Trailer: The Avengers (2nd Official)

We’re just a little over two months away from the release one of this summer’s most-anticipated films. It’s a film that’s been 4 years in the making. The first pieces that set it up were 2008’s Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. This was followed up by 2010’s Iron Man 2 then finished up by the double-shot of 2011’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

It’s now 2012 and those five films will finally see it’s culmination with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. It’s a superhero ensemble film starring each lead from all the aforementioned films with only Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton in the role of Dr. Bruce Banner and his Hulk persona.

This latest official trailer from Marvel Studios gives a bit more insight as to the meat of The Avengers story. Where the previous teasers and trailer just showed the Avengers team in action with explosions happening around them this new one shows some of the initial dysfunctions which will plague the team when it first goes into action against a resurgent Loki and his invading alien army. We also get more scenes with Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk not to mention some action sequences involving Captain America, Iron Man and Thor.

To say that the release of this trailer elicited a global geekgasm would be an understatement. Even now the interwebz is rife with theories as to what is the huge serpent-looking machine that chases Iron Man before the trailer ends.

The Avengers is set for a release date of May 4, 2012.

Prometheus: Peter Weyland TED 2023 (Video Clip)

The video above was released today by 20th Century Fox as part of their marketing machine to help create buzz for their upcoming summer blockbuster scifi film Prometheus.

It’s a clip of a fictional keynote speech by one Peter Weyland at the TED 2023 conference. Guy Pearce plays the role of Peter Weyland and talks about how technology’s influence in human history from the beginning with fire (he mentions the Greek myth of Prometheus stealing the technology of fire from the gods and giving it to man) all the way to artificial intelligence and realistic cybernetic constructs.

Anyone who has been a fan of the Alien franchise will recognize the name Weyland. It’s the fictional transnational corporation which has become a major part of the films in the franchise and, to a degree, even to the Predator franchise. They’re the corporation which sends Ripley and the crew of the ore mining hauler Nostromo to the desolate planet of LV-426 where they encounter the very lifeform that would become one of film’s iconic monsters. It is also the corporation which 70+ years later would send a terraforming colony to the very same planet which would become a major part of the plot for Aliens. Even the David Fincherdirected third film, Alien 3, would use the corporation as the monolithic badguy behind-the-scenes.

Weyland is just part of the corporation’s name as through the years it would combine with another corporation to become Weyland-Yutani. While the aliens in the franchise have been the immediate threat in all the films in the franchise it would be Weyland-Yutani who became the face of the corporate evil that continues to try to get samples of the very alien the franchise is known for.

It’s going to be interesting how this viral video ties into the upcoming Ridley Scott “prequel” to Alien and whether Weyland-Yutani will play a major role in the film’s plot. One thing I’m sure is that Pearce definitely plays a convincing corporate visionary with a God-complex that’s part Steve Jobs and part Richard Branson (if both iconic businessmen channeled their inner-darkside).

Prometheus is set  for a June 8, 2012 release date.

AMV of the Day: Fairytale of Lies

The latest AMV of the Day comes courtesy of AMV creator Rider4Z. Outside of Chiikaboom, his amv creations have become some of the best I’ve seen and have earned a place on my favorite list.

This time around his latest anime music video takes a song from one of my favorite metal bands and uses it to score a well-edited selection of scenes from the romance-fantasy anime series, Romeo x Juliet. While some fans of the video has nitpicked and pointed out that it spoils the ending to the anime I just laugh at such fools. Fools I say! I mean how can an anime series adapting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet be spoiling anything.

I like the song choice of Within Temptation’s track “Faster” from their 2011 concept album, The Unforgiving. This is not the first time Rider4Z has used this band’s symphonic metal sound to score one of his videos. Each and everytime he uses this band’s music it just makes those videos very epic in tone and scope. This video has already won some early year accolades. It recently won Best Drama in the Katsucon 2012 AMV contest. I have a feeling this video will be making the rounds at this year’s anime conventions and should pick up a few more awards.

