Monday, April 27, 2009

Movie News: Summer Movie Season Officially Kicks off 5/1

Buy advance tix now for X-Men Origins: Wolverine!

With tonight's world premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine right here in Tempe, Arizona-- summer movie season officially begins with the film that will kick off the box office mayhem when it opens this Friday, May 1.

Other major contenders squaring off to earn your viewership include Terminator: Salvation, the sequel to the box office smash Transformers, another installment of Harry Potter, and J.J. Abrams' hotly anticipated Star Trek.

Buy tickets to Star Trek now!

For details on these films and other upcoming releases, stay tuned to our Trailer & Photo Gallery as we bring you new details on some of the most eagerly awaited titles along with those that may fall below the radar.

Recently, I took part in a survey along with other movie bloggers over at MovieBlips and ShowHype as we made our predictions about Summer 2009 which you can check out by clicking here.

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Music Review: Bruce Springsteen -- Working on a Dream (2009)

Own Bruce Springsteen's Brand New Album

Or Download on iTunes

Bruce Springsteen - Working On a Dream

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In PoliSci 101 we were presented with a horrifying statistic that over 70% of Americans couldn't name our Vice President. Never one to remain subtle and after all-- being the youngest and nerdiest co-ed in freshman year at sixteen-- I believe my initial response was to laugh out loud, completely convinced that it was our none-too-comically-gifted professor's weak attempt at ironic humor.

Taking me up on my disbelief, we were all told to write down the VP and hand the sheets to the front of the room and lo and behold, even 70% of those in college hadn't the foggiest idea who Mr. Al Gore was at the time. I open with this anecdote to interject a privately held pop-culture theory which you're more than welcome to laugh at or disregard which is my inherent belief that if you were to ask those same 70% of people to do so, they'd be more than capable of rattling off the lyrics to a ridiculous number of pop songs.

Taking it even further-- similar to the way it's said that Mozart can be absorbed in the womb and the endless psychobabble recorded about nature vs. nurture and just how reliable young memory is-- I'd venture to guess that most Americans born in the 1970s through the early to mid 1980s grew up with the the near frightening ability to recall verbatim all of the lyrics of any given song by Elton John, Billy Joel, and especially the man who was the soundtrack of 1980s suburbia-- Mr. Bruce Springsteen.

From "got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack/I went out for a ride and I never went back/like a river that don't know where it's flowing/I took a wrong turn and I just kept going," from the Updike Rabbit Run styled "Hungry Heart" to "the highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive" in my favorite "Born to Run," or the warning about "glory days well they'll pass you by in the wink of a young girl's eye, glory days"-- the lyrics and music of the man known in my youth simply as The Boss seemed as vital as any major institution or corporation be it Coca Cola to the U.S. Government (at least to my particular generation anyway).

Moreover, it seemed like he, Joel, John, and other musicians were the new leaders in rock and the layer of the music and society was blended together very similarly to the way that Dylan's, The Beatles', The Beach Boys', The Rolling Stones', and others were so ingrained in the DNA of the generation that came before mine.

Of course, this is despite the fact that all styles and artists were soon devoured by musically hungry fans including this reviewer whose appetite for anything fresh, groundbreaking, or contemplative helped add a second level of appreciation for Springsteen's homage to the acts that came before him. Yet, the reason that in lieu of his millions, he's still our favorite American "blue collar" rocker-- is because he speaks to everyone in a multitude of ways whether it's just in fun tunes you can appreciate with the window rolled down in the summer breeze or on a more academic level piecing together the Woody Guthrie inflections or other inspirations laced throughout.

Although, Springsteen and his incomparable E Street Band were never an act that relished in the fleeting activity of hit-making. No, instead by weaving important narrative threads even through the songs that became an anthem of my youth as Springsteen's arguably most famous album Born in the U.S.A. (complete with the cover of his rear in denim which stunned the grade schooler in me), we realized had a whole lot to say in its titular song that kids repeated and sang along to instinctively before realizing what the message of "U.S.A." was in regards to the Vietnam War.

