Friday, January 26, 2007

Smoking Aces

Well I can't say for sure if my movie viewing experience has gone up or down this week, so we'll just say it remained ... level. Sorta like a patient that has flat-lined on the operating table. But have no fear! I am anxiously awaiting a couple of new flicks to roll off the celluloid assembly line and light my fire this year.

Nick Cage's Ghost Rider might be fun. I like Nick, can't wait to see National Treasure II. Also looking forward to 300 men. It'll be like football but with lots of swords and arrows! And that folks is right up my alley!

As for Smoking Aces, I guess the writer was smoking something when he wrote it. The first part of the film hand holds the audience in order to explain everything to us simple minded viewers. So we understand, it's a bunch of crazy hit men out to kill one crazy playboy of a man. Oh and there's some pissed off feds sprinkled in the mix.

Then there's the fun part. Lots of guns, lots of killing. I want to say this film reminds me of another movie where they build up to this big show down in a hotel...but I can't think of the name of it. Might be Domino.

Then after all the killing, we are introduced to the clever twist at the end which isn't so spectacular, not even close to the Usual Suspects, but again the audience is handheld while they explain it all to us and we go "Oh...I get it!"

Save your 5.75 and buy some dental floss and a new toothbrush, you're mouth will be happy and you'll be happy. PS - Don't tell the movie studio I gave this one a pass, or they might put a five dollar hit out on me!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Hitcher

While driving across the desert, Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush) stop by the side of the road to pick up a hitchhiker — who turns out to be a murderous psychopath (Sean Bean).

While the couple quickly ditches their would-be assassin, the maniacal killer follows them along the dusty backroads and they engage in a nasty game of cat-and-mouse. A remake of the cult horror film starring Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Lee.

If I had not seen such a dud last week I might have given this film a dud rating. However after seeing Children of Men, I can only go up. This is basically a film that has no real plot or point to it other than senseless violence and gore. They were even skimpy on the gratoitous sex. What an outrage! ;)

I was surprised that such a talented better known actor like Sean Bean would take such a low brow role after doing films like James Bond, and The Holy Lord of the Rings Triology. He only had about five lines in the whole movie. My favorite was when the police detective asked him why he was on a murderous rampage he replied. "Why not?" which is probably the same thing he said when he accepted the role. Hey, gotta pay the bills!

It's a definate pass at the theater, but if you see it on late one night on cable or there is nothing else to rent at the video store then catch a ride with The Hitcher!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Children of Men

"Children of Men" is set in the near future where the human race is on the brink of extinction.

Global violence, loss of civil liberties, illegal immigration, destruction of the environment, obsession with celebrity - all paint a bleak and depressing future. Oh wait those headlines are the same as today's headlines. Be warned this is a depressing movie with death and acute oppression around every corner.

Based on a novel by P.D. James, "Children of Men" shows a world were females have become infertile. No babies have been born for more than 18 years. The story takes place in the United Kingdom, where the military keeps order. Foreigners are rounded up, placed in detention camps and sent back to their home nations, with only a few Brits protesting the government's insensitive treatment.
The main character, Theo (Clive Owen) doesn't care that the world's demise seems inevitable. Once an activist, now a bureaucrat, he numbs himself with alcohol, or pot that he gets from his only friend, Jasper (Michael Caine), an aging hippie who lives in the country.

He is suddenly thrust into the chaos around him when a woman from his past, Julian (Julianne Moore), a leader in the refugee-rights movement, contacts him. Julian needs transit papers that will get refugee Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) out of the country and into the hands of the Human Project, a group devoted to saving mankind from self-destruction. Kee has a secret that could give the world hope again, but it also puts her in jeopardy.

Owen dose fine as the reluctant hero, but Michael Caine, who is usually a pleasure to watch comes off as an annoying over the top hippy whose only line seems to be "amigo!" Several of the other cast members all seems to have strange quirks as well making the film as painful as hearing the pots and pans rack in your kitchen fall and strike the tile floor.

As if that wasn't enough, the filmmaker must be a dog lover because nearly every scene of the movie has a yapping, whining, underfoot dog in it, which I found very distracting. I think the movie had potential to make a statement as to where the world is headed, but I lost that message in the unnecessary "noise" the other elements created.