Category Archives: Movies

Mythica: A Quest for Heroes – Engaging Fun for Fans, by Fans

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Premiering today exclusively on CONtv, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is the first installment of the Mythica trilogy from Arrowstorm Entertainment. The next two parts (Mythica: The Darkspore and Mythica: The Necromancer )will also debut on the new streaming channel later this year.

The story of Mythica: A Quest for Heroes is fairly typical of fantasy-adventure films: a temple is raided, a woman is kidnapped, and her sister, a healer-priestess, hires a team of would-be heroes to find and save her. Along the way they face dangerous creatures (ogres, orcs, etc.) and learn about themselves.

Here’s what isn’t typical: The first hero to sign on for priestess Teela’s quest is a young woman named Marek, a young magician with a club foot. It is Marek who finds the rest of the group, and convinces them to join the quest, and her story is really the heart of the film.

Marek is played by the incredibly engaging Melanie Stone, who infuses the part with the perfect balance of eager anticipation and fierce tenacity. Her teammates include Adam Johnson as the noble warrior Thane, and Jeremy Stormoen as the delightfully roguish thief, Dagen. Rounding out the party is Nicola Posener as Teela.

All four are relative unknowns, with a few genre credits and bit parts in more mainstream productions, and all four are relatable and watchable, but it is Stone who really grabs the camera’s – and the viewer’s – attention. I enjoyed her performance in this film so much that even when the plot was somewhat predictable, I was never bored.

The supporting cast, including Kevin Sorbo as Marek’s mentor Gojun Pye, is as interesting as the core four. Of particular note are the performances by Christopher Robin Miller as Hammerhead the Innkeeper/Bartender and Sebastian Michael Barr as Marek’s friend Egan.

If Anne Black’s direction feels, at times, as though we are watching a well-plotted LARP adventure, that doesn’t detract at all from the story. (Black is also one of the writers, along with Jason Faller and Kynan Griffin.) After all, the Mythica series was inspired, in part, by RPGs. A combination of digital and practical effects – an impressive array considering the size of the filmmakers’ budget – enriches the film, and Nathaniel Drew’s soundtrack was a delightful surprise.

The creators of the Mythica trilogy have said in interviews that this project was created by fans for fans, but it was also supported by fans: a Kickstarter campaign was a crucial source of funding for the first film, and the Kickstarter campaign for the second installment (link here) was launched yesterday.

If you’re looking for a highly intellectual film, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes isn’t it. If, however, you want to spend an enjoyable hour and a half watching some really likable characters on a journey, not just to save Teela’s sister, but also toward camaraderie, then point your web browser or Roku device of choice toward CONtv, pop some popcorn, and have fun.

 

Click here to watch Mythica on CONtv NOW! 

Pixar Forever Stamps Now Available

Disney/Pixar Forever Stamps

If you love Pixar as much as I do, you’ll want to check out these new forever stamps from the postal service. Check your local post office to get your own sheet with five different designs including:

  • Flik and Dot from “A Bug’s Life” (1998);
  • Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and Dashiell “Dash” Parr from “The Incredibles” (2004), with “Dash” also shown running in the background;
  • Nemo and Squirt from “Finding Nemo” (2003);
  • Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie from “Toy Story 2” (1999); and
  • Boo, Mike Wazowski, and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan from “Monsters, Inc.” (2001).

 

The back of the stamp sheet shows blue-pencil sketches of characters from these movies interspersed among text that exhorts readers to mail a smile to a loved one. Postal Service art director William Gicker of Washington, DC, worked with Disney•Pixar to design the stamp art.

 

Customers may view the Disney•Pixar characters Forever stamps, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, and vote for their favorite stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Sponsored Post: Buy Advanced Tickets for Avengers on Fandango, Get a Free Song!


Buy advance tickets to The Avengers

If you’re anything like me, you are EAGERLY waiting for Joss Whedon’s Avengers. Ever since I saw the fairly short clip at the end of Captain America I’ve been counting down the days until Avengers. Fandango is offering a special treat if you preorder your tickets through them for the movie. They did the same thing with Hunger Games and I loved downloading my free song. So head on over and buy your advance tickets to The Avengers and get a free song download on iTunes!

