Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
So now that that’s out of the way, what did I think of the movie? Well I never played the game Hitman, but its premise sounded interesting. A group of young orphans raised by a super secret organization to be world class assassins that travel all over the world taking out warlords, weapons dealers, and political figures, all for a price.
The assassins aren’t given names as they are raised, just a number and a bar code tattooed on the back of their bald heads. (I wonder if they will ring up as a can of vegetable soup at the market?)
The movie doesn’t go into detail about their upbringing other than a series of flashes of children in class, learning martial arts, and of course wielding guns. It starts out easy enough with Agent 47 receiving jobs via his talking laptop and carrying out assassinations. Then he gets a job to wipe out the Russian president. Everything goes well, but suddenly there are reports that the president survived the assassination with just a scratch. We know he was really killed so their must be a double. At this point the plot becomes increasingly convoluted and confusing with a series of twists that I just could not follow. People come out of the woodwork to kill Agent 47, including an Interpol agent who has been tracking him for three years, to the Russian FSB, and several of his fellow assassins from his own organization.
He also hooks up with a female named Nika, who seems to know about the cover up of the president’s death. They develop a love-hate relationship which is also confusing because he spurns her advances. It never says, but I suppose it has something to do with “a warrior distracted is a dead warrior.”
Despite the confusing plot, I found myself enjoying the film none-the-less. It of course has the obligatory assassinations, and plenty of fighting and shooting. I also like the character of Agent 47 even if it was a bit two dimensional. Timothy Oylphant (what a last name!) always brings a certain intensity to the roles he plays, and that comes across very well on screen. So if you are a fan of the game HITMAN, a Timothy Olyphant fan, and don’t mind a mind-boggling plot, then pack your heat and head to the theater to check out Hitman!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
If nothing else this movie presents the issues the whole world is thinking about everyday and like the websites asks; What do you stand for? Are you apathetic or will you do something to help make a difference?
As I left the theater I was emotionally moved by the three pronged assault to my sensibilities. The thoughts, the emotions, and the re-examination of my beliefs. But as the Hollywood glitz and the dazzling performances, by Streep, Cruise, and Redford wore off, I began to wonder if I had just been exposed to the screen writers own form of propaganda. In the movie Meryl Streep’s character, reporter Janine Roth decides Senator Jasper Irving's story he is pushing on her is pure ‘propaganda’ and is using her to grease the skids for his eventual bid for the White House.
Now I wonder if the film itself is not just a big work of propaganda itself disguised as a geo-political thriller. It’s nothing more than a liberal public service ad. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but how it ends is not the typical triumphant, everybody lives happily ever after, ending that you would expect.
I don’t have a racist bone in my body, but it is no coincidence that the two soldiers are Black and Hispanic, again shoving the immigration, and social issues that our great country is currently dealing with in my face. The film asks; How long will our country remain great? We must have a “win” at all costs, claims Tom Cruise’s character.
Despite this, the film at least makes you think. It makes you look in the proverbial mirror and
ask—What do I stand for? Will I play the XBOX 360 all day while Rome burns or will I get off my ass and make a difference, and for that I applaud the film.
Bottom line is, if you want to go out for a fun night on the town and escape the realities of life for a couple of hours, don’t go see Lions for Lambs. But if you want to have everything you stand for challenged, if you want a film that stirs you heart and makes you think hard about the current direction of your life and our world then you must check out Lions for Lambs. Think about it!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Ronald Fleury (Foxx) leads his team into Saudi Arabia to find the culprits behind a terrorist attack on a compound housing American employees and their families. The team has only five days to investigate, and a U.S. diplomat played by the always energetic Jeremy Piven would rather they just do a photo op and leave on the next flight out. But the team didn't fly all that way to go on a safari.
The team is made up of an explosives expert (Chris Cooper), an intelligence analyst (Jason Bateman) and a forensics whiz (Jennifer Garner). Agent Fleury convinces the local Saudi prince to let his team do their job and find those responsible for the attack.
