Monday, December 31, 2007

I Am Legend

This is definitely Will Smith's masterpiece. I have never seen finer acting from him, and he's a legend in and of himself. Very, very well done. For two hours the camera focuses on him, his face, and pretty much nothing else. It is difficult to captivate an audience for that long, particularly when the only source of interest is Smith's face. But he really does pull it off.

A cancer wonder-drug backfired, went airborne, and wiped out all of human existence. Save for one man. Dr. Robert Neville, a brilliant scientist, for some reason survived the onslaught and lived to fight back. He is the last human on Earth, but he is not alone. Mutated humans, little more than animals now, now roam the streets at night looking for a snack, sniffing for blood, hungry. For three years Neville has been searching for a cure, desperate, and hoping that he's not alone, but for three years he's been utterly disappointed. How long can he hold out? How long can the last human survive in such hopelessness, such madness, such fear, and so hunted? Every day is a fight for his life.

Brilliantly directed by Francis Lawrence, Legend really takes the cake as one of my favorite movies this year. Excellent, really excellently done on Smith's part. You truly believe in Neville, his character. And you see yourself in his place and wonder what you would do in his position. Of course, all zombie movies, even the glorified Will Smith versions, must have ubercounts of jump scenes, but it really adds to it all. It makes you just as paranoid as Neville. Give yourself a good scare without the horror of something like Saw. It's fun.

Conclusion: If you're looking for a good scare without the blood and gore of a normal movie like this, then Legend is right for you.

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.


  • The studio spent an estimated $5,000,000 for a 6 night shoot in New York involving the Brooklyn Bridge. To film in this location, the producers needed the approval of up to 14 government agencies. The producers had to bring in a crew of 250, plus 1,000 extras, including 160 members of the National Guard in full combat gear.

  • In the scene in Times Square, there is a billboard for the fictional "Superman/Batman" movie, slated to open 5/15/10.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter Films

These are the films I most look forward to seeing this December, January, and February.

The Golden Compass Release: Dec 7
Director: Chris Wietz

Starring: Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, with the voice talen of Freddie Highmore and Ian McKellen

Synopsis: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

Based on the children's series His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

Tag: There are worlds beyond our own - the compass will show the way.

I Am Legend Release: Dec 14, 2007
Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Will Smith

Dr. Robert Neville must find a way to reverse the effects of a virus that has turned everyone on earth except him into mutants.

Tag: The last man on earth is not alone

Charlie Wilson's War Release: Dec 25, 2007

Director: Mike Nichols

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

A drama based on Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Tag: A stiff drink, a little mascara, a lot of nerve. Who said they couldn't bring down the Soviet Empire.

Cloverfield Release: Jan 18, 2008
Director: Matt Reeves

Starring: Nothing definite

Synopsis: A small group of people must survive a monster attack on the city of New York.

Tag: 1.18.08

The Spiderwick Chronicles Release: Feb 15, 2008

Director: Mark Waters

Starring: Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger

Synopsis: Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.

Tag: Their world is closer than you think.

The Other Boleyn Girl Release: Feb 28, 2008
Director: Justin Chadwick

Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanssen, Eric Bana

Synopsis: The story of two beautiful sisters, who, driven by their family's blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII (Bana).

Tag: The only thing that could come between these a kingdom.

Rescue Dawn

Full of utterly raw emotion, Rescue Dawn is absolutely breathtaking. Fantastically directed by Werner Herzog, Rescue Dawn is the true story of Dieter Dengler, an American polot shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. He is captured and taken to a POW camp. There he meets Eugene DeBruin and Duane Martin, two other pilots also shot down over enemy territory. Starving, the cadaverous pilots plan a daring escape.

Dieter is beautifully portrayed by actor Christian Bale (Batman). Steve Zahn (Sahara) is his surprising companion as Duane Martin. Zahn does an incredible job, expressing utter desperation, embodying Tragedy itself. The part of Eugene deBruin is brilliantly, brilliantly done by actor Jeremy Davies().

This phenomenal cast coupled with the cinematography and the story being told makes for a truly incredible film. Realistic, raw, painful, Rescue Dawn tells a story of courage, optimism, self-reliance, and loyalty in a whole new way.

Conclusion: This isn't your everyday, run-of-the-mill war movie with lots of explosions and guns. It is just as frightening but with more thought behind it and a more artistic storyteller.