Anime: Romeo x Juliet

Song: “Faster” by Within Temptation

Creator: Rider4Z

What Lisa Watched Last Night: The 84th Annual Academy Awards

Last night, me and my BFF Evelyn watched the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

Why Was I Watching It?

As if you had to ask.

What Was It About?

It was about honoring some good films and making a lot of catty comments about rich people who don’t know how to dress themselves.

What Worked?

You know who is adorable?  Bret McKenzie, who all good people as a member of The Flight of the Conchords.  He won an Oscar last night for best original song for Man or Muppet and he gave exactly the type of wonderfully sincere acceptance speech that you would expect from Bret McKenzie.

You know who else is adorable?  Jim Rash.  The script he co-wrote for The Descendants is overrated but it was still good to see Community’s Dean up there accepting an Oscar.

And you know who is really, really adorable?  The little Emma Stone.  Loved her dress and loved her whole little skit with Ben Stiller.

Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, and Octavia Spencer all gave wonderful acceptance speeches and Uggie got to go on stage when The Artist won best picture!  That was so cute!

What Didn’t Work?

Much like the Golden Globes last month, the Academy Awards were a rather somber affair,  It was as if everyone couldn’t get over the fact that they had actually nominated Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close and everyone was muttering under their breath, “Let’s get this over with before anyone remembers that we nominated a film that not even those people at the Golden Globes were impressed by!”

As much as I enjoyed two of the nominees for best picture (The Artist and Hugo), respected one of them (The Tree of Life), and enjoyed another almost despite myself (The Help), the majority of the nominations this year went to movies that we will probably never watch again and to performers who will probably never have a year as good as this one.  Perhaps that is why the various Academy montages all seemed to feature scenes taken from films that received not a single Oscar nomination.  (More time was devoted to the latest Mission Impossible than to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.)  It just gave the whole ceremony a rather odd feel.  It reminded me of when I was in high school and the drama club would give out little trophies and certificates at the end of the year.  I received a little trophy for being the Best Actress in Advanced Theatre during my junior year.  I also got a certificate for “Biggest Flirt.”  (My acceptance speech, by the way, was: “Couldn’t it have been for best lay?”  Ahhh, High School.)

As host, Bill Crystal was pretty bleh and he kinda looked like Robert Blake from Lost Highway.

Whenever Rooney Mara popped up on screen, me and Evelyn would yell, “You need boobs to wear that dress, honey!”

Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech was long-winded and she came across as being a bit full of herself, I think.  Now I know that you’re saying, “Well, gee, Lisa, she’s the greatest actress ever so she’s earned the right to be full of herself!”  Actually, if you really pay attention to Streep’s performances, you’ll see that the main reason she has a reputation for being a great actress is because she never allows you to forget that she’s acting.

I missed James Franco.

“OMG! Just like me!” Moments

As I mentioned on twitter, Evelyn and I have decided that we were the Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz of my living room.  We’re still debating on just who exactly was Cameron and who was J.Lo. 

Lessons Learned

Everything is better with James Franco!

84th Annual Academy Awards: The Winners

Here’s what won earlier at the 84th Annual Academy Awards:

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Best Actress: Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer in The Help

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris

Best Original Score: The Artist

Best Original Song: “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets

Best Art Direction: Hugo

Best Cinematography: Hugo

Best Costume Design: Hugo

Best Editing: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best Makeup: The Iron Lady

Best Sound Editing: Hugo

Best Sound Mixing: Hugo

Best Visual Effects: Hugo

Best Animated Short Subject: La Luna

Best Live Action Short: The Shore

Best Documentary Short Subject: Saving Face

Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Animated Film: Rango

As far as how my predictions stacked up against the actual Oscars, I came out of tonight with a score of — ahem — 11 for 24.

