Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Movie Guide Part 1

“I have a message for President Snow: If we burn, you burn with us!”
-Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Winter is coming and with it comes a new slew of films that audiences are chomping at the bit to see! Aksarben Cinema wants our audiences to get excited about what’s to come so here is a quick guide to some of your favorite holiday movies coming in November and December.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

The beginning of the end is near! Katniss has escaped the Quarter Quell with the assistance of Haymitch Abernathy and Plutarch Heavensbee. Now she must save her friend, Peeta Mellark, from the Capitol leaders including President Coin. President Snow was a vile opponent to Everdeen, but she will meet her true match in Coin, a treacherous tyrant played by the brilliant Julianne Moore. Depart on a journey of rebellion and adventure at Aksarben Cinema on November 21!

Horrible Bosses 2

Dale, Kurt, and Nick are back and ready to be their own horrible bosses. Unfortunately, starting their own business forces them to deal with a suave investor (Christoph Waltz) who kills their plans from the get go. The trio responds with comedy logic by kidnapping the smooth operator’s son (Chris Pine) and ransoming him to take back what’s theirs. If you loved the original comedy smash then you’re sure to enjoy this hilarious sequel that brings back characters from the original. See it November 26 at Aksarben Cinema!

Penguins of Madagascar

The penguins in Madagascar have always been the standout characters in the Madagascar films so Dreamworks Animation is giving families what they want and releasing Penguins of Madagascar. The new family film tells the story of Skipper, Rico, Private, and Kowalski as they partner with a polished, private organization called North Wind to take down the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine. Will the black and white and funny all over team bring justice to the animal kingdom? Find out November 26!

Exodus: Gods and Kings

From the director of epic films such as Prometheus and Gladiator comes a journey of one man who will change history for an imprisoned race of people. Who is the man? None other than the biblical hero, Moses! Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings is sure to be a feast for the eyes and ears, but will the film connect with audiences the way his past few films have not? The biblical epic lands on December 12.

There you have it, a cinematic holiday feast for the senses! That’s far from all though, there are still more great holiday films to share with you in our next blog post. Make sure you return to Aksarben Cinema’s blog for more information on amazing films such as The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. See you at the movies!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Best of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels

“Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!”
-Harry Dunne, Dumb and Dumber

20 Years Later and Still Dumber Than Ever

On November 14, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return to screens in their iconic roles as two idiotic friends. After twenty years, Harry and Lloyd have jumped back into the Mutt Cutts van for another dumb adventure.

Twenty years is a long time and these hilarious actors have changed quite a bit, so in honor of the release of Dumb and Dumber To, have a look back at both of their eclectic careers.  

Jim Carrey: The Rubber Faced Comedian Turned Dramatist

Recently Jim Carrey hosted Saturday Night Live and perfectly lampooned his comedic starring roles proving that he’s still got it. The only problem with the sketch is that it focused on Carrey’s comedic performances, but some of our favorite films he starred in actually presented his dramatic abilities.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Who could possibly forget Carrey’s departure from talking butts and goofy facial expressions when he starred in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind opposite Kate Winslet? Carrey as the tragic character Joel Barish is brilliant. The actor manages to pull back his aggressive comedy antics and falls into the role subtlely.

The Mask

Jim Carrey produced comedy gold in the 90’s. The actor released hit after hit, had both children and adults laughing hysterically, and dominated the box office. The Mask was one of Carrey’s biggest hits and showcases an actor completely in his element. The rubber faced man obviously delighted in the manic energy of the film and is seen having fun spoofing everything from Tex Avery cartoons to Sally Field’s Oscar speech. Sssssmokin!

Man on the Moon

We’ve now told you about a modern classic comedy and drama, but the film that perfectly captures both genres is Man on the Moon. This underrated film brings to light the life of comedian Andy Kaufman, an inspiration and idol to many comedians including Jim Carrey. Carrey perfectly captures the unique stylized content Kaufman was so famous for and brings humanity to the face of the kooky comedian.