Rated: PG-13 for some sequences of intense war violence and torture. Do not take small children to see this movie.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Moulin Rouge!

No Laws. No limits. One rule. Never fall in love.

Gorge yourself on the spectacular spectacle that is Moulin Rouge! It’s a feast of color, a banquet of beauty, the heartbreaking tale of two doomed, forbidden lovers. Starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge! is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It is a breathtaking psychedelic adventure of beauty, freedom, truth, and love.

Set in 1899 in the heart of Paris, a young penniless writer named Christian (McGregor) meets the beautiful Satine (Kidman), a promiscuous dancer, through a case of mistaken identity. They fall in love and would like nothing more than to live happily ever after, but for a man named Zidler and a repulsively evil duke. The Moulin Rouge is a seedy dance hall turned theater that could give Satine everything or ruin her. Will Christian and Satine overcome, or will the evil forces at work destroy their happy ending? Find out behind the red curtain of Moulin Rouge!, “A spectacle beyond imagination, a fantastic world where nothing is forbidden and everything is possible!”

An incredible musical by Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge! cannot be missed. Both Kidman and McGregor perform their own songs (impressively well, I might add), and I have never seen a better acting performance by either.

Conclusion: Stop reading this, go rent it right now and experience the Moulin Rouge!

Rated: PG-13 for sexuality. Kids under 13, maybe even 15, shouldn’t see this movie. It could be hard to explain.


  • Filming was halted for two weeks in November 1999 after Nicole Kidman fractured two ribs and injured her knee while rehearsing a dance routine for the film. Many of the scenes where she is seen only from the chest up were shot while she was in a wheelchair.

  • The necklace worn by Nicole Kidman was made of real diamonds and platinum and was the most expensive piece of jewelery ever specifically made for a film. The Stefano Canturi necklace was made with 1,308 diamonds, weighing a total of 134 carats and was worth an estimated US$1 million.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates 3 was, unfortunately, one of the not-so-great movies I've seen this year. Great acting yes, but the actors are working with a crappy script and an even worse plot. Jack Sparrow's character has been further distorted from his original personality. And now he's apparently **SPOILER** schizophrenic. Most of the effects were pretty good, but at some points I wondered how they could have come out with such low-grade effects when their budget was so huge. The characters spend most of the movie following a side plot. A SIDE PLOT. and then by the last 30 minutes they get back on track. It had a pretty good ending, but the plot has so many holes it's like...well, just go ask a ninja. Keith Richards was great, Chow Yun-Fat totally sold out, Knightley, Bloom, and Rush are great but, as usual, overpowered by Depp. Go see it because you have to finish out the trilogy, but don't expect anything that will change your life or blow your mind. As one reviewer put it "I wanted to like it, but..." Read the full review at
Conclusion: It's entertaining if you can try to forget about the plot holes, etc., so go see it.
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images.
  • Captain Barbossa can be seen wearing an Eagle Scout ring in several sequences. This ring signifies that some one in Boy Scouts has earned the highest rank known as Eagle.
  • They started filming without a finished script.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


J.J. Abrams, the producer of the hit tv show, Lost, is producing a movie, due out 1-18-08 that has generated a huge amount of hype. Those who went to see Transformers may have seen the trailer for this mysterious film which is, as of yet, untitled. The preview featured a home video camera filming a going away party, when suddenly the party is interrupted by an earthquake, or perhaps an explosion. The party-goers run out onto the street. The camera is shaky, people are screaming, running everywhere. Someone screams "I saw it, it's huge!" A fireball comes out of the sky and hits the New York street. It is the Statue of Liberty's head. "1-18-08" flashes on the screen and the trailer is over.

The film reflects Abrams previous projects, like Lost, which has also fueled the most amount of speculation over a tv show. Ever. No title has been given for the film, just a date at the end, 1-18-08. Fans are calling the film "Cloverfield". Abrams is famous for his closed-mouth projects. Actors don't know what part they're auditioning for, they don't even get to read the script. Fans will be kept waiting in breathless anticipation until the day the movie comes out. Two different names for the film, "Monstrous" and "Wreck" were been leaked from the inside, and Abrams promptly changed the title. Abrams has also begun a website: Fansites have sprung up like crazy, but this is the only official site. Some have speculated that the film is yet another Godzilla movie, but this is impossible since Paramount (who is distributing Cloverfield) doesn't own the rights to Godzilla.

