Category Archives: News

Colombiana Movie Review: Riveting

Zoe Saldana establishes herself as a superstar in Colombiana. She brings a quiet brutality that is part animal pursuing its prey and all woman with vulnerability and viciousness when wronged. Saldana, as Cataleya, is a killer yes, but given her life’s beginnings, expecting anything less from her would be naïve.

Colombiana Star Zoe Saldana

Saldana’s character Cataleya begins the movie at the age of nine witnessing a tragedy that will haunt her entire life: Her parents are murdered right in front of her. It sends her on foot evading the killers in a chase scene through the barrios of her Colombia hometown. It is in those opening moments that it becomes immediately clear that Colombiana is from the mind of French filmmaking team Luc Besson and Olivier Megaton.

There’s a fervor to the race for Cataleya’s freedom that is not usually seen in U.S. thrillers. It feels very Jason Bourne and rightfully so as the two films share a stunt and fight coordinator.

Once Cataleya lands in Chicago, far from harm’s way, the film allows for character development as the young girl is mentored by her uncle. She may be only nine, but she lets it be known what she wants to do with her life. “I want to be a killer,” she coolly says. And the revenge story is off and running.

The action sequences are electric. By the 15 minute mark, the astounding work of young actress Amandla Stenberg is handed off to Saldana and audiences witness her take as a hit woman working a job within the claustrophobic confines of a jail. You won’t hear a peep from us about the scene or any more of the action, for it will ruin its power. Just know this: It sizzles.

Colombiana is Zoe Saldana

Director Megaton has captured lightning with the casting of Saldana as Cataleya. The Avatar and The Losers star establishes herself as a go-to actress with the expansive performance she exhibits in Colombiana. Through her work, we see her fierceness — a cold-bloodedness born on the streets of Colombia. But filmmakers also allow our heroine to show a crack in her armor with a love story. She and Danny (a perfectly cast Michael Vartan) have something special, but Cataleya cannot let him get too close, for his and her safety’s sake. Screenwriter Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen with director Megaton have woven the love interest storyline that allows the audience to see Cataleya’s vulnerabilities as she battles with her never-ending effort to keep those walls of emotion firmly erected and not slip into love’s grasp.

In the end, Colombiana is an action film of the highest order. It is a revenge tale, but so much more. Colombiana is also a female empowerment movie. No, the film is not in the vein of Erin Brockovich or Norma Rae in their dramatic scope and power, but it inspires in the sense of witnessing a character such as Cataleya in her relentless pursuit of justice.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Movie Review: Be Very Afraid

Guillermo del Toro and Katie Holmes have joined forces to craft the horror film of the summer in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. From the film’s opening scene the audience is put on notice: Del Toro’s script is fathomable and feverish in its fear generating abilities.

Katie Holmes in Don't Be Afraid of the Dark still

Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes are Alex and Kim, a young couple with dreams of turning a Rhode Island historic landmark mansion into something worthy of an Architecture Digest cover. They are living in the home as they renovate. The film commences as Alex and Kim are awaiting the arrival of Alex’s daughter Sally at the airport.

The star of the film is truly Hailey Madison as Sally, the little girl at the center of the entire movie’s horror. She is sullen. Sally is a child whose parents have divorced and because mother is too busy in her L.A. lifestyle, she must live with her father and his girlfriend in an opaque manse with an extensive past.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is pure del Toro. As in Pan’s Labyrinth, the filmmaker crafts a world where evil lurks beneath the surface, literally. When Sally starts to accept her future living with dad, she begins hearing voices that lead her to a hidden basement that is rooted in historical horror.

Evil whispers ensure and to not give away too much, let’s just say this: The film’s tiny but terrifying creatures are pure del Toro.

As it becomes clear that Sally’s father is over his head, her exhilarating situation only becomes more searing.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Still

The film’s director, Troy Nixey, has some holes in his film, yet none of them extend beyond the usual devices that horror movies use to rivet its audience. Like Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist, there is a moment where if you truly think about it, will have you asking a horror movie classic question. Yet, we accept such dalliances because in the horror genre, these plot mechanisms ultimately are easily forgetten given the scope of the scary onscreen over 90-plus minutes.

Katie Holmes channels her inner maternal instincts and produces a performance as Kim that is equally driven, distant and delirious at the happenings inside her dream home.

The location scout for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark deserves an Oscar nod if they existed for such positions. Pearce, Holmes and Madison’s abode is a character unto itself. It is pure New England gothic, gregarious and generator of all Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’s devilish delight.

Ghostbusters 3: Dan Aykroyd Admits It’s On

Ghostbusters 3 is moving forward, so said star, producer and the creative mind behind the film, Dan Aykroyd.

Ghostbusters Logo

“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray,” Aykroyd said on The Dennis Miller Show. The Mr. Murray in question is of course Bill Murray, who famously appeared in the first two Ghostbusters films.

“That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold (Ramis), myself and Sigourney (Weaver). The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”

Aykroyd also admitted that he expects filming to begin in September of 2012 as a script is set. When Aykroyd refers to “new blood,” our mind goes haywire. Can you imagine Seth Rogen, Jason Sudeikis or Charlie Day joining the franchise? We sure can! But, the Movie Fanatic is always dreaming.

As for plot points, Aykroyd divulged just a few.

“My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can’t drive the Cadillac,” he says, “He’s got a bad knee and can’t carry the packs… Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that’s the promise. We’re gonna hand it to a new generation.”

Higher Ground Video Exclusive: Joshua Leonard on Vera Farmiga’s Directorial Debut

Joshua Leonard, as an actor who has directed himself, found his time starring in Higher Ground opposite Vera Farmiga a mind-blowing experience. Farmiga is making her directorial debut with Higher Ground and Leonard admitted, he thought he learned it all on the set of his The Lie, and then he spent months on a Farmiga set and came away completely inspired.

Joshua Leonard in Higher Ground

Leonard is sitting with Movie Fanatic for an exclusive video interview from the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. The star, who first came to audience awareness in the legendary Blair Witch Project, portrays Ethan, the object of Farmiga’s affection. Ethan is the husband of Farmiga’s Corinne and the story follows the two as they discover Christianity and the winding road that is life and how it is influenced by deity.

Joshua Leonard and Vera Farmiga in Higher Ground

Since starring in Blair Witch in 1999, Leonard has appeared in dozens of films and television shows. Judging by his astounding performance in Higher Ground, Leonard has rightfully earned his spot as the breakout star from that terrifying late nineties surprise smash.

Higher Ground Video Interview: Joshua Leonard

MTV Teases The Hunger Games Teaser

MTV has holding its yearly salute to music videos August 28, but the network is hoping quite a few movie fans tune in as they are debuting the teaser for The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is one of the most anticipated flicks of 2012, arriving in March. MTV is planning to premiere the first video look at the film and has released a teaser to the teaser to further whet fans’ appetites.

There isn’t much in the way of film footage in the teaser of the teaser, but we do get a glimpse, albeit short, of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.

The Hunger Games is based on the bestselling novels by Suzanne Collins and is set to become a film trilogy with director Gary Ross at the helm.

MTV Teases The Hunger Games