'This Is It' Trailer Premiere!

Thanks so much gurlfromik of YouTube for the clip!

Posted at at 9/13/2009 11:51:00 PM on Sunday, September 13, 2009 by By Nick | 1 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

New 'Pirates 4' Title Artwork

Snagged it from Cinema Blend. It's...okay. Just not great.

New Posters for ‘Alice in Wonderland’

I love them! Thanks Coming Soon! :D

First Poster for Michael Jackson Concert Biopic ‘This is It’

Here it is, in all of its glory from Yahoo Movies!

‘Taking Woodstock’ a Bad Acid Trip Through 1969

For what it's worth, I wish I could have lived the Woodstock era. To be part of something that revolutionary is killer; perfect stories to one day tell your kid's kids. Two weekends ago marked the fortieth anniversary of the music festival that rocked America, and to celebrate, the Bethel Center for the Arts near the original area that the event took place held a music festival. Some VH1 specials were also shown and a book by Woodstock helmer Michael Lang was released. You'd think that we'd be done with the recreation, right? Buddy, I can't tell you how wrong you are.

Taking Woodstock is about Elliot Teichberg. He and his parents Sonia and Jake are strapped for cash and are soon going to be bankrupt if they can't come up with a way to gather money. When Elliot hears of Michael Lang and his crew's failed attempt to hold their "peace and music" festival in Wallkill, New York, Elliot thinks that they could hold it on his fifteen acres. That's where Taking Woodstock's hour-and-a-half remaining time begins. And what a ninety-minutes it is. Not a lot of buzz prior to Taking's release, which I found to be pretty odd. Even Lee's last major movie Brokeback Mountain had a decent amount of commercial in hopes of snagging some Oscars (which it did). I, however, first saw the preview in June before Away We Go and you better believe I was psyched. Ang Lee doing a Woodstock movie? Far out!

When reminded of Ang Lee, you think generally good things. He seems like a big movie director, although he's really not. His movie list is phenomenal: Brokeback Mountain, The Hire, Sense and Sensibility and (for some reason) Hulk. However if you examine Lee's directing style, he's hit-and-miss. More of the same in Taking Woodstock. The beginning is fine enough, basically showing Elliot's life before holding the Woodstock music festival. You'd think it would be if James Schamus didn't drag his screenplay out so long that it takes a half an hour for Michael Lang and Elliot Teichberg to even meet. The half hour is filled with random nothingness, from nude dancing hippies who reside in the family's barn to a close-up of Eugene Levy walking out of a diner for thirty seconds. Who wants to see that? I get the point that you want Taking to be a sleeper hit and a revolutionary movie for music lovers Ang Lee, but are you serious?!

Which brings me to Demetri Martin, the kid that plays Elliot. I've enjoyed a lot of Martin's previous work, whether it is his Important Things sketch show on Comedy Central (which will soon launch its second season) to his stand-up comedy. While his general awkward and quirkiness can bring a television show or a comedy club audience to life, a feature-length flick shows a person's true colors: can this guy truly act? I'm reminded greatly of Dane Cook when he was an up-and-coming comic and was casted in Employee of the Month simply because the movie studio figured he'd bring in money from fanboys. I believe that Martin was hired because Lee didn't want a star-studded cast to reign in Taking Woodstock, rather for the audience to focus on the wonderful story. The offbeat way he speaks or acts may work on a Laugh Factory stage, but not in this movie. I don't know if it was because I only got three hours of sleep the night before I saw this but I found myself nodding off from time to time.

The cinematography on Taking Woodstock is gorgeous, however, the mud-slide scene in the second half especially beautiful. That's one thing you can say about Taking, that Ang Lee recreates the summer 1969 festival perfectly. The sad part is that's all you can say about it. The idea of a Woodstock docudrama after the Oscar and fan base-winning Woodstock documentary in the '70s was risky, and I can understand why Taking Woodstock wasn't all that good. For a movie to live up to that breaking point in American culture is damn near impossible. A positive point that can be made of Ang Lee is that his next movie will probably be fantastic. He has a habit of alternating between making good or bad flicks. I assumed that this would be one of his good ones, and to sum it up shortly I was wrong.

2 ½ out of five stars.

Taking Woodstock - Movie Review