Jeff Daniels: A Charming Actor with a Dark Side

Jeff Daniels is one of the best character actors in film and finally stepped into leading man status after years of stealing scenes in films. For that reason, we want to see everything that Daniels has to offer whether he’s making a big splash in one scene or finally getting his just desserts as a leading man.

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Woody Allen is a controversial man, but it’s obvious that he’s a man who loves the cinema. Nowhere is it clearer than in his 1985 film The Purple Rose of Cairo. Daniels plays an optimistic, young character in a film that Mia Farrow watches every day. It’s a beautiful romantic tale directed and written with a steady hand by Allen and perfectly acted by Mia Farrow and Daniels.

The Squid and the Whale

The Squid and the Whale is one of the most underrated movies of the last ten years and features phenomenal performances by Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, and Laura Linney. Daniels plays Eisenberg’s father, who is divorcing his wife played by Linney. Daniels’ character is far from the ideal father, but his dry humor and existential life lessons make for an electric performance.

The Newsroom

You can’t talk about Jeff Daniels today without mentioning his impressive performance on the HBO television show The Newsroom. Daniels perfectly captures the 24 hour news cycles string of personalities. Additionally, he embodies the frustration of many American citizens, upset with the path of current news media.

We’re huge fans of this dumb duo and we anxiously await the return of Harry and Lloyd. Don’t forget to see Dumb and Dumber To at Aksarben Cinema when it comes out on November 14! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Life and Career of Christopher Nolan

             “Every film should have its own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.”
-Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is one of the premiere Hollywood directors and has been named on more than one occasion as one of the best living filmmakers. His latest film, Interstellar, will undoubtedly cement this reputation in the annals of cinema. In honor of the November 7th release of Interstellar, we proudly present a short glimpse of The Life and Career of Christopher Nolan, a master storyteller.
Early Life
The writer/director/producer was born in London, England on July 30, 1970. Using his father’s Super-8 camera, Nolan clearly had an eye for filmmaking. Nolan’s experiences and education later influenced his first foray into low-budget independent feature filmmaking. The budget for his first film Following was only $6,000. Regardless of the film’s budget, it was clear that Nolan’s was a talent worth sharing.
                Nolan’s next film was the cult classic Memento, a written collaboration with his brother Jonathan. Guy Pearce took the starring role after big names such as Brad Pitt and Alec Baldwin were thrown around. Pearce as Leonard is now an iconic character and Nolan received his first major award nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Unfortunately Nolan did not win, but his credibility as a modern filmmaker continued to rise. The independent auteur went on to direct an American version of the Norwegian hit Insomnia starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank.
Nolan Bursts Into Big-Budget Filmmaking
                Nolan began with psychologically twisting and turning films, but it wasn’t until Warner Bros. approached him to helm a new Batman franchise that Nolan become a household name. Batman Begins marked a new beginning for the caped crusader and a change in how superhero movies were made. Nolan’s focus was character building and the story; the action came second, but was still flawless. Nolan took a “break” after Begins came out to direct one of our favorite films The Prestige, a brilliant exploration of greed, treachery, and sleight of hand with a magicians’ backdrop.
                Nolan outdid his previous creations with his masterpiece Batman film The Dark Knight. The film went on to gross a billion dollars worldwide and received multiple Academy Award nominations including a Best Supporting nod and posthumous win for Heath Ledger as the Joker. Nolan was far from done astounding audiences though, as he had yet another trick up his sleeve in the form of  2010’s Inception. His previous original film blew audiences away emotionally, mentally, and dipped into their wallets with an exceptional $800 million gross.
A Brief Break
                In 2012, after his longest break from filmmaking, Nolan finalized his intoxicating Batman trilogy with the introduction of Bane and an epic fight for Gotham City. His sequel was not nearly as well-received as The Dark Knight, but still managed to make nearly $500 million. Nolan was far from done with Warner Bros. and superheroes though. He currently works as a producer for DC Comics projects including Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

                Wow, what a trip down memory lane! Simply thinking about Nolan’s sterling career brings back images of thousands of brilliant shots, phenomenal performances, and insane storytelling. Please join Aksarben Cinema and revel in a career spanning nearly 20 years that has wrought some of the greatest cinematic treasures of all time.