Trailer: Mass Effect 3 “Take Earth Back” (Live-Action Trailer)

Last week we saw the cinematic “Take Earth Back” trailer for the upcoming Mass Effect 3 rpg title from BioWare and EA. During tonight’s latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead we got to see another trailer for this upcoming game. This time around we get a live-action trailer about Earth being visited upon by the main antagonists of the series and that’s the giant, extragalactic biomechanical alien race who call themselves “The Reapers”.

For a live-action trailer this one does a great job at emphasizing the fact that Earth is royally screwed and that the player in the guise of Cmdr. Shepard must lead an army to take it back from the brink of destruction. I like how even in this future Earth once the proverbial crap hits the fan everyone will begin to riot instead of actually trying to band together to fight the invaders.

Mass Effect 3 is set for a March 6, 2012 North American release date.

Review: The Walking Dead S2E10 “18 Miles Out”

“It’s time for you to come back.” — Rick Grimes

[some spoilers]

The Glen Mazzara era of The Walking Dead has done a very good job of speeding things along after an almost glacial pace that we got from the first half of the season. While the mid-season premiere with “Nebraska” continued some of the flaws which viewers and fans complained about in regards to the first half of the season it ended with a sequence which showed that Mazzara and his writers may have turned a corner from the more cinematic storytelling-style Darabont brought to the show. With last week’s episode, “Triggerfinger”, the show continues to make strides in adding a sense of desperation to the proceedings even when zombies are not involved.

Fans of the comic book and genre fans will always be thankful for Frank Darabont and his diligence in getting the comic book adapted to the tv screen, but with these last two episodes and then tonight’s “18 Miles Out” now in the bag we’ve begun to see that Frank’s style of drawing things out may have been hampering the show this season. Whether it was his vision for how the show was to unfold or just his style of storytelling, Frank’s first half of season 2 had lost that sense of danger that the show had built with a truncated first season. Tonight’s latest episode was a prime example of why it might have been the right call to let Darabont go and put a seasoned tv veteran on the helm.

We enter “18 Miles Out” in medias res just like episode 3 (one of the best episodes of this current season) and it’s a good sign of things to come for this episode. Before continuing I must say that anyone who still complains that the show was not showing enough zombie action need to sit down and just shut up or just stop watching a show that they’ve already decided to complain about no matter how good or bad each future episodes turn out.

With the past regime the issue with the character Randall recovering after his encounter with the spiked fence and Rick in the previous episode would’ve taken the rest of the season, but instead we’ve skipped a whole week in the show’s timeline as Rick and Shane drive 18 miles out of the farm to let the recovered kid go on his merry own way. This cold opening has Rick and Shane on the run from zombies with Randall still tied up and crawling his way towards a knife that could be his only salvation. For cold openings this one was actually pretty action-packed and full of tension that the episode will just continue to build on.

The episode switches back and forth between the adventures of Rick and Shane w/ Randall and the going’s on back on the farm with the youngest Greene daughter, Beth and her sudden crisis of of faith. Whenever scenes of the farm came on the screen in the past I’m sure there were much groaning and mumbling about how things were now about to slow down. For the first time in this season the farm without zombies was just as tense as the scenes with Rick and his group avoiding a group of zombies. The first season and some of the early parts of season 2 saw Andrea also go through the same crisis as Beth Greene goes through tonight. It’s a crisis born out of hopelessness about the situation they’re now in. Hershel has had to adjust to the revelation that what he thought about the zombies were all wrong and now his youngest must go through something same thing. Beth contemplates and even pleads with her older sister, Maggie, that there’s nothing left out in the world and just trying to persevere and move on was a wasted effort with the only guarantee was to be “gutted” by the very things they first thought were people who could be cured.