The general storyline seems to be about people trying to survive a monster attack in New York City. The cast has not been officially released, but little-known actors and actresses have been spotted in the trailer. $30 Million is the estimated budget, and it was filmed on location in New York City. Those are really the only official facts known right now and even those are iffy. I look forward to seeing this movie and seeing if my predictions are right.

Either way, I hope Cloverfield can live up to the hype it started. Go to for more information about the movie.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


As the rest of the movie industry goes down the drain, parents don’t have to worry as long as High School Musical clones keep being made. At least, that’s what I thought before I went to see Hairspray. Even John Travolta and Christopher Walken were no consolation, I had already stubbornly decided that HSM had ruined Hollywood and Hairspray was but a sad, sad clone. Zac Efron’s appearance in Hairspray did nothing but confirm my misgivings.

Much to my surprise, I found myself being entertained and even laughing out loud at this corny adaptation of a stage adaptation of a movie. But what would appear to be a cheesy movie with all the right pieces for a cut-and-paste kid's movie, turns out to be one hell of a winner. My despise for Efron and his High School Musicalness was ripped out from under me as I was actually impressed by his performance. Chris Walken and larger-that-life Travolta make for a hilarious pair, and newcomer Nikki Blonsky isn’t half-bad either. Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley, and Queen Latifah all make equally pleasing appearances. I also especially enjoyed James Marsden’s surprising role in Hairspray. Girls might recognize him from The Notebook, and guys from X-Men.

As out-of-place as it sounds, Hairspray does an excellent job at addressing more than one serious issue in a way that makes people see it in a new light. Boldly taking on racism head-on and showing people not just the damages racial prejudice can inflict, but also showing the good having an open heart and mind can bring. Get ready to be knocked off your feet by this seemingly light film, and sit down for a heavy talk about doing the right thing. Keep an eye out for Efron and Blonsky, they just might surprise you.

Conclusion: Go ahead and see it, because you won't regret it.

Rated PG for language, some suggestive content and momentary teen smoking.


  • The song in the film titled "You Can't Stop the Beat" was nicknamed by some of the actors as "You Can't Stop to Breathe" because of the high tempo of the song and the amount of words to be sung.
  • Amanda Bynes' character, Penny, is seen constantly eating suckers. Her father, who is a dentist, became worried for Amanda's dental health, as it was estimated she ate about 40 suckers a day. Amanda told him that she wasn't really eating all of them, when in reality she ate them all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Transformers was a pretty good movie. Some parts of the storyline could have been explained better, but on the whole it was entertaining. Shia LaBouf is one of the best young actors I've seen on the screen since Haylee Joel Osment. He completely owns the film. His acting skills are more than impressive, and I am very, very excited to see his next films.

I must say that the special effects for Transformers were absolutely breathtaking. The animation, the texturing, the lighting, everything. To create and animate one of the transformers would be insane. But to bring to life more than eight and then have them fight is absolutely unbelievable.

Humorous and fun to watch, Transformers is a movie for most of the family. The PG-13 rating is a "DER" to parents that says, don't bring your toddler to see a loud, violent movie. But if you want to see some awesome, awesome action with an all-star cast and robots beating each other up, then you've found the right movie.
Conclusion: Funny and exciting, Transformers is pure entertainment.
Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language. (Don't bring kids younger than 13 unless you want to deal with some questions regarding the sexual humor.)
  • For the scene where Sam is clinging to a statue at the top of a building, although he wore a safety harness, he was actually on top of the building with no safety net beneath him, so Shia LaBeouf's terror was real.
  • The US government supplied planes and assistance to the production.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Willis and Long in
Live Free or Die

The fourth and last of the Die Hard movies has at last arrived. The quadruplogy has always been a much-loved guys movie, filled with Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, who’s just a regular Joe Schmo cop trying to save his family from the latest terrorist threat. The wisecracking Willis, his macho/family-man character, and his signature yippekayay have become representative of the American action hero. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Live Free is a sequel worthy of the classic series.

This summer’s blockbusters have so far all featured the return of a much-loved character. The same is true of Live Free or Die Hard, in which John McClane is back with a slew of new comebacks. Willis is at last unabashedly bald in this action flick with not much of a plot, but with plenty of kickbutt stunts that totally make up for it.