While the chemistry between these powerful actors may be a tad forced, the actors deliver solid performances, Chris Cooper just coming off of his excellent lead role in Breach (another great geopolitical thriller), brings balance to the team. Jason Bateman, provides the comic relief in the film and zings out his one-liners perfectly. Jennifer Garner a.k.a Alias is right at home as an FBI agent who can hold her own against the terrorists.
This film has a great story set against the back drop of terrorism, and plays out like an episode of CSI or NCIS. It drags a little in the middle, but builds momentum in the end with ambushes, gun battles, (how many RPGs can you dodge?), and careening car chases that takes "thriller" to a new level, not to mention the suspense. Well done Berg!
I'll never understand how killing a 100 or even 3000 (e.g. 9/11) will somehow further the religious goals of a group of sick-twisted people, or how it brings glory to Allah. I was never great at math, but even I can see that it does not add up. The Kingdom starts out showing us a timeline of terrorist acts leading up to 9/11. Have these acts accomplished their goal? What is the goal? A holy war? Not happening. Change U.S. Policy? Only in that we now spend billions to hunt you down. Paralyze the world with fear? Just the opposite, we have become apathetic to suicide bombings. We were all horrified September 11, 2001, but now when we read in the news fifty killed in a market by a suicide bomber, we yawn and turn to the sports page to become outraged at an NFL player killing dogs. (hey, I'm outraged too!)
So my message to terrorists: Come up with something new! Killing people isn't working. You're boring me! Think outside the bomb; Hire the ad agency that does Bud commercials if you want to get people's attention.
Okay, sorry for the rant folks, go check out The Kingdom, it has a great story and a killer cast!
Friday, September 21, 2007
At first she is afraid to go back out onto the streets that she once loved to roam during the day recording sounds of the city for her show. But after she buys a gun, she soon has the fortitude to roam the streets at night. She becomes a stranger to herself, a killer that has always been lurking just beneath the surface. She has a series of run ins with bad people and takes out her revenge on them. Driven by grief, she is surprised that her hands don't shake after the killings.
A homicide detective named Sean Mercer (Terrence Howard), who happens to be a fan of her show and saw her recovering at the hospital after she and her fiance were attacked, takes on the case of the vigilante. He slowly puts the pieces together as he follows the clues to the mystery vigilante who is "doing his job." But will he have the dedication to bring her to justice?
Friday, September 14, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
The "Jones" cast: Shia LaBeouf, Steven Spielberg, Karen Allen (seated), Ray Winstone and Harrison Ford.
"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" will be in theaters May 22, 2008.
The title of the long-awaited fourth installment of the adventure series was announced by Shia LaBeouf, who co-stars with Ford in the film, at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The new Indy adventure, which is set in the 1950s, also stars Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent and Karen Allen.
Sean Connery, who played dad to Ford's globe-trotting archaeologist in 1989's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," will not reprise the role in the new movie.
The series began in 1981 with "Raiders of the Lost Ark," followed by "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in 1984.
In promotional photos, the 65-year-old Ford appears fit as ever.
"I have to say, he looks amazing," Kathleen Kennedy, the film's co-executive producer, along with George Lucas, told The Associated Press in July. "He looks fantastic in the outfit."
Friday, September 07, 2007
This film had Smoking Aces II written all over it. Did that stop me from going? Nope. Hey I am a Clive Owen fan for some reason. Maybe it's his piercing stare or his eclectic accent, but I decided to give him a shot. (Don't pardon the pun). See he has recently made a couple of real stinkers (IMHO). Namely Inside Man and Children of Men. I didn't really care for those two films at all. But could Clive really be in a third bomb?
I'm afraid so. Sure I get that the movie is an over the top spoof of hero action flicks, but I at least want to be entertained. Sin City was entertaining! (Clive's in that one too BTW). This film was an abysmally silly waste of celluloid.
