoever prior to the indie-film Whale Wider. Her performance went on to make Oscar history by becoming the youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee at the age of 13.
  14. 14. The film’s protagonist, Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney) is sent to Congo by her employer TraviCom to locate her lost finance, after his crew is found dead unexplainably. With the help of Dr. Peter Elliott (Dylan Walsh), a primatologist from UC Berkeley who devised a way to communicate with gorillas through sign language, and his female ape, Amy, Dr. Ross funds Dr. Elliot’s expedition to send Amy back to the African jungle. ‘Congo was meant to create a franchise of its very own on the popularity of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park ’ Directed by Frank Marshall the adventure aspects of the film still hold up extremely Congo well especially the ensemble cast of actors, Directed by Frank Marshall; 1995 at the time, (Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Starring: Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, and Grant Heslov), all work well together. What makes An exuberant and fast-paced film, Congo was this film intriguing is the favor of the exotic meant to create a franchise of its very own on location and Marshall insistence to use the the popularity of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, continent of Africa as a character (however, based on the bestselling author by Michael don’t be fooled, the film’s location was Crichton, without the mystery of giant dinosaurs principally shot in Costa Rica). Though, roaming around this film; however, the expertly staged and performed these are the filmmakers had to rely on the adventure of aspects of the film that make it an enjoyable exotic Africa. Congo is definitely no Jurassic Park, jungle adventure which many lesser films as a matter of fact, Congo received several fail to accomplish. nominations from the Razzies Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Director, though the film is marketed as a killer apes adventure which was misunderstand and quickly forgotten up until its initial release.
  15. 15. Marcus Aurelius and Commodus are historical realities and they are portrayed ably by Richard Harris and Joaquin Phoenix respectively. Russell Crowe is a younger Robert De Niro in the lead as Maximus. Connie Neilsen portrays Lucilla, an old flame to Maximus and is as regal and elegant as a member of the Roman nobility should be. Oliver Reed is the slave-owner that Maximus is set to work for, and sadly passed away during the making of this film, but he will rest assured that he went out giving one of the best performances of his life. Gladiator ‘Crowe gets many Directed by Ridley Scott; 2000 opportunities to play the Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, role that he is associated Connie Nielson with, the action hero.’ Historical epic films are definitely the most challenging to create in Hollywood. A perfect Essentially though Gladiator is an action example, Academy Award winning film Ben-Hur sets movie, and there is plenty of that. From the standard of excellence in terms of recreating the the opening battle scene onwards the period of Jesus Christ. Ben-Hur was an extremely action hardly lets up. Crowe gets many expensive production, $15 million in 1959, requiring opportunities to play the role that he is nearly 300 sets which scattered 340 acres, nearly tens associated with, the action hero. The of thousands of costumes, one million props, and fights are hard hitting and hypnotic, the 15,000 extras. Ben-Hur went on to win eleven choreography makes each one unique, and Academy Awards becoming the most successful and the cinematography is stunning. Most of recognized film of all time. Ridley Scott’s Gladiator the backdrops, especially when the story follows the tradition of historical epic films, at its best. moves to Rome are created through Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI). There’s always the balance between accuracy and Lastly, Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is also a entertainment. For instance, Ben-Hur focused on fantastic and stirring classical undertaking, accuracy rather than Gladiator, which focused on worth owning in its own right. entertainment. However, Gladiator does illuminate its momentum with special effects, action sequences, production sets, costumes, languages, and of course, performances. Russell Crowe manages to put in a worthy Oscar-winning performance combining masculine physicality and sensitivity, however supported by talented, and Oscar nominated, Joaquin Phoenix, who portrays Commodus.
  16. 16. Diane Kruger This young, talented actress gained worldwide recognition by starring in several blockbuster films such as Troy, National Treasure, and recently, Inglorious Basterds. Diane Kruger, born Diane Heidkruger in Algermissen, Germany, aspired to become a ballerina and successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School in London. Unfortunately, a permanent injury dashed her ballet career, thus she returned home where she became a successful model in Germany and France in the early 90’s. However, what makes Diane Kruger stand out in the field of other aspiring actresses? Her ability to master three languages: German, French, and English, and definitely act in all three (see: English, National Treasure; French, Joyeux Noël; German, Inglorious Basterds). Even though she’s only 33 years of age, we will definitely see more of Diane Kruger to come. Inglorious Basterds