Archive for July, 2010

Sin City, 2005, Un-Rated, *

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Starring: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood, Jaime King, Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy, Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Alexis Bledel, and Josh Hartnett.

Over the last 3 years we have seen Spiderman, Hellboy, the Punisher, Hulk and a few more but, Sin City took way too many leaps of faith.  If you like comics, you may or may not like this one. 

A comic book is one thing.  A motion picture is another.  This comic should never have been made into a film.  In “Sin City” anything and everything goes: EVERYTHING.

There are many gruesome films but Sin City is plain awful.   True, there are many gruesome and violent movies out there that depict the dregs of society and the most heinous of crimes, but seeing creepy Elijah Wood as a cannibal is absolutely mortifying. He is already creepy as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings. 

The whole movie is filled with degenerates, other than Clive Owen and Bruce Willis that try to reduce crime.  Violence is non-stop throughout each sequence.  Different stories are running through out the movie filled with new faces to Hollywood and some of which are veterans.   

And we wonder why high school kids dress the way they do?  This is definitely a good example of why.  It’s different when they want to dress up like Willy Wonka, but not in fish nets and a leather clad suit.  Not Good.

Valentine’s Day, 2010, **1/2 PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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This Valentine’s Flick has an outstanding cast of veteran actors such as Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts (and her niece, Emma Roberts) as well as new talent, like Taylor Swift, the country singer, and Taylor Lautner, the “Twilight,” and “New Moon” hottie; Bradley Cooper from last years best comedy, “Hangover,” as well as Ashton Kutcher, Grey’s Anatomy’s, Patrick Dempsey, Sin City’s Jessica Alba, and Elektra herself, Jennifer Garner, among others.

 

I believe this was a very well done, intertwined ultimate love-day story.  There is something for everyone in this romantic comedy.  Everything turns out alright in the end, the way love is intended to be.  You simply can’t miss Ashton Kutcher as a florist shop owner!

 

I can say that is it not in an way sappy, but funny, and fun for girls, and guys.  The dos and dont’s of dating, and what it really means to be a true friend, and loved one is what you will grasp from this feature.  Catch this one on DVD.

The Time Traveler’s Wife, 2009, ****, PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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“The Time Traveler’s Wife,” This movie is better than “The Notebook,” you know why?  It adds the Sci-Fi element of time travel that really makes your mind wander around the idea of it actually happening.  Not to mention Eric Bana is like one of those hunks on a Harlequin romance novel. 

 

Claire (Rachel McAdams, “The Notebook,” “The Wedding Crashers”) met Henry (Eric Bana, “Hulk,” “The Nugget,” “Troy”) in the field on her childhood home when she was about 9.  Through the years she kept a diary of the times she saw him, and kept the hope of one day being with this love of her life. 

 

The film centers around Henry’s disappearing act (time travel).  His travels are explained as some sort of genetic disorder.  He began appearing and disappearing after a car accident that left his mother dead, and him being thrust back into different years and places for no apparent reason, one place happening to be Claire’s yard; he appears as a 40-something year old man.

 

I must say, the movie starts out slow, but it is totally worth the watch.  It’s a love story that you won’t forget.  Sometimes love is worth waiting for, over and over again.   

 

The Wrestler, 2009, R, ***1/2

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

 

A haggard looking, bleached long-haired Mickey Rourke (a very different appearance than his days in the 80s in the film “9 ½ weeks”) sure fits this part to a tea.  Rourke portrays Randy “The Ram,” an 80s wrestling champion trying to get back into the spotlight.

 

It’s quite depressing, but really depicts someone in a serious dilemma.  Ram’s personal life is very sad, no companion, his daughter hates him (played by the talented Evan Rachel Wood), and his true passion in life is a downward spiral due to a heart attack.   Marisa Tomei plays a local pub dancer that catches Rourke’s eye.  She is one of my favorite actresses and even as a side character adds a nice touch to the film.

 

I commend this movie because it is very real, and shows how no matter what, if you aren’t doing what you love, you are pretty much dead inside.  This is not a movie if you want to escape for a while and forget about hardship during these tough economic times. 

 

 

The Ugly Truth, 2009, *1/2, PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Starring:  Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler

 

This movie was disappointing.  It’s your typical romantic comedy, but it seemed like certain scenes were unfinished, and there was way too much back and forth banter, and not enough action!

 

Essentially Gerard Buter plays Mike, the raunchy late night host of, “The Ugly Truth.”  He talks about why women are crazy, and all men care about is the way a woman looks.  Katherine Heigl plays Abby, a producer of a Sacramento morning show/news program.  The ratings are low during sweeps month, and her manager decides to hire Butler to do his Ugly Truth program on the show.   

 

As expected Abby (Heigl, “Knocked Up”) is furious with this decision, but slowly begins to realize Mike (Butler, “PS I Love You) is actually saying the truth about relationships, and starts to fall for him, (while she’s trying to pine after her neighbor—pretty boy orthopedic surgeon named, Colin—(Eric Winter).

 

There are some fun scenes, with Heigl and Butler dancing, and Butler having fun with two bimbos in a pool of Jello.  Renting it could be fun, if you are in love with Gerry Butler.

