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!)