It starts out with Mr. Smith (Owen) sitting on a bench at the bus stop minding his business and eating a rather large carrot. "What's Up Doc?" immediately hopped into my head and yes he actually says the line later in this live action cartoon of a film. A pregnant woman in distress comes limping by the bus stop followed by a killer with a gun. Mr. Smith rolls his eyes (along with me) and the gun shooting starts and never stops till the credits roll for this aptly named strait to DVD film. Stay home folks, the summer movies are over, and watch the new shows rolling out this fall. Heroes is back with season II and I am looking forward to checking out the Bionic Woman September 26th!
Friday, August 31, 2007
I was glad they kept Carpenter's original score in the new film. A lot of remakes toss the original soundtracks for new ones. Overall I enjoyed the remake, but I found that I didn't bond with Laurie Strode played by Scout Taylor Compton like I did in the first movie. I was desperately pulling for Jamie Lee Curtis in the 1978 version (who wouldn't?), but the new girl didn't endear herself to me as much. Maybe cause half the film was focused on the early life of Michael Myers.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Take away the war, the strife, the struggle to define who we are and the choices we make, then we are no longer human. I suppose that's the message in the second re-make of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 and 1978). The 1978 version, starring Donald Sutherland scarred the toast out of me! But the only thing I can remember from it, was a scene where Donald Sutherland is a health inspector and he goes in to the kitchen of a fancy restaurant and picks up a small brown thing off the floor. He shows it to the cook and says, "It's a rat turd!" the chef shakes his head and says, "No sir! It's a caper! (caper berry)" "Rat Turd!" "Caper!" Then Sutherland says, "Then eat it." The chef refuses. LOL!
This version reminds me of the one season TV show called Invasion where a space virus lands in the water and a storm spreads it everywhere. The people change and become something else. In this film starring Nicole Kidman as Carol Bennell and Daniel Craig as Ben Driscoll the space shuttle has a bad re-entry and showers debris all over the United States. It's burnt parts carrying a resilient space spore.
It's not long before Carol Bennell notices things are askew, starting with her ex husband Tucker Kaufman (Jeremy Northman and the name Kaufman is a nod to the 1978 director). People start claiming their spouses are not who they married. (How is that not normal??), then the pets start attacking the not normal people, and finally World Peace breaks out!! (Could they shove that message down my throat some more?)
As things move along Bennell and Driscoll, her "love interest" (but she just wants to be "friends", Girls-- guys LOVE it when you lay that line on them!), try to avoid getting caught by the body snatchers, and try to stay awake. Apparently the virus takes you over when you dream (mostly about world peace). Just drink lots of Mountain Dew (product placement!).
I thought the actors were fabulous in this film. Everyone played an excellent role! The story was interesting and suspenseful enough to keep me going. There were only a couple of things that bugged (pardon the pun) me about the movie, like shoving the whole "Aren't we humans (Americans?) despicable, violent, and evil?" message repeatedly in my face. But overall I enjoyed the film. It's a great matinee, so check it out and STAY AWAKE!!!
On a side note: Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig team up again in December for a fantastical tale called The Golden Compass. So I'll be checking that out for ya!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Stormhold is home to a rapidly dwindling family of fratricidal princes vying for the throne. The last men standing, Septimus and Primus (Mark Strong and Jason Flemyng) are also after the star, glumly observed from the spectral sidelines by their ghostly five murdered brothers. (Was this idea stolen from Harry Potter?)
Then there's the wicked witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her two evil sisters. Their magic is on the wane, but a fresh injection of stardust will restore their youth and vitality. Lamia means to intercept Yvaine, pluck out her heart and eat it raw. Michelle shows she still has the magic to be a star in her own right.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Super spy Jason Bourne is back and everybody wanted to see him this weekend! He broke box office records earning 70 million! This third in the series reminded me much of the second one except he has no girlfriend (she's dead or eliminated as they say in the business). So Bourne (Matt Damon) is once again after the people that created him and are trying to kill him.
Lots of fighting, killing, and car chases. They say he is the next "James Bond" but I'm not holding my breath. I was a little disappointed that they didn't do something more original rather than stick to the same -- Find Bourne, Chase Bourne, and try and Kill Bourne formula.