Fandango is also sponsoring a Twitter party in celebration of the Avengers! Join Fandango’s The Avengers Twitter Party to win awesome prizes!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Amazing Spider-Man Interview on Yahoo! Movies

The Amazing Spider-Man movie poster

The Amazing Spider-Man' theatrical standee art (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

If you’re eagerly awaiting the new Spider-Man movie, you might want to head on over to Yahoo! Movies and check out their exclusive interview with The Amazing Spider-Man director, Mark Webb.

You can check the whole interview out here. Here’s a preview to whet your appetite:

On Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s instant chemistry:

We screen tested them together, and she’s very funny and really quick and snappy.  I remember the first time we screen tested them — I don’t think they’d met before, really — and he took a minute for him to get back up to speed with her because she was so funny. And then they really brought out really great parts of the other’s performance. Of course, it was there, and that’s why we cast that dynamic. It was really great to watch it on screen.”

 

The trickiest element of Spider-Man’s world from the comics to capture on screen:

To create something that’s funny and whimsical, but also has real emotional stakes.  That’s the real tricky part is to make it all feel grounded even though he is doing something, even though he’s swinging through the streets and he can do things that no other human can do.  But still give him a hard time when he’s relating to his aunt or his girlfriend, and all those dumb little things that we all have to deal with when you don’t have that mask on.  I think reconciling those two universes was tricky, but I think that people really react to it.”

 

The film takes Peter Parker back to high school.  Why the high school setting is important for the Peter Parker character:

There’s an adolescent quality to a lot of the “Spider-Man” [comics] that I liked, that is really important in terms of the DNA of the character.  He’s like an imperfect guy.  You know what I’m mean? He is a kid, and he’s always kind of making mistakes, and he is not so sure about himself all the time.  I felt like the authentic place to start that was in high school. And I think there’s something about the way you feel about the world at that age that makes things much more raw, and I thought that was really fun to explore more cinematically.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

I’m super excited about Mission: Impossible coming back. The first movie is in my list of top 10 movies and I’m a sucker for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt (and I often quote, “you’ve never seen me ‘very upset.'”). In an amazing feat the limited release of the movie in IMAX (starting Dec 16th) made it the 3rd most popular movie this weekend in the box office. Check out showtimes in your area and “Like” IMAX on Facebook for some behind the scenes featurettes about MI:Ghost Protocol and more info about great IMAX movies: http://www.facebook.com/IMAX.

Movie Review: The Killer Elite

The Killer Elite opens 9/23. Buy tickets now on Fandango.com.

Find out more about The Killer Elite at killerelite.com

I went to see “The Killer Elite” last week at a special press screening and I have to say I was blown away. I’m not normally one for assassin vs. assassin movies, but “The Killer Elite” is more than just your typical violence for the sake of violence film – it’s actually a real interesting story about trained assassins, government corruption and the role the West has played in the Middle East. Entirely relevant for the current culture and political times today.

Both myself and Lisa, who came along, walked out after seeing it surprised at how much we really enjoyed the film because, at the end of the day, it told a compelling, redemptive story. Added bonus? Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah Walker from Chuck) plays the romantic lead.

Synopsis:

“Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite pits two of the world’s most elite operatives – Danny, an ex-special ops agent (Jason Statham) and Hunter, his longtime mentor (Robert De Niro) – against the cunning leader of a secret military society (Clive Owen).  Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse — where the predators become the prey.”

Non-Spoilery Verdict:

Come for the explosions, car chases, stellar cast and leave with a compelling story.

Jason Statham does what he does best in this role: he plays the hard on the outside, teddy bear on the inside lead. As Danny he gets to really play with the tortured soul who is pulled back into the assasian business because of his friend. Robert DeNiro gets to play an excellent role as a foil for Jason’s character adding to every scene he’s in without having to outshine the rest of the cast. Yvonne gets to play a good Australian country girl, and even though her role is smaller than the male leads, she really lights up the screen at every turn. I was pleasantly surprised that her character wasn’t as flat as I had anticipated she might be in this very male genre film.

Clive Owen is masterful and gripping in his role. Of the three male leads I really believed his character most of all.

At the beginning the movie did feel more like an independent film (long, non-actiony type shots), but the action picked up and left me interested through out. There were a couple unexpected turns that the movie made that I wasn’t expecting and the overall message was redemption is possible and who you were does not have to define who you become.

Downsides to the movie (for me) was it was rated R for language (brief nudity) and violence (though the violence wasn’t as bad as I thought it may be).

This is a really great movie based on a non-fiction book The Feather Men and I recommend you go see it for yourself.