Sunday, December 30, 2007

NT: Book of Secrets

This movie rocks! If you liked the first National Treasure then you'll like this one as well. Yes, the critics will tell you that some of the acting and lines are a little forced, and that it's the same formula as the first movie, (but if it anit broke why fix it?), but who cares what dumb critics think, only MY opinion matters, I'm the only one that you come to for movie reviews right?
Right. Well in this film, Benjamin Gates has to defend his family honor, as his great great grandfather is accused of helping plot the assassination of Lincoln. Ed Harris plays the villain, Jeb Wilkenson who coerces Ben Gates into locating a lost city of gold. I think the film is confused as to whether we should loath this villain or not (at least I was). But it all comes out in the wash at the end.
Like the previous film, watching it makes me feel really stupid. Like maybe I should have paid more attention in U.S. History class rather than shooting spit wads at Johnny. These movies make history...exciting!

If you are seeking a treasure of a movie over the holidays, then check out National Treasure 2: The Book of Secrets!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mer-ee Kris-muhs

Mer·ry Pronunciation[mer-ee]
–adjective, mer·ri·er, mer·ri·est.

1. joyous in disposition or spirit.

Christ·mas Pronunciation[kris-muhs]

1. the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus.

Monday, December 24, 2007


An excellent film, albeit a bit depressing at times. You can't stop Will Smith, he continues to be prolific on the screen in a variety of movies over the past few years.

Legend is about the near extinction of the Human Race. A virus has turned everyone, except Robert Neville, a military scientist, into zombies that hide in the dark. Colonel Neville and his dog Sam seem to be immune to the virus and he is determined to find a cure and restore humanity to its earth polluting, religious and political infighting, and genocidal glory. (Thanks Will!).

This film reminds me a lot of Tom Hanks' Castaway. Will spends several years alone and begins to fantasize and talk to manikins. The transformation of Manhattan to an overgrown deserted ruin is very impressive on the big screen. It makes me go "How'd they do that?"

This is a great film based on a great book. Check out I AM LEGEND! But only during the day, please!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel
October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007
Goodbye my friend! Gods Speed!
He was a childhood hero of mine.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


It was driving me crazy. Timothy Olyphant, who plays Agent 47 in the movie based on the video game, Hitman; I had seen him in something else but could not remember what it was. I wracked my brains the whole movie, but could not pull it out. Thank goodness for the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Timothy Olyphant played one of the main characters in the HBO original series Deadwood. He played the part of Seth Bullock.

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


I did a paper in college on Beowulf. His story is one of my favorite pieces of literature. In my paper, titled, "The Defense of Grendel", I showed how it was really King Hrothgar, his people, and Beowulf that were the true monsters of the land. I got an 'A'.

And that is what I give this movie as well an 'A'. It was fun to see this epic tale brought to life on the big screen!! The computer animation was superb, and visually stunning. But it looks so real I have to wonder why they didn't just film it live action, and CGI the monsters like the Lord of the Rings.

This is a great movie and if you have any interest in this genre, it is a must see. And even though there were a couple of times I thought I was watching Shrek and expected to see the Ginger-Bread man or Puss-in-Boots, don't load up the kids for this one. Despite being computer generated it is plenty gory and the script is rife with sexual innuendo. Otherwise Check out Hollywood's latest hero, Beowulf!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lions for Lambs

A professor and his student, a reporter and a senator, and two soldiers, all performing on three separate stages; a university campus, Washington D.C., and a battlefield in Afghanistan, in the new movie Lions for Lambs.

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

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

The trailer for this movie was quite riveting (aren't they all?), and thus I was compelled to see this period piece. As a bonus of course is the stunning Cate Blanchett reprising her role as queen from an 1998 Elizabeth. Along with with the indelible Geoffrey Rush again playing Sir Francis Walsingham. Finally Clive Owen adds a bit of roguish dash as the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh.
This film is about the time when Queen Elizabeth, the virgin queen, fought off the Spanish armada and saved England and protestants everywhere. The movie plays as a series of scenes strung together by an overbearing musical score, rather than a flowing story. Still some of the scenes are well done, some are interesting, and others droll. Despite the enrapturing performance by Blanchett, it's not enough to give this one a "must see." But definitely rent it when it comes to DVD.

There is a love triangle between Sir Walter Raleigh, the queen, and a court lady-in-waiting known as Bess (Abbie Cornish). There are plenty of political intrigues, involving the king of Spain and the house-arrested queen Mary of Scotland. And the CGI ship battle was adequate.
I must also say that the costumes, especially the queen's , were stunning. If you like historical pieces (albeit slightly skewed) check out Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Resident Evil: Extinction

A hot chick kicking lots of undead butt, what's not to like about the third installment of the Resident Evil series? Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, the beautiful uber genetically altered female.

