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New Rental Releases This Week (08/02/10)

New DVD rental releases at DVBee this week:

Cheri, Jennifer's Body and Whiteout.


CHéRI (2009)
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates
Genre: Drama, Romance
Age Restriction: 16 NS

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Lea de Lonval, renowned courtesan. During the belle époque, France's richest courtesans indulged in life's luxuries for their services to millionaires and Kings. When Lea is charged with the task of educating a friend's son in the ways of the world, she accidentally falls in love with the charming young man. Decent performances, lavish sets and non-French accents pave the way for a sanitised adaptation of Colette's novels. Inconsistent and sluggish at times. 

Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Comedy
Age Restriction: 18 LSV

Jennifer's Body is a star vehicle for Megan Fox. Award-winning Juno writer and ex-stripper, Cody Diablo, takes a stab at the horror genre. It's cheesy, offbeat teen high school horror with direct parallels with '90s horror classic Ginger Snaps. The teen vixen goes about her evil business of seducing unsuspecting high school boys... chewing them up and spitting them out, while her sidekick heaps on the praise. If you're expecting anything more than the title would suggest you're rattling the wrong cage... Apart from a lesbian kiss and some bland gore, there's nothing to write home about.


Director: Dominic Sena
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Age Restriction: 13 LV

This Antarctic "whodunnit" has slick visuals and beautiful icy landscapes, but relies on gore instead of its mystery plot to carry the story home. The clunky dialogue is coupled by a bland and unconvincing performance from the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale making this generic icebound thriller as predictable as it is forgettable.

Celeb ID #10: Guess Who?


Eddie Izzard

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook
wins a DVD!
Clue: This dyslexic celebrity was born in Yemen and "likes" Sean Connery.

(Unmodified original image will be posted on right once this Celeb ID game is over.)

Join SPL!NG on Facebook

Bright Star Movie Review: Beautifully Dull

Bright Star Movie Poster

Bright Star is a Jane Campion film, based on a three year romance between poet, John Keats and Fanny Brawne, starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish. Campion's best known for The Piano and The Portrait of a Lady, averaging a film every three years. While the early '90s could be described as her heyday, she seemed to lose some of the sparkle with more contemporary films like Holy Smoke and In The Cut.

Bright Star marks a return to classic Campion cinema with a real-life love story to rival Romeo & Juliet. John Keats passed away at the age of 25... echoing the sentiment that the brightest flames burn fastest. Bright Star illuminates the romance he shared with Ms Fanny Brawne, who inspired some of his best work and shared some of his last moments in love.

The cinematography is exquisite... lulling us into the poetic countryside estate where the two lovers met and guiding the film home under a Bright Star. The luscious visuals make the film's Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design seem a bit lonely, despite the period piece accuracy. This is a beautiful film to behold and swathes the viewer in an enchanting blanket of love. The atmosphere is perfect and paves the way for fine performances from a relatively unknown cast including: Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider and Abbie Cornish.

Whishaw's physique contrasts quite starkly with Cornish's and this reverses the roles in this romance. Fanny Brawne's name...continued.

Book Movie Tickets for Bright Star

82nd Annual Academy Award Nominations

Another year has passed and the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony is ready to capture the world's attention as nominees prepare to feel their hearts in their throats and millions watch on in anticipation.

No doubt, Avatar will glide in with a couple of awards as will The Hurt Locker. The big talk of the town is Kathryn Bigelow's directorial nomination in The Hurt Locker, which was overlooked at the Golden Globes. Will she take an Oscar as the first female director to receive the accolade... only time will tell.

Here are the nominations for this year's awards... (some nominees are still being decided on). I've taken the liberty of filling you in on my personal favourites for this year. Having said that, it's difficult for me to make an truly accurate assessment... since I've only seen about 75% of the contenders.

Actor in a Leading Role * Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” * George Clooney in “Up in the Air” * Colin Firth in “A Single Man” * Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” * Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role * Matt Damon in “Invictus” * Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger” * Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station” * Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones” * Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role * Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” * Helen Mirren in “The Last Station” * Carey Mulligan in “An Education” * Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” * Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role * Penélope Cruz in “Nine” * Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air” * Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart” * Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” * Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film * “Coraline” Henry Selick * “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson * “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements * “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore * “Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction * “Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair * “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith * “Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim * “Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer * “The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography * “Avatar” Mauro Fiore * “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel * “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd * “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson * “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger Costume Design * “Bright Star” Janet Patterson * “Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier * “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme * “Nine” Colleen Atwood * “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Directing * “Avatar” James Cameron * “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow * “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels * “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature) * “Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller * “The Cove” Nominees to be determined * “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein * “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith * “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject) * “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill * “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher * “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert * “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett * “Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing * “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron * “District 9” Julian Clarke * “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis * “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film * “Ajami” Israel * “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina * “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru * “Un Prophète” France * “The White Ribbon” Germany

Makeup * “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano * “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow * “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score) * “Avatar” James Horner * “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat * “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders * “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer * “Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song) * “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas * “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston * “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture * “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers * “The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined * “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers * “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers * “The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined * “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers * “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers * “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer * “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated) * “French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert * “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell * “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia * “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin * “A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action) * “The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn * “Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström * “Kavi” Gregg Helvey * “Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey * “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing * “Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle * “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson * “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman * “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin * “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing * “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson * “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett * “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano * “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin * “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects * “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones * “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken * “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) * “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell * “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby * “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher * “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay) * “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal * “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino * “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman * “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen * “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

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