And frankly, just as much as reports indicate that books you encounter as a child become a central part of you, I'm also a fervent believer that all of the arts impact you in the exact same way whether it's in the form of music, film, painting, theatre, dance or whatever medium you behold and the children of the '80s definitely benefited from having another extremely important "professor" to help steer us towards humanity and compassion in the otherwise yuppie era of the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Moving effortlessly between the topical, hard-hitting story-songs including a few that earned him either Golden Globe and/or Academy Award nominations and statues like the brilliant "Streets of Philadelphia," and 2008's "The Wrestler" for the Mickey Rourke film by director Darren Aronofsky which is included as a bonus track on his newest album, Springsteen bravely took risks throughout his career to speak out on topics that compelled him.

From working with humanitarian efforts to becoming the musical voice of our post 9/11 nightmare with his incredibly inspiring songs from 2002's The Rising and daringly taking on the Bush administration with his protest filled former 2007 record Magic-- I wasn't quite sure what to expect with 2009's Working on a Dream which astonishingly marks his twenty-fourth album release.

Mixed and recorded primarily at Atlanta's Southern Tracks with additional work completed in New York, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, as Springsteen reveals in the Columbia Records press release, he became increasingly excited at the prospect of returning to pop production sounds during the end of recording Magic.

In his fourth collaboration with producer and mixer Brendan O'Brien, Springsteen and the E Street Band tried to channel "the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done," with an album he proudly shares is comprised of songs that were all penned "quickly," utilizing "one of our first few takes."

Although the audacious wild, wild west tongue-in-cheek eight minute opener "Outlaw Pete" about a baby who "robbed a bank in his diapers" will immediately recall the same Young, Guthrie, Dylan, and Seeger influences that have colored his work in the past-- Springsteen pulls a fast one on listeners.

He does so by abandoning the old-fashioned but symphonically produced story song intro to Working on a Dream and moving right into the jubilant, upbeat, and radio friendly pop sensibilities via his infectious ditty "My Lucky Day" that culls from the country sounds of the folk beginning and segues it with keyboards and a toe-tapping rhythm.

In the titular follow-up that gently slows things down to a nice, easier listen sound with a '60s inspired chorus as he sings about "working on a dream" that "love will make.. real someday," he introduces us to the main thread of the album in an effort that sounds overwhelmingly hopeful as opposed to the darkness of some of his previous records, despite that fact that true to Springsteen's more realistic nature, the melancholy and self-inventory of life, love, and the paths we take are woven throughout.

Still, in a wonderfully addictive record-- one of my two favorite works in 2009 so far and running a close second to the debut album from Glasvegas-- that's been deservedly compared to the music and technique of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, Springsteen lightens up a bit and lets us in more than in some other work which kept us at an arm's length in ways that seem to more nakedly reveal his thoughts rather than singing about the thoughts and conditions of others.

Love is a motif that runs throughout with both positive and negative connotation in the musically impressive "What Love Can Do," that gives the E Street band a chance to show off as well as in the admittedly silly yet still somehow so-daffy-it-works concoction "Queen of the Supermarket" that finds a man pining for the beautiful check out girl that he can't bring himself to speak to but whose smile "blows this whole f***ing place apart." While a few of the lyrics and the idea of love among the flourescent lights and unflattering uniforms has met with some dismay in certain reviews-- it's a refreshing track and one in which Bruce gets in touch with his inner adolescent girl who pines for the handsomest boy in school who doesn't know she's alive.

From the definite Spector meets Wilson medicinally soulful uplift of "This Life" that first sounds like a purposely retro track before his contemporary vocal sets in to the far bluesier, dive-bar by the side of the railroad tracks number "Good Eye"-- Springsteen's testing himself in a variety of styles in a way that makes the album even more fascinating on repeat plays.

Moreover, unlike some of the younger acts today such as the excellent but stuck-in-neutral Coldplay, he's unwilling to make an album filled with a dozen tracks that all sound the same. While "Tomorrow Never Knows" sounds a bit like Bob Dylan-lite despite some truly pretty lyrics and the darker "Life Itself" makes a weaker companion for the second half of the record-- he once again sweeps us off our feet with the orchestral infused "Kingdom of Days," the familiar but instantly likable 60's British style "Surprise, Surprise," and the heartfelt, understated, intimate "The Last Carnival" which Rolling Stone notes is an elegy for the sadly deceased E Street band member Danny Federici, who passed away as a reult of cancer in 2008.