Cyber-terrorist, Thomas Gabriel, is a hacker with a mission: destroy the U.S. of A., just to prove he can. His plan is to take out all of America’s technology- communications, utilities, etc, and to create chaos in general everywhere. He gets several other hackers to help him and then has them killed to cover his tracks. Meanwhile, John McClane (Willis) has been sent to retrieve the only hacker still left alive, Matt Farrell (who is played by the endearing Justin Long. Aka “the Mac guy”.) McClane must keep the young hacker alive, in spite of many evil henchmen’s best efforts, because he holds the key to saving the world.

Live Free has plenty of redeeming qualities to make up for the imperfect plot. For one, it’s incredibly, and I mean incredibly, entertaining. McClane runs around shooting up bad guys, dodging flaming cars, and blowing up helicopters, I mean come on, it can’t get much better than that. Countless explosions and ridiculous stunts have a way of retaining their entertaining value.

Willis gives a great performance, and expresses his BA-ness whenever he gets the chance. However, Justin Long very nearly steals Willis’ movie right from under him. His skittish hacker/anti-hero character is beautifully played. Many, many kudos to Long. In addition to these performances, Kevin Smith makes a humorous appearance, and Olyphant’s portrayal of Gabriel is well-done.

Although some of the stunts, like McClane wrestling a fighter jet may represent totally unneeded idiocy, they are nonetheless amusing. The film is filled with political messages on everything from national security to Iraq and terrorism. A must-see summer movie for any fan of old westerns of John McClane’s previous adventures. Be sure you can handle the violence and constant profanity.

Conclusion: The explosions are too cool to miss and the political messages easy enough to forget.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and a brief sexual situation.


  • On the traffic monitoring screens showing the created traffic jam ups, some reused footage (armored car turning) from the Italian Job (2003) can be seen.
  • The French title translates as "Die Hard 4.0: Return to Hell".


Premonition would have to be pretty low on any list of movies I’ve ever seen. The plot is not twisting and interesting, but instead is just purely unintelligible.

One day Sandra Bullock wakes up to find that her husband, Jim, has been killed in a horrific car accident. She and her family are devastated. The next day Jim is alive again, so Bullock figures it’s just a nightmare. Or is it? One day he’s dead, then he’s alive, then it’s his funeral, then he’s alive. What is going on? By this point the audience is so confused, they have lost all interest, they just want to figure out how the crap this movie will resolve itself. Sandra Bullock must race against time and defy fate to save her husband’s life.

Unfortunately, what some are calling a “gripping psychological thriller” is nothing but a confusing jumble of random scenes with Sandra Bullock crying and running away from ominous symbolism like dead birds. Messing around with future/present/past silliness can be pretty difficult. Sometimes if the director knows what he’s doing it can work, but Premonition fails miserably and the audience just ends up at the end of the movie going “What the *&%$?” and wishing it really were all a dream.

Premonition is a pathetic mix of Memento and The Lake House. Sandra Bullock does her best and adds her great acting to the cake mix, but without minor ingredients like a plot and an ending, Premonition comes up lacking. This film barely deserves its one out of five stars. Sandra Bullock is the only thing of value Premonition has to offer.

The Conclusion: Just plain skip it, it's just not worth it.

Rated PG-13 for
some violent content, disturbing images, thematic material and brief language.

Friday, July 13, 2007


300 is probably the most violent, the most gory film I've ever seen. Another one of Frank Miller's graphic novels (Sin City ring any bells?), 300 is excellent. The acting is excellent. The visual effects are unbelievable, and the CG is breath-taking. The storyline could be stronger, but on the whole, 300 is a film that will blow your mind.

King Xerxes of Persia has conquered all of the known world. All of it except Sparta. King Leonides and 300 Spartans are all that stand in the way of over a million Persians destroying Sparta forever. The Persians descend upon the Spartans, but how long can only 300 soldiers, the world best warriors though they may be, hold up against Persia's millions? Meanwhile, Leonides' wife attempts to convince the counsel to send reinforcements to Leonides.

Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, the movie depicts the epic legend of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., in which 300 soldiers stood against a vast force of millions. As the legend goes, the 300 inflicted such losses on the Persians, while sustaining minimal damage to their own force, that the Persians gave up.