This situation back at the farm brings to a head what looks like the female version of the Rick and Shane power struggle. On one side we see Lori trying to raise Beth’s spirits and trying to bring what she calls a sense of “normalcy” in their chaotic new world. On the other side is Andrea whose has gone through what Beth is going through and doesn’t disagree with it. She sees it as an option that she was denied by Dale at the end of the last season and she won’t disagree and deny Beth the same choice. The confrontation between Lori and Andrea about this very subject matter brings to mind just how much Andrea has begun to see Shane as the leader of the group. While Lori still comes off across as somewhat of a shrew she does seem to be more in agreement with her husband’s way of thinking even in this zombie apocalypse.

This encounter between the group’s leading ladies just continues to highlight how much the show has moved to warp speed in abandoning the teasing of the first half of the season and just letting all the cards on the table in terms of each character’s motivations and agendas.

While the scenes at the farm were pretty good the highlight of the episode has to be the travails that Rick, Shane and Randall encounter 18 miles out. We see Rick finally have that “talk” with Shane about everything which has occurred while he was in a coma and since. There were several moments in this half of the episode’s story that showed not just Shane in a bad light but Rick as well as decisions have to be made to see who will survive the zombies. How things finally come to a head by episode’s end shows just how different Rick and Shane are and just how much Shane has been posturing trying to convince everyone that he’s the only one who could make the tough choices and decisions.

“18 Miles Out” goes to great lengths to make this second half of the show’s season 2 make up for the slow pacing of the first half and it succeeds. There’s still some little nitpicks and flaws here and there in terms of dialogue and how some of the characters come off, but it looks as if Mazzara and his writers have finally realized that subtlety might not be this show’s forte and, when handled accordingly, the show can succeed with being blunt. This show looks to be finally getting it’s focus down and we get one of the series’ best episodes since the pilot and I would say it’s best episode since.


  • Some great zombie make-up work by Nicotero and his gang over at KNB EFX for tonight’s episode. With the whole episode set in the daytime they don’t have the luxury of darkness and little light to hide imperfections in the make-up work. Every zombie chasing after Rick, Shane and Randall looked to have been given the “hero” treatment.
  • Some very good zombie kills tonight with the best one coming courtesy of Rick and using another zombie he’s already put down to help aim his third kill in a row.
  • Randall, played by Michael Zegen, comes off both as a scared kid who knows that his past associations may just be the death of him, but also as someone with a mean and sadistic streak in him as shown when he plays with the one zombie before he takes it out.
  • For may be the first time in this show’s short life, so far, the show doesn’t use the full cast in the episode. In the past we may have two or three cast members not making an appearance, but tonight we almost get a whole group. Not showing up tonight: Glenn, T-Dog, Carol, Daryl, Patricia, Jimmy, Dale. It made the episode feel so much more leaner.
  • We get some bit of fallout about Glenn freezing up because of what Maggie had told him before he went to town. I don’t know if Maggie should be going to Lori for advice but what she got was the right advice despite what people may think of Lori as a character.
  • While Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene has been the more vocal and active of the Greene girls this season it was nice to see Emily Kinney get more than just a couple lines. Her predicament and how she played the role of the little girl who has lost all hope was quite good. Her message about how things were hopeless and that there really was nothing left to live for came off better than when Andrea did the same last season and earlier this season.
  • Tonight we get to see someone come off even worse than Lori. Andrea as the show has portrayed the character was already not a fan favorite, but her channeling of her inner-Shane in regards to Beth’s situation won’t be making her any new fans. It’s ironic considering how she lectured Shane about how his presentation about the right decisions left much to be desired. Her own presentation about her viewpoints was very Shane-like.
  • It’s a small step, but Sarah Wayne Callies’ performance as Lori continues to improve. We get some reasoning why she’s acted the way she has since we met her back in the pilot, but she still retains some of the shrewness that has made her hated by fans. It’ll be interesting how Mazzara and his writers balance this two sides to Lori’s character.
  • Rick and Shane finally have it out and it was quite the throwdown. One would think that Shane would have the upper-hand in this dust-up between the two friends, but Rick showed different. He may not be as cold and calculating as Shane likes to show he is, but Rick definitely showed he could handle himself not just against Shane but zombies who get the drop on him.
  • For a moment the writers almost made it so that Rick was about to pull a Shane on Shane in the end, but we see why Rick is different than his erstwhile deputy by episode’s end.
  • Shane has been one-upped by the very person he has been hounding as weak and pathetic all season and the look of impotence on Jon Bernthal’s face when this epiphany finally hits him was a great moment for this series.
  • The show has finally shown some clues as to how quickly the zombie apocalypse turned the world upside down. Two or weeks if we’re to believe what Shane told Rick in the beginning of the episode. Also, noticing how the zombie guards they put down earlier had no bites on them which goes a long way in putting The Walking Dead into Romero-style zombies.
  • Rick telling Shane to deal with how things between everyone in the group are as of now or leave. Telling him in the end to come back shows how much Rick still sees Shane as a friend who has lost his way and to come back to them instead of continuing the darker path he has set on since everything went to hell and especially since Otis.
  • Last week’s episode didn’t have a song to end the episode but tonight we have Wye Oak’s “Civilian” which went well with Shane looking at the grassy field with it’s lone zombie walking towards nowhere in particular. It was a very strong scene.


