Sunday, November 25, 2007
Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an outcast cop close enough to the streets to feel a shift of control in the drug underworld. Roberts believes someone is climbing the rungs above the known Mafia families and starts to suspect that a black power player has come from nowhere to dominate the scene. Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from their own colleagues, making them lone figures on opposite sides of the law. The destinies of these two men will become intertwined as they approach a confrontation where only one of them can come out on top.
This gangster movie does not have the usual extreme violence common in films such as Goodfellows and Scarface, instead it is more of a drama told through the development of characters. From what I have heard about the real-life Frank Lucas, an even more interesting story could have been told, but this film is definately worth watching. It is also a really neat look into the time period.
Ing's Review: My friend, a friend with excellent taste in movies I might add, recommended this film to me and so I was anxious to see it. This time my friend let me down! Of the three main characters, Cruise, Streep and Redford, only Streep makes an impression. Redford is easy on the easy and Cruise is, well, Cruise, but Streep really acts. Her part of the film would have made a good movie on its on, had it been fleshed out. That's the problem with the whole film, actually-- nothing is fleshed out. A bit of promise, but no delivery at all.
P2 starts off great with a fresh premise on the stalker story. The film moves quickly, with plently of jumps and scares, but it ends like a straight to video slasher. A weak ending ruined the film for me.
WARNING: May contain spoilers!
A fictionalized account of personal bravery and comradeship in the early days of the Viet Nam war. The story follows the experiences of Lt. Dieter Dengler whose plane was shot down over Laos and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. In a story that should not be classified as either pro or anti war, it explores the tragedies of war for all involved.
Terrific! Terrifying! By now you have probably heard about the shocker ending-- or at least that the ending is a shocker. Ending aside, this is one film that you will not forget. It is more about the monsters inside the grocery store than the monsters from the mist. A neat character study and plenty of gross-0ut as well.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I'm not a big fan of Christmas movies, but this one made me laugh! Very funny, very orginial and I don't care what the other critics say, this one is worth seeing this season.
In my opinion, this movie has the best special effects I have ever seen. Also, the actors in this movie were phenominal. All in all, I definatelly encourage you to rent this movie.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Brad Pitt plays Achilles, the legendary Greek warrior. King Agamemnon's army reveres Achilles as their greatest fighter, faster, stronger, and deadlier with a sword then all others. As the Greek's army champion, Achilles has won many battles by defeating the other country's champion. The Trojan War begins when Prince Paris of Troy (Orlando Bloom) takes his lover, the beautiful Queen Helen (Diane Kruger), the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson), back to Troy. All the Greek armies unite under King Agamemnon (Brian Cox), a total of 50,000 soldiers sail to Troy in a thousand ships. The walls of Troy are invincible to an invading army, so Troy has never been defeated in battle. The battle begins with Achilles and his men reaching the Troy beach first and taking the beach almost by themselves. Achilles captures Prince Hector (Eric Bana) in the temple, but he lets him go free for another day. King Agamemnon does not honor Achilles for his victory, and Achilles' pride is hurt. Achilles and his men stayed out of the next battle, and the Greeks are beaten badly. Achilles is about to return home when Hector kills his cousin in battle, thinking it was Achilles. Achilles challenges Hector, and they fight to the death. Achilles wins and drags Hector's body away. Hector is returned for a proper funeral, which includes a 12-day truce. During this time, the Greeks build the Trojan Horse and leave. The wooden horse is taken into the city, and the men inside open the gates of Troy.
I personally felt that this movie is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It very well directed and well casted. This movie also has beautiful scenery. And on top of that, the fight scenes in this movie were very well choreographed. For example, in the opening scene Achilles fights the champion of another army invading Greece. In that battle, Achilles kills the man with a single stroke of his sword. All in all, this movie definnately gives you a bang for you buck.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Since I just reviewed Cars, I might as well review the movie that beat it for the Best Animated Oscar this year. Take a dancing penguin, Elijah Wood, and as many social/political issues that you can cram into a 2 hour movie, and you have Happy Feet. Those filmmakers were smart. They could've gotten plenty of other actors to voice Mumble, but they got Elijah Wood, which drew in the Elijah Wood fangirls. (I got dragged--erm, went along with a friend who went for that reason.) The dancing penguin factor brings the kids in, and the social/political issues keep the parents from falling asleep, and then it makes them want to buy it so their kids can watch it over and over and learn about enviornmental issues.
In the world of Happy Feet, all penguins sing with beautiful, professional quality voices and have a "heart song". When they find another penguin whose song fits with theirs, it means they're supposed to get married. Mumble (Elijah Wood) can't sing and doesn't have a song. Instead, he tap dances. So all the penguins pick on him. Except of course, for the most beautiful girl penguin, Gloria (Brittany Murphy). She likes him. (*cough*Pebble and the Penguin*cough*) Meanwhile, all the fish are dissapearing, so the old penguins decide to blame in on Mumble, who, by their logic, must be causing all the probelms since he's DIFFERENT! Also, Mumble's dad, voiced by Hugh Jackman, hates him.