These films remind me of the Underworld series starring Kate Beckinsale, they need to catch up with the Resident Jones' and make a third Underworld, this formula seems to work. Unlike Milla's last kick-butt movie, Ultra Violet. (Can't remember why it was such a stinker but it was)
Extinction fast forwards a few years, with Alice out on her own hiding from the Umbrella corporation's satellites. In fact they believe her dead. The "T" virus has spread globally and only a hand full of humans remain. As my friends at GirlsOnFilm put it; "It's Mad Max meets Zombies."
Alice catches up with this rag-tag fleet of humans in the desert being led by Claire Redfield (Ali Larter-HEROES) and helps them fight off a few thousand undead crows. After helping them escape extinction, she returns to the Umbrella hive where she has a big boss battle with the evil scientist behind the zombie creating virus. The final battle wasn't as over the top as in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but it seemed to lack something. Even so, I liked it!
If you are a fan of the Resident Evil games, the previous two films, or just have a passion for zombies in general--the be sure to check out Resident Evil: Extinction at the movies before it is well....extinct.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Kingdom

Jamie Foxx has grown on me ever since Collateral. He star's in Peter Berg's geopolitical thriller, The Kingdom, as a "never take no for an answer" FBI agent that leads an FBI investigation on foreign soil, Saudi Arabia a land with over 5000 princes.

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

The Brave One

Jodie Foster plays Erica Bain, the host of a public radio talk show called “Street Walk” that takes a nostalgic and happy-go-lucky view of New York City. But after her fiance, David (Naveen Andrews) is brutally killed, her radio show changes and becomes darker, and so does she.

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?
I really liked this movie! Who wouldn't love watching a "civilized" educated woman turn into a prowling, gun toting huntress vigilante. She was probably anti-gun before the assault. Every one's anti-gun until they or their loved ones are brutally attacked and violated by the animals on our streets that have no respect for human life. I don't suggest everyone run out and buy a gun to shoot every creep that looks at them wrong. But when the slavering wolf stalks you, be ready.
There's not much I can find wrong with this movie. It has a great story, awesome acting, interesting characters, and an ending, I could not predict. Well I might have chose a different title, The Brave One doesn't fit perfectly for me. I might have called it, The Stranger. Check out this dark tale of street justice!

Friday, September 14, 2007

3:10 to Yuma

I like a good western and 3:10 doesn't disappoint. This western has a decent twist, it departs from the hero standing tall and wearing a white hat. The hero in this movie, Dan Evans played by Christain Bale has a limp from missing part of his leg, is down on his luck and is unable to take on a few local bullies trying to run his family off his land, to the shame of his oldest son. The bad guy, outlaw Ben Wade played by Russell Crowe isn't all that bad. Well...okay he is, but you end up wanting to like him anyways.

The movie is about a group of men trying to get Wade to a train station so he can face justice at the end of a noose. The group is short handed and Dan Evans voluteers to help them because he needs the money to get out of debt. Of course Wade's gang is hot on their heels intent on freeing their "boss."

Over the course of the journey we learn backstory of the two main charaters. I liked how it wasn't just blurted out all at once and shoved down our throats like some films do, but is presented in bits and pieces along the way, even to the climatic ending. The chemistry between Evans and his son was a nice sub plot and added to the story.

This film is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name making it the second redenition of Elmore Leonard's short story.

Russel Crowe may be a jerk in real life, aka throwing phones at hotel staff, but that man can act! Even if you don't like westerns, this is a great film with an excellent story. Saddle up and catch that 3:10 train to Yuma!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Title of new 'Indiana Jones' revealed

NEW YORK (AP) -- The title of the new "Indiana Jones" movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, has been revealed.

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

Shoot 'Em Up!

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!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007


"Happy Halloween Ladies!" Wait a minute, it's the end of August!?! Wanting to break the mold, Dimension Films released Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween on Memorial Day Weekend; traditionally a low theater attendance day.
The 1978 version of the film, sometimes referred to as John Carpenter's Halloween, starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis scared the honking bezonkers outta me. I was curious if the modern remake would come as close. Of course I was 13 at the time of the first movie. I liked Zombie's fresh take on the film. Rather than focusing solely on the character of Laurie Strode, like the first film, we get to see the life of Michael as a boy growing up and some of the social factors that led to his evil nature. No surprises here, a boy growing up in an unstable home, being made fun of at school because he is a little overweight, and so he takes his anger out on his pets and ultimately his family.

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.

I enjoyed seeing Malcom McDowell play Dr. Loomis. He seemed to really take ownership of the role and played it well. He had to go through fifteen years of aging. Carve up some fun and check out the new HALLOWEEN!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

So what's the answer?

"most of us live out our lives hiding who we really are, and what we're stuggling with, and keep all of those things deep below the surface. because we don't want other people to know who we really are. so we suffer in silence in our - loneliness, our unhappy marriages, our strained relationships with family members, or try to drown them out thru drugs, alcohol, sex, or just the frenzy of never slowing down. and in our hatred of ourselves we live in our private little prison. and we ALL do it."