The Rocker, 2008, ***, PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

 

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Starring:  Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate

 

The guy from “The Office,” and “House of 1,000 Corpses,” stars in this hilarious flick about a drummer that almost made it big, and now has a second chance at stardom.  Rainn Wilson plats, Robert “Fish” Fishman, an extremely dedicated drummer for the eighties hair band “Vesuvius,” who is living the rock n’ roll dream until he is unceremoniously kicked out of the band.

 

Twenty years after his rock star fantasies are destroyed, just when Fish has finally given up all hope, he hears that his nephew’s high school rock band A.D.D. is looking for a new drummer. They reluctantly make him the newest member of the band, giving him a chance to reclaim the rock God throne he’s always thought he deserved.  He takes the young band along for the ride of their lives.

 

This film is much better than I thought it would be.  Rainn Wilson, reminds me of a sort of “Jack Black” character zany, with sanity, like in his passionate for music film, “School of Rock,” or the goofy film, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny.” 

 

Great supporting roles, by Christina Applegate, and that girl we all remember from “Superbad,” who plays Jules, Emma Stone, the bassist for A.D.D.

 

Rent this flick today.

The Lovely Bones, 2010, ****1/2, PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Starring: Mark Whalberg, Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan

 

Director Peter Jackson does an outstanding job on this film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel. 

 

In the 1970s, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan, “City of Ember,” “I Could Never Be Your Woman”) is a young teen full of life and in the midst of running after a love, until one afternoon her life is taken away; brutally.  Her parents, Jack (Whalberg) and Abigail (Rachel Weisz) are destroyed emotionally when she doesn’t return home from school, and the hours become days, and weeks and no evidence other than her crochet hat are found.  Jack and Abigail become separated emotionally and Abigail goes off to another county to cope with the loss, while Jack continues to search for clues, and take care of his other two children with the help of his mother-in-law, (Susan Sarandon).

 

This film is very powerful and moving, and the best murder mystery I’ve ever seen.  The story is so profound with the images of what Susie Salmon’s heaven looks like, and her trying to communicate to her father to let him know she’s okay.  The divide between the living and afterlife have such an emotional connection with the viewer, and makes you want to help Jack find out his daughters murderer.

 

The moral of this story is always go with your gut; if someone seems a tad sketchy, even if he has been friendly with your parents, don’t get trapped, literately.  This film is too deep for young children, and probably even high school kids, but then again, they might learn to stick to their guns and stay away from “strangers.” 

 

Young actress, Saoirse Ronan, is someone to definitely watch.  She played an excellent part in this film, and is going to lead the next generation of stars, Dakota Fanning, lookout!

Taking of Pelham 123 2009, ***1/2, R

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Starring: John Travolta, Denzel Washington, John Tururro, James Gandolfini

 

The remake is better the original with the late Walter Mathau, due to more action, and comedic one liners, in this Scott-Free Production.  Walter Garber (Washington) plays a transit dispatcher who runs into a snag; a group of hijackers on one of the lines he looks over, Pelham 123. 

 

Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder (Travolta) the showman of the hijackers, demands $10 million within an hour, or he’ll start shooting hostages. He’ll deal only with Garber. The mayor (Gandolfini) okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it’s unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal.

 

I thought this movie was a decent action flick to watch.  I would recommend watching it at least once.  Travolta and Washington make a quite a good pair.

Smart People 2008, **1/2, R

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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“Smart People,” starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Page stand out as a father and daughter who may have high IQ’s, but rate below zero in terms of their human relations skills.

Professor Lawrence Wetherhold (Quaid, “The Alamo,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) might be imperiously brilliant, monumentally self-possessed and an intellectual giant — but when it comes to solving the conundrums of love and family, he’s as downright flummoxed as the next guy. His teenaged daughter (Page, “Hard Candy,” “Whip It,” “Juno”) is an acid-tongued overachiever who follows too closely in dad’s misery-loving footsteps, and his adopted, good-for-nothing brother (Thomas Haden Church, “Sideways”) has perfected the art of sponging off others.

A widower who can’t seem to find passion in anything anymore, not even the Victorian Literature in which he’s an expert, it seems Lawrence is sleepwalking through a very stunted middle age. When his brother shows up unexpectedly for an extended stay at just about the same time as he accidentally encounters his former student Janet (Sarah Jessica Parker, HBO’s “Sex and the City,” “The Family Stone”).

This film is kind of slow, however is one that you can enjoy if you are in the mood for a slice of life type comedy-drama.  I must note, superb acting by Ellen Page, new rising star, of “Juno.” The charm of Smart People is watching these characters squirm and eventually come out of their shells.  Check it out on DVD.

 

Let the Right One In 2009, R, ** (Swedish-Dubbed in English)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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This Swedish vampire flick was simply the weirdest Vampire movie I’ve ever seen.  I don’t know whether it was because the children creeped me out or what, but I continued to view it.

 

The plot is very straight forward, a young vampire girl Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves into the apartment next door to Oskar.  Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is being bullied daily by 3 students at the elementary school.  Eli tries to keep her distance, yet decides to help Oskar with the bully problem and rid the bad kids.  Also-Eli is really creepy.

 

This movie was strange, and not what I would call a great vampire movie despite its many decent reviews.  I kind of reminded me of children of the corn meets lord of the flies.  Who knows, that might attract some people to watch.  Oh, and if you don’t mind watching dubbed movies, then maybe you can get through it.