Also the cinematography is similar to the second film in that it is very "shaky." (Did they hire a camera man with Parkisons?). We learn more about Jason's mysterious past, but the character's including Jason Bourne were all flat and one dimensional, but perhaps you don't go to a Bourne movie for character depth. You go to see killing, fighting, and car chases!
Then this movie is for you! If you liked the first two Bourne adventures then you like this CIA is evil thrill ride! Check it out! (and watch out for the snipers!)
Friday, July 27, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Just like the recent Die Hard movie, I thought this film was a great “thrill ride” as any Summer Blockbuster should be! Shia Labeauof (Sam Witwicky), who recently starred in the thriller, Disturbia, does an excellent job as a high-energy high school student with only two goals in his life. A car and a girl.
As we learn in the movie, “A car picks the man.” So a yellow and black Camaro picks Sam. He then chases after his girl (Megan Fox). Her last name is rather fitting. But his plans are soon interrupted when he finds himself in a tug of war between an alien race of robots known as the Autobots (good guys) and the Decepticons (bad robots). The Decepticon motto is “Punish and Enslave.”
Transformers has more high-octane action than Paris Hilton, a stunning visual style, includes just the right amount of humor, has a very excellent cast of supporting characters. Sam’s parents are hilarious!! Don’t be deceived however, this is not a kids movie. Its PG-13 for language, violence, and sexual innuendo.
So transform a dull evening into a fun one and check out Transformers!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Unfortunately it was same old same old standard Harry Potter fare. Something amusing happens to Harry's "muggle" family, (if you don't know what a 'muggle' is then you probably won't see this film and can stop reading now), then Harry is attacked and gets in trouble, there's a big mystery, tension with his friends, blah, blah, blah, big boss battle at the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Nothing new under the sun except perhaps an exceptionally annoying female character who tries to take over Hogwarts.
Let me just say, I hate annoying characters! Give me evil, silly, funny, strong, powerful, cunning, or even dull characters, but I can't stand two hours of an annoying over the top character. I understand that's what the film makers were shooting for, and they hit the mark, but good grief an annoying character makes for an annoying movie!
If you are a Harry Potter Movie fan, you'll go see this. If you are a fan of the Books, you'll go see this and probably hate it as it falls short of full filling the rich story found in the book. Most book-to-movies are like that though. But basically I think it is great to see your favorite characters (and annoying ones) come to life on the big screen. So check it out, you little owls!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
I haven't enjoyed an animated film this much since the Incredibles. And I think it is no coincidence that Ratatouille is directed by the same man that directed the Incredibles, Academy Award winning director Brad Bird!
The story of course is about a country rat wanting to rise above the squalor, garbage eating, and thieving that his family and friends thrive on. He finds himself in the kitchen of a once five star restaurant in need of a little inspiration. He teams up with the kitchen garbage boy (see the irony!) and together they have to outwit the head chef, skinner (Sir Ian Holm), and impress France's greatest critic, Ego (Peter O'Toole).
The film had a great story, character depth, suspense, drama, love interest, self discovery all mixed with a perfect blend of humor! It was a perfect meal for a movie goer and though it may have been a tad slow for kids at a couple of points, I still thought it was fabulous! This might be the first film I give a five star rating in over two years.
Grab the kids and buy them the snack pack, or make it a date night movie and check out this delicacy of an animated film!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
A cosmic doom is coming to earth and the Silver Surfer is the harbinger of death as he arrives to punch holes in the planet so this dark space cloud can suck all the energy out of the planet's core.
With with the help of their old friend Dr. Doom, they try and catch the surfer.
This movie felt a lot like the first one. The actor's still feel like they are trying to get a handle on their character's. There wasn't really anything awful, but at the same time nothing...well fantastic. The surfer dood on the other hand was very cool. (pardon the pun).
The cgi effects were well done and film has a lot of eye candy, and the F4 get a fancy new flying car to cruise around in. Bottomline, if you are a marvel fan, a F4 fan, then you'll go see this film and enjoy it. Otherwise, save it for a movie rental.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This film is a little edgier and darker than the previous two and is definitely not a kid's flick. But the film was fun and the action as exciting as a Disney ride. I didn't want it to stop. Even at the end, they set off on a new adventure and I was like, "Yes! Let's go. I'm on board for that!"