-Kal Busman

Friday, August 24, 2007


Jason Statham (Agent Crawford) and Jet Li (Rogue) star in this movie about the two famous Asian crime syndicates, the Japanese Yakuza and the Chinese Triads, fighting a war in San Fransisco started by an Asian hit man known as Rogue and two FBI agents are caught in the middle.

I was expecting a movie with a lot of fighting and senseless killing. And that is exactly what I got. But what I was not expecting was a clever and surprising plot twist at the end. But that's also what I got for my $5.75 as I hid from the sweltering 97 degree weather outside.

This movie has plenty of gang shoot outs, sprinkled with a little sword fighting (want more than that? Watch KILL BILL), a decent car chase, a little skin flash, and so-so acting. But I went along for the ride as they say and I had a good time. Jet Li has toned it down a bit since I first saw him in Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998, but he still has class if not style.

I have also enjoyed watching Jason Statham's career progress since The Italian Job, to the Transporter movies, to Crank. So if you are a Jet Li or Jason Statham fan, or if you belong to the Triads or Yakuza (hey go support the team), then check out WAR!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Invasion

World Peace. No more war, no more killing, no rape, no murder. A perfect, peaceful existence between mankind. Like a grove of Aspen trees. It can happen. All we need is an alien spore from space to infect everyone on the planet and we will all become docile, emotionless, creatures living in harmony. Notice I didn't say humans.

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

Rush Hour 3

Campy one like jokes, ogling women, racial stereotypes, and Jackie Chan Kung-Fu fighting, what's not to like about a third dose of Carter (Chris Tucker) and Lee (Chan) in Rush Hour 3??

If you laughed through the first two, then it's more of the same. Lee and Cater bickering at each other, then singing duets, then Carter chases the women and gets into trouble, while Lee plays the straight man and tries to do his job (which is basically make us laugh our butts off).

Here's a drinking game for you, especially for Rush Hour 2 and 3, every time Carter yells Lee's name take a drink! No wait! On second thought, don't do that! I don't want to be responsible for your alcohol poisoning half way through the movie. (Just use chocolate milk).

While these films have their laughs, I hope they quit while they are ahead. (unlike a certain prize fighter I know). The corny lines and Chan's chair flipping fight scenes will be just as good (or bad) on cable as the big screen, save your movie bucks, and check out Rush Hour 3 on cable!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Ah TRUE love....don't ya just HATE it? Miracle Max said: "Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe." [smacks his lips] But that's what fairy tales are made of and Stardust has all the elements of a grand Happily Ever After.

Tristran Thorne (Charlie Cox), a young hero from England embarks on a romantic quest to bring back a fallen star as a token of his love for beautiful, Victoria (Sienna Miller). This quest takes him into another land, Stormhold, a magical realm where the star in question has transformed into Yvaine (Claire Danes).

She's blonde and whiny at first (I guess falling from space will do that to you). Tristan captures her and they go on an adventure trying to return to Tristan's home before Victoria's birthday. On the way they encounter a dread sky pirate named Shakespeare (Robert De Niro) that catches and sells lightning. It turns out the pirate has a bit of a frilly secret and is a "Twinkle Toes". (Sorry that was spoiler). I guess De Niro was tired of playing psychos and mobsters and decided to try something a little the loafers that is.

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.

Adapted from Neil Gaiman's novel by Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn, "Stardust" starts off with a narrative prologue from Sir Ian McKellen. The film score pounds you along nicely, and add to that some excellent special effects and this is an easy way to spend the afternoon at a matinee. Catch this falling star and check out Stardust!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum

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


Oh yeah! Cusack is back! I love his films. This one is about Mike Enslin (Cusack), a writer who travels the country to visit locales noted for their haunted nature. Only, in all the years that Enslin has been doing so, he’s never seen anything unusual. He’s a burned-out, atheistic skeptic. While checking the mail one day he receives an anonymous post card warning him not to stay in Room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel, which is exactly what he plans to do. It will make a nice final chapter, he reckons, for his next book, Haunted Hotel Rooms.

This is not a horror film. It's not a slasher gorefest. Thank goodness it's just a good old fashion scary movie! (BTW that's why I like the Blair Witch Project). Add to that I was the only one in the theater today watching this. ("I want my mommy!" was uttered by me more than once)

The manager of the Dolphin, Gerald Olin (Sam Jackson, in a small but effective role), doesn’t want Enslin staying in the room, which — since 1912 — has been the final resting place for 56 guests, many of whom have met grisly, self-inflicted deaths and others, untimely natural ones. Olin closed the room to the public in the 70s, but because of some manufactured loophole in a civil rights law, he’s forced to allow Enslin to occupy 1408, though he ominously warns him that no one has ever survived an entire hour. It’s not phantoms or specters, he says, it’s just an “evil -BLEEP- room.”