One day, Mumble winds up meeting a bunch of adelie penguins, most of which are voiced by Robin Williams. He dances, and they like it, so he ditches his family and becomes friends with them. (can you tell that I don't like this movie?) More dancing, more singing, more Mumble trying to get the girl. Mumble finally DOES get the girl by dancing to her heart song, but then he tells her to leave because he's going off on a dangersous quest to find the fish. Another hour of enviornmental issues, Mumble comes back, we get to see thousands of tap-dancing penguins, and then everyone lives happily ever after.
The only reason this beat Cars is because the plot was different. The only reason the plot was different was because they couldn't pick just one issue to address. The only thing I really liked about the movie was the animation. I honestly don't know if they filmed real people or animated them. The landscapes of antartica made me think I it was a live-action movie at times. The penguins were animated very realistsically, except that they were tap-dancing and singing. It's one of the greatest animation jobs I've seen in an American movie. The only, and I mean ONLY animated thing I didn't like was Mumble. When emperor penguins are born, they have lots of fuzzy white feathers. When they're around a year old (I think...) they have completely lost their feathers. The ENTIRE movie, Mumble had his fledgling feathers. He spent weeks, if not months trying to get the fish back and talk to the people, and he still had feathers! I know that the filmmakers did this so we could tell Mumble apart, but if they made no attempt to give the other penguins special features, why only do it for Mumble? Maybe they thought it would be too stereotypical. They could be right, but to me, it just looked stupid.
Rating: 2 and half stars because that was some of the best animation I've seen since FF7: Advent Children.
The only thing original about Cars is... well, the cars. It had the standard plot of a hotshot young rookie, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) who thinks only about himself and has no friends. One night, on the way to the tiebraker for the coveted Piston Cup, Lightning falls off of his truck, gets chased by a cop, and destroys the road in a little town in the middle of nowhere. The citizens of the town punish him by forcing him to fix the road he destroyed, a job that, according to the town leader, Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman) will take 5 days. But Lighting must get to California in... atually, I don't remember them saying how long he had to get to California. Just that he really had to get there, and apparently didn't have 5 days. To make a long story short, Lighting learns lots of life lessons, becomes friends with a tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, falls in love with a cute porcshe named Sally (Bonnie Hunt), and helps the little town of Radiator Springs. It's everything the previews made it out to be, and nothing more. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the film, but I did expect a little better from Pixar. The animation was very well-done, but in Pixar's style, which isn't the most realistic I've seen. That may also be a reason Happy Feet won over Cars. Still, overall it was cute and worth the 116 minutes I spent to watch it.
Rating: 2 and a half stars. The plot was just too predictable. Sorry, Pixar.
If you like this: A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
As I watched Babel at the bargain cinema this weekend, I had a strange sense of deja vu. Make no mistake-- I enjoyed Babel. I even found myself tearing up at the end of the movie, which rarely happens, but as many reviews (reviews far more skilled than I) have said, Babel is Crash on an international scale. Babel begins in Morocco. We meet a family of goat herders who purchase a rifle to help defend their herd from jackals. The rifle becomes the weapon that critically wounds an American tourist (Cate Blanchett), traveling with her husband (Brad Pitt) on a tour bus. Blanchett and Pitt have two children, living in San Deigo, who are being cared for by their nanny, Amelia (Adriana Barraza). Naturally because of the incident, Pitt and Blanchett will not be returning to San Deigo as expected. Amelia however, wants to return to her native Mexico to attend her son's wedding and decides to take the children across the boarder with her, for the celebration. The movie then takes us to Japan and a young teenage girl, Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi). Chieko lives with her father (Kôji Yakusho) and is still grieving the loss of her mother who committed suicide. Needless to say this is a complex movie! Not only does it skip around the world, but it skips back and forth in time as well. It is a bit preachy, but I still found it definately worth the watch.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Howl's Moving Castle is Miyazaki-sensei's most recent film. Other movies he dircted include Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and the 2002 Oscar winner for Best Animated, Spirited Away. I HIGHLY reccommend all of those movies. The library owns all of them, and you can even have them shipped to you! catalog.einetwork.net. All you need is your library card.
Anyway, on with the review! Howl's Moving Castle is the story of 18-year old Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer) who gets cursed by the Witch of the Waste (Laruen Bacall). The curse turns Sophie into a 90-year old woman. (now voiced by Jean Simmons) Sophie goes out in search of the Wizard Howl (Christian Bale) to help her break the curse. She goes to Howl's "castle", which is actually just a magic pile of junk that moves, where we meet Calcifer (Billy Crystal) a fire demon that moves the castle, Markl (Josh Hutcherson) Howl's apprentice, and a scarecrow with a turnip for a head that Sophie aptly names "Turnip-head".
If you've read the book, you're going to spend the whole movie going "That never happened!" and "Markl is supposed to be 10 years older!" and "wasn't Suliman a man?" . What you need to do is forget everything from after page 20 of the book, THEN watch the movie. I guarentee you will love it. Miyzaki-sensei is literally the greatest animated movie dirctor in the world. This movie has some of the most beautiful animation that I've ever seen. Seemlessly combinging 2D with 3D effects (the castle) , and a 3D program that makes things look handrawn when they're really not (the blob-men), this movie is visually perfect. Also, it has one of the greatest composers in the movie industry, Joe Hisaishi. (Who also scored almost all of the Studio Ghibli movies)
Rating: 3 and a half stars. It's good, but Miyazaki has better.
If you like this: Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
See Pursuit of Happyness at the Internet Movie Database