The Academy Was Wrong: 20 Times That The Wrong Film Won Best Picture

Hi everyone! It’s Oscar Sunday which, as we all know, is a national holiday. 

And, like many holidays, things occasionally don’t go the way they should.  Often times, the day starts with such promise and ends with such bitterness as the Academy announces that the best film of the year is a film that we all know didn’t deserve the title.

Below, you’ll find a list of 10 instances when the Academy got it wrong.  Please note that these are just my own personal picks.  You may disagree and you are welcome to do so (as long as you understand that, ultimately, I’m always right.)

Also, please note that I have limited myself to only considering films that were actually nominated for best picture.  You could make a great argument for films like Psycho, 2001, The Dark Knight, and others.  However, none of those films were even nominated for best picture and therefore, I have not considered them for this list.

(Also, if this list seems to be dominated by more recent Oscar picks, that’s because it’s more likely that I’ve been able to see a film that was released in 2007 as opposed to film from 1927.)

Anyway, here’s my chronological list of 20+ nominees that should have won:

1941 — Citizen Kane (lost to How Green Way My Valley)

1952 — A Place In The Sun (lost to An American In Paris)

1967 — The Graduate (lost to In The Heart of The Night)

1973 — The Exorcist or American Graffiti (lost to The Sting)

1976 — All The President’s Men (lost to Rocky)

1986 — Hannah and Her Sisters or A Room With A View (lost to Platoon)

1990 — Goodfellas (lost to Dances With Wolves)

1994 — Pulp Fiction (lost to Forrest Gump)

1995 — Sense and Sensibility or Babe (lost to Braveheart)

1996 — Fargo (lost to The English Patient)

1999 — The Sixth Sense (lost to American Beauty)

2000 — Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (lost to Gladiator)

2001 — In The Bedroom (lost to A Beautiful Mind)

2002 — Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (lost to Chicago)

2003 — Lost in Translation (lost to Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

2004 — The Aviator (lost to Million Dollar Baby)

2005 — Capote or Brokeback Mountain (lost to Crash)

2006 — Babel (lost to The Departed)

2009 — An Education (lost to The Hurt Locker)

2010 — Black Swan (lost to The King’s Speech)

6 Trailers Delayed

This weekend, because of both the Oscars and some personal matters I have to take care of, I will not be posting my usual Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers post.  I sincerely apologize but I promise that the feature will return in two weeks time, on March 10th.

Let me take this time to ask a question of my fellow grindhouse and exploitation film enthusiasts.  Are there any trailers that I have yet to feature that you personally think I should?  In other words, what are your favorite trailers?  If you’re feeling too shy (or not shy enough) to use the comments box below, feel free to e-mail me at

Again, the feature will be back in two weeks.  Until then, here’s a picture of a racoon holding a kitty.