The real success of 1408 is the spot-on casting of Cusack — he’s convincing, he's real, and you find yourself pulling for him and cheering him on. If you like scary movies, this is a must see!

I guarantee you won't make it an hour with out getting the toast scarred out of you! Check into to room 1408!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Transformers. This movie is more than meets the eye. I was a little too old for the Transformers cartoon when it came out and I missed that whole ride. I was thinking this movie might be a pile of junk. But I was pleasantly surprised.

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!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

HP: Order of the Phoenix

No not Hewlett Packard -- Harry Potter of course! I am saving Transformers to see with a friend. (BTW...Don't buy the toys if you have kids, they are a parents nightmare!) So in the mean time I saw the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series.

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

New Family Member

Well My oldest son has been asking for a dog since he was four. We told him he could have one when he turned eight and his little brother turned four. Say hello to Lacy!

How about those blue glowing "Zombie" dog eyes??

Monday, July 02, 2007


This latest animated film from PIXAR was anything but cheesey!

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

Live Free or Die Hard

I just saw the fourth installment of the DIE HARD series yesterday. I loved the first Die Hard movie. I must say that Die Hard 2, and Die Hard with a vengeance aka Die Hard 3, not so much.
They just didn't seem to have that same original "Die Hard" charm. The plots were so-so and the bad guys silly. Of course it's hard to live up to the fantastic performance as Allen Rickman's Hans Gruber.

In Die Hard four, Live Free or Die Hard, America is under attack by cyber terrorist. They are shutting down everything hooked to a PC!! (Oh no! How will I write my in depth movie reviews? or keep up with Paris Hilton??) They shut down the transportation networks, the government offices, the power grid, and the financial districts.

Along comes our favorite witty and sarcastic NYPD Detective, John McClane played by Bruce Willis. He's just doing his everyday job (at 3 a.m.) and once again gets caught up in the bad guy's evil plot. Much to their dismay. Otherwise their insidious plans would have went off without a hitch.

I loved this movie! It was a great return to the Hero Action genre. Bruce was badass as usual (which is how I like my action heroes) and they kept the main bad guy low key, he wasn't silly or over the top. Great action scenes, excellent fight scenes, car chases, lots of guns, explosions, etc. etc. This time John doesn't get in a domestic fight with his ex-wife, it's their daughter, Lucy played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She did a great job! Even a little better than McClane's comedic relief sidekick, Justin Long whom I haven't seen since Herbie Fully Loaded. (That was driving me crazy trying to remember where I knew him from). And thankfully no annoying reporter guy (William Atherton).

Die Hard fans (pun intended), should rush madly to the theater, zigging in and out of traffic and check out DH4!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fantastic Four: ROTSS

Don't count on the Fantastic Four to save you! Count on the Silver Surfer!! He stole the show! The Fantastic Four was anything but fantastic. All they did was bumble around, talk about having babies, switch powers, and generally fall flat. The human torch was pithy and wity as usual, but that was as good as it got.

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

Ocean's 13

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is back with his team of conniving criminals in the third Ocean's film. Is three a charm?

This time it's not for the money, it's for revenge. A big shot casino and hotel owner played by Al Pachino, double crosses their good friend Ruben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) and nearly kills him. So Danny Ocean calls in his friends for a convoluted scheme to get Bank (Pachino). I have to say this film lost the charm that the first one had.

I had a hard time following the plot which seemed to switch from time to time with so many different characters popping in and out, even Andy Garcia is back. There was just way too much going on and I never seemed to care about the character's like I did in the first film.

There is no love interest in this third escapade either. What? No Julia? Oh there's a girl all right. Ellen Barkin. Sorry Ellen you were hot back in the day, but please. Cameron Diaz see your future!

But she never willingly gets involved with any of the crew. At any rate Al Pachino's character isn't the only one that gets ripped off with this movie.

Save your poker chips and check it out on cable!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

POTC - At World's End

This third installment of the pirates trilogy was fantastic! I loved every minute of this summer blockbuster! In fact, I dare say I liked it better than the second one, Dead Man's Chest. It has all your favorite characters back, and with that, some superb acting.

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

28 Weeks Later...

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 3

Spiderman 3 is back in black! Three villains; Goblin, Sandman, Venom. Three times the fun? More like three times the tears! This movie has more crying in it than an episode of Little House on the Prairie! Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of action and I liked the movie overall, but be prepared for a couple of intertwining love stories that try and tug at the old heart strings.

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


Daja vu? Oh wait that is the Denzel Washington movie where he sees something really bad happen in the future and then tries to stop it. I didn't see that movie, so I can't really compare NEXT to that one. I had low expectations for this film so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it pretty well.

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!