Yet although "Carnival" was initially supposed to close his stellar twenty-fourth album Working on a Dream, Springsteen surprised everyone with one of the record's best songs included as a "bonus" with the Oscar nominated, Golden Globe award-winning song "The Wrestler" which he wrote in honor of his friend Mickey Rourke who'd phoned him and the two chatted about his role in Aronofsky's film that was a highly personal one for its star whose life seemed to echo that of his fictitious character.

One of Springsteen's most haunting and deceptively simple, beautiful tracks-- "The Wrestler"-- is an album standout and one that not only should've received the Oscar this year but also reminds us just how amazingly gifted the man I first came to know as The Boss is at inserting himself empathetically into any character or situation.

Compassionate, powerful, romantic, funny, sad, and warm-- while CD sales have fallen in the wake of the digital age and I shudder to imagine which musicians are now informing the youth of this generation, I hope that in addition to those like this reviewer who have evolved along with his music over the past few decades, others will seek it out to recall the type of music and lyrics we're missing from the mainstream today.

Namely it's the type of songs that somehow make their way into our DNA so that at three in the morning we wake up with a song stuck in our head or feel like we've met any one of the dozens of individuals Bruce Springsteen becomes in his character pieces that remind us that even though a ridiculous number of us can't name our Vice President, we're constantly reminded of our humanity and responsibility to one another.

And in the end, part of this is via Springsteen's gifted ability to have us figuratively walk-- at least for the length of a track-- in another person's shoes, or at the very least, share a headphone with them to remind us that we're all more alike than we'd initially assume.


1. Outlaw Pete
2. My Lucky Day
3. Working on a Dream
4. Queen of the Supermarket
5. What Love Can Do
6. This Life
7. Good Eye
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
9. Life Itself
10. Kingdom of Days
11. Surprise, Surprise
12. The Last Carnival

Bonus Track:
The Wrestler

Film Intuition Site News: Calling All Readers & Social Networkers

Dear Readers,

Do you have a Facebook profile? A MySpace page? A Blog or Blogroll? Do you Twitter? Are you LinkedIn? Use StumbledUpon, Technoarati, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, YahooBuzz, or any of the dozens of other social networking sites?

If so, it would be greatly appreciated if you could show your support for Film Intuition by linking to, voting for, sharing, or buzzing up the Home Page, Review Database, The Trailer and Photo Gallery, or any particular article or review that you like.

Every page is equipped with the “Share” tool (see below) that lets you choose your social networking platform to link to a review, trailer, video clip, article, etc.

As the site continues to grow--podcasting, merchandising, contests, interviews, and surveys will be offered. But to help keep the site’s traffic rank increase beyond the loyal readership and ensure it's still vital I’m turning to you guys to help as I embark on a grassroots marketing campaign.

After 2.5 years of online life, we’ve now officially become a registered LLC Arizona Corporation in the hopes of expanding and adding on more exciting opportunities like film screenings, bringing filmmakers out here directly, showing works to schools and nursing homes etc. So to this end, my 24/7 all-consuming gig needs the help and interest of friends, colleagues, and readers like you.

As of this e-mail, I’ve only joined a few and as I’m usually so busy working on the site itself I don’t have enough time to keep the marketing going by joining all of the interactive communities available nor am I tech-savvy enough to get the most out of it.

So if you’re a member of any groups, please consider helping to spread the word about the site or just a story you enjoy with a link or a mention of the site by name and web address.

Likewise, you could simply help the effort by making Film Intuition (or any of its sub-domains including the most popular destination-- the Review Database) your Home Page, encouraging others to do the same, shopping through our retailers for business or personal needs (including getting all of your advance summer movie tickets directly from Fandango to avoid lines and sell-outs), joining iGive to help support the site for free every time you search the web, or simply by telling a friend about FilmIntuition.Com.