The only minor problems I had with the film was that is was a tad convoluted in the middle as they set the story up and I could not tell which was a side story and which was the main story. Secondly, Jack Sparrow has these moments where he converses with multiple other Jack Sparrows. That was a little over the top and didn't work well.
Some friends of mine suggested that they did this because the character didn't have as much screen time as in the past and so they were trying to compensate. But regardless the film still was awesome and I had a great time watching the crew, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and the lovely Keira Knightley go on one more adventure.
Oh, there was one other part I forgot to mention. I was very nervous when I heard that Keith Richards, whom Depp modeled Jack Sparrow after, was going to play his father. I was scared it would be silly and stupid and be a worthless part of a great movie. But the scene(s) were fabulous! They pulled it off famously and Keith Richards did a fine job of the part. I was very happy with it.
So hoist the sails, batten the hatches, and fire the cannons straight to the theater to check out Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End!! Savvy?
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Well it was a zombie movie! But these zombies are not the slow, moaning, and shuffling zombies you may be used to. These zombies are Olympic sprinters!! They run. They chase. They run some more and they beat on the glass until bloody. (That never gets old does it?)
As if running and hiding from raging zombies wasn't enough, you also have to dodge sniper bullets and out run napalm.
If you want a movie with blood and guts and killing, this is your film. The soldier/sniper that helps the kids escape the city was my favorite character. The film was interesting, but I didn't think it lived up to the original. If you can't wait till October for some zombie loving, then check out 28 weeks later!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Spiderman's super powers are enhanced when an alien symbiont binds with him creating a black copy of his suit. But it has side effects. Namely Peter becomes meaner and more aggressive. This film is long, 2 and half hours plus previews, because they run so many subplots. There was one scene they could have completely cut out. Parker takes a date, (not MJ) to a jazz club where MJ is working. He does this funky jazz dance all over the club. A weird scene to show how the black suit is effecting him. (Spiderman the musical!) I think it would have been a good "extra" to put on the DVD when it comes out.
JK Simmons is back as the brash Jonah Jameson, along with Ted Raimi for comic relief. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Ted is related to the director Sam Raimi. The special effects were decent as usual, but nothing jumped out at me as Amazing. Speaking of which, Stan Lee, the creator of your friendly neighborhood spidey, makes a cameo. Nuff said.
If you are a super hero fan, if you loved the first two spider movies, then you must see this blockbuster, just because. So swing over to your local theater and check it out!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Nick Cage plays Chris Johnson, a.k.a Frank Cadillac a magician with a special talent. He can see about two minutes ahead in the future and then change it if he wants. Julie Anne Moore, plays FBI Agent Callie Ferris who has clued in to Johnson's special power.
Currently some sissy French terrorists have smuggled a nuke into the U.S. and want to set it off for kicks and jollys. The plot never really gets to deep into the terrorists motivations. (Where's Jack Bauer when ya need him?) Anyway it doesn't really matter why, we just want to see Johnson's parlor trick put into action.
Early on Chris finds that a certain female, Liz, played by Jessica Biel (yes folks the sexiest woman alive) can extend his future seeing powers by hours. So Chris chases Liz and Ferris chases Chris trying to get him to help stop the big bomb from going off. (Confused yet?)
Nick Cage is having a bit of a dry spell lately. Johnny Blaze didn't really set me on fire in Ghost Rider, now this character is a reluctant, washed up, loser who somehow charms the sexiest woman alive? (Why did I like this movie again? I forget.) And what was with that hair? He had dyed jet black hair and hair extensions. It was long and stringy and I suppose represented his strung out life? But at least when they give Bruce Willis hair, it looks real!
It was an interesting story and a neat idea for someone to be able to see a few minutes into the future. It was charming. But overall, save your popcorn money for Spiderman 3 and catch NEXT next time you see it on cable!