No hesitation, no retreat, no mercy. For honor, for glory.

King Leonides is played by Gerard Butler, best known for playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera with Emmy Rossum. Butler is phenomenal as Leonides, and is probably one of the best, least known actors in the business. Lena Headey plays the Queen and she too is absolutely spectacular. Dominic West is a scheming counsel man, also excellent, and David Wenham is Dilios, equally fantastic. I'm running out of synonyms for "amazing".

Conclusion: If you can stomach the gore and violence, 300 is and absolute MUST-SEE.

Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout and some sexuality/nudity.

Interesting Trivia:

  • The filmmakers used bluescreen 90% of the time, and greenscreen for 10%. They chose blue because it better matched the lighting paradigm (green would have been too bright) and because red garments (a la spartan capes) look better when shot over blue.

  • There were two days of location shooting, which were for the horses that were shot for the 'approaching Sparta' scene.

Legend of the Red Dragon

Probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen, Legend of the Red Dragon is a horribly bad movie for such a talented martial artist as Jet Li. The effects were terrible, the dubbing was bad, and the acting was ridiculously idiotic. The script was awful and the storyline and plot were laughable. The martial arts were horrible. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon used stylized martial arts. This movie uses silly moves and magic spears. Jet Li doesn't get to do anything cool. The editing is horrible. And whatever the tagline says, the story is in no way epic. I have nothing more to say except that this movie doesn't even deserve to be called a film.

Conclusion: see this if you're so bored and so sad that you need something pathetic to laugh at.

Rated R for graphic violence and gore.


Troy is a difficult movie to judge. On the one hand, the visual effects are stunning, the stunts and athleticism are incredible, and the sheer scale of the film is spectacular. On the other, some of the acting is not so great, and the story has been changed quite a bit from Homer's The Iliad, to focus more on other characters.

The story begins with a young prince of Troy named Paris, played by Orlando Bloom. Paris falls in love with a woman whom some call the most beautiful woman on earth, Helen of Sparta. Unfortunately, Helen happens to be the wife of a powerful warlord named Menelaus. Helen and Paris escape Sparta together the day after a peace treaty has just been signed between Troy and Sparta. Paris brings Helen back to Troy with him, and they prepare to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately for them, the gods have a different plan. Menelaus, enraged and insulted, turns to his brother, Agamemnon, leader of the largest army in the world. With 1,000 ships and 50,000 men, the Spartans set sail for Troy. Accompanying this force is Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever known. He fights, not for honor, not for power, but for glory. Achilles wants his name to be remember throughout history, and with his godlike fighting ability, he should have no trouble doing so. Achilles is portrayed by Brad Pitt, who does an excellent job of getting Achilles' character across. The warrior is egotistical, proud, and he lets his emotions govern his sword.

Protecting Troy is Paris' big brother, Hector. Eric Bana plays Prince Hector, who is honorable and noble. Peter O'Toole is excellent as Priam, father of Hector and Paris, and king of Troy. Helen is played by the smashing Diane Kruger, who has the looks and the acting ability to portray Helen very well. Brenden Gleeson is Menelaus and he is certainly good at yelling and being angry. Brian Cox plays Agamemnon and does a great job yelling and being angry. The part of Paris, the girly lover boy, is perfect for the feminine Orlando Bloom.

Again, the visual effects of Troy are just phenomenal. Realizing that not all of the stunts are blue screened, and not all of the sets are computer generated, is almost unbelievable. A full scale model of the city of Troy, and its gate was actually built. The massive Trojan horse was constructed full scale and rolled through the city. Eric Bana and Brad Pitt did not have stuntmen do their stunts, which is impressive, considering the muscle necessary to perform said stunts. The fighting scenes are magnificent and the editing is very well done.

Pitt does an overall good job as Achilles. Some scenes could have been better, some of the acting wasn't top-notch. However, in other parts of the movie, Achilles is played beautifully. Achilles is a prime example of a human being. He tries to be a glorious hero, someone people will remember. He is not particularly merciful, and he is not perfect. But he is vulnerable and Brad Pitt does a great job depicting this vulnerability.

"Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?"

This quote just about sums up the purpose of the movie.

Conclusion: See it if you don't mind violence and a few cheesy lines. Achilles' fighting scenes make up for the acting.