Moreover, please remember there's an "e-mail this" post option available on every single article in the Review Database, Jen's P.O.V. Page, Trailer & Photo Gallery, and Video Screening Room.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much your support means to me but it means double that to the independent and global film and arts community, marketing firms, and those involved in the process as I’m able to now answer reader mail from around the globe (since the site is available in more than 3 dozen languages), check out obscure titles by new and upcoming filmmakers, interact regularly with those involved with the films themselves, and help champion works that get overlooked by the mainstream press.

Needless to say, this only matters and is possible because of your support, your readership, and your continued interest. Thanks again and please feel free to pass this along to friends, family, and/or interested movie lovers.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

New on DVD & Blu-ray for the Week of 4/26/09

Jen’s Pick of the Week:


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10 Minute Solution:
Dance Off the Belly Fat

Absolute Beginners Fitness

Alain Renais: A Decade in Film

Amazing Journeys

American Dad: Volume Four

Ashes of American Flags: Wilco

Beethoven Family Double Feature

Bird by Bird with Annie:
A Film Portrait of Writer Anne Lamott

Bride Wars

Brideshead Revisited [Blu-ray]

Comics Without Borders:
Complete Season One

The Concerts: Barbra Streisand

The Da Vinci Code
(Two-Disc Extended Cut + BD Live)

Da Vinci Code Blu-ray Gift Set

Decoding the Past

Divina Confusion

Empire of Passion
(Criterion Collection)

Fallen Angel

Complete Interviews (2pc) (Spec)

Gangland: The Complete Season Three

The Gray Man

Gummibär: I am a Gummy Bear

The Hairdresser's Husband

Hallelujah! The Complete Collection

Hearts of War

The Hit

Hotel for Dogs

In the Realm of the Senses [Blu-ray]
Criterion Collection

Inu Yasha: Seventh Season



Johnny Got His Gun

Kanon: The Complete Series

Kavanagh Q.C.

Legally Blondes

Little Dorrit

The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie


Mission Impossible: The Sixth TV Season

Never Surrender

Nicholas Sparks Film Collection
(Nights in Rodanthe / The Notebook /
Message in a Bottle / A Walk to Remember)

Nothing But the Truth

Pete Seger: Live in Australia 1963

Quo Vadis

The Reader [Blu-ray]

Romance Double Feature:
Emma and Jane Eyre

The Rookies: Season 1

Seven Deadly Sins

The She Beast

Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 4

Spin City:
The Complete Second Season

Star Trek: The Original Series:
Season 1 [Blu-ray]


Storm Cell

UFO Hunters: The Complete Season Two

The Uninvited

The Waltons:
The Complete Ninth Season

What Doesn't Kill You

What's Up, Scarlet?

While She Was Out

X-Men, Volume 1 & 2
(Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)

Friday, April 24, 2009

DVD Release Annoncement: WB Serves Up 15 Additional Titles in the Warner Archives Collection

Witness Katharine Hepburn flying high in Dorothy Arzner's little-seen classic Christopher Strong to Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball Having a Wonderful Time with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Warner Brothers releases 15 brand new titles to download or bring home for classic movie lovers in their ongoing Warner Archive Collection.

And while you're feeling retro, check out the vintage podcasts for the Golden Age titles by clicking here to visit iTunes or through Warner Brothers.

For More on the Warner Archive Collection, click here to explore the Official Warner Brothers Shop.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Online News: Celebrate Earth Day With a Widget from BBC's Planet Earth!

Buy movie tickets online now!

Celebrate BBC's Planet Earth-- the groundbreaking, award-winning miniseries that inspired the first film from DisneyNature-- Earth-- opening theatrically today.

In honor of Earth Day, Warner Brothers and the BBC have released a cool new widget to showcase the miniseries that's "loaded with music from the film, free wallpapers, photos and unbelievable footage of Earth’s plants and creatures."

You can download yours today by visiting the site directly at or grab it out below:

"The recipient of four Emmy Awards including Outstanding Nonfiction Series, Planet Earth was filmed in high-definition over five years by 71 camera people, in 62 countries across every continent."

"Utilizing state-of-the-art filming techniques and technologies - ranging from revolutionary aerial lens stabilization and flash strobe-systems to ultra high-speed cameras - the most expensive factual series ever created by the BBC lovingly captures our planet’s best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures in intimate moments and rare action."

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