Rating: R for graphic violence and some sexuality/nudity

Interesting Trivia:
  • Brad Pitt and Eric Bana made an agreement that they would pay for every hit they accidentally made. The costs were $50 for a lighter blow and $100 for a hard blow. Pitt ended up paying $750 to Bana, who didn't have to pay Pitt anything.
  • A hurricane destroyed much of the Troy set and damaged Brad Pitt's house. Pitt was so tired from the filming the night before he slept through the hurricane.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Unmissables Vol. IV

Prepare yourself for movies 31 through 40 of the Unmissables List.

The Matrix
The world is under the control of robots called Machines. Humans are slaves of the Machines, living in virtual reality created by the Machines. A computer hacker named Neo finds out the truth of his existence and joins a group of rebels in order to fight back against the Machine's regime.
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Laurence Fishburne.

Fight Club
A lonely insomniac is living his miserable existence, when he meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden, and man with revolutionary ideas and a unique outlook on life. Together, they start a fight club, a way for men like them to vent their aggression. But something strange is at work and Tyler Durden may not be who he seems.
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter

Kill Bill Vol. I and II
When one woman breaks away from the group of assassins she belongs to, The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, to settle down with the child still in her womb, she is marked for death. The rest of the squad and their leader, Bill, massacre the entire wedding party, killing everyone. Or so they thought. The bride lives on, and she's out for revenge. One of Quentin Taratino's best works, Kill Bill is a tribute to the karate movies of old and the suspense builds to the climax, until there's only one person left to kill-Bill.
Uma Thurman

Star Wars, the original trilogy
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...lives Luke Skywalker, a young farmer boy who soon discovers he is one of the last remaining jedis. He must receive training from Jedi Masters, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Yoda, and he must face his nemesis- Darth Vader, the evil sith lord who wants to rule the galaxy- in order to fulfill his destiny and help the Rebel Alliance bring peace to the galaxy once more. On his adventures, Luke teams up with Han Solo, rugged pilot and scoundrel extraordinaire, and Princess Leia, leader of the resistance.
Mark Hammill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fischer

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
King Arthur sets off with the Knights of the Round Table to find the Holy Grail, the chalice that Christ drank out of during the Last Supper. They will face much danger, including a Black Knight who refuses to die, a killer rabbit, and some very unfriendly Frenchmen. Join King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table on this hilarious adventure of British humour.
John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin

Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Ferris Beuller is the guy everybody likes. But for once he's determined to have a day off from school. So he and his two friends skip school to have the time of their lives, despite the principal's threats and Beuller's sister's jealousy. Ferris Beuller's Day Off is a classic that no one should miss.
Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Jeffrey Jones.

Princess Bride
Once Upon a Time there lived a farm girl named Buttercup whose servant boy, Wesley, fell in love with her and she with him. But he was forced to leave her and in his absence, Prince Humperdink took Buttercup to be his fiance. Wesley must face all dangers to find her again and win her back from the cruel Prince Humperdink. But he'll need a little help from his friends. Funny, and gallantly sweet.
Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Andre the Giant and Robin Wright.

Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura, pet detective, is on the job, whether the case is missing dolphins or missing bats, no case is to small or too large for Ace Ventura. Jim Carrey at his best, no doubt about it, as Ace Ventura must face all odds to rescue those he loves-the animals.
Jim Carrey.

Four stories from four corners of the earth are mysteriously intertwined. Each story is told, each story is ordinary and epic. Ordinary lives, extraordinary people, inexplicable circumstances, the forces of chance and fate step in. In this large world we live in, if only we would listen more and try to understand the people around us. Babel is about this message.
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

Ever since he was hit over the head trying to save his wife as she was being raped and killed, Leonard has had one mission in life: to track down and kill the man who did it. The trouble is, Leonard is incapable of making new memories and everything he does he must remember by taking photos or making notes. It is impossible to tell who is good and who is evil in this twisting tale of revenge. You'll never see it coming.
Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss

Monday, May 7, 2007

Spider-Man 3

At last, after long anticipation, Spidey 3 finally made its appearance here in town on opening day. I arrived early with a group of friends and we were among the first to enter the theater. We were lucky. The line went down the block, apparently.

Warning: Spoilers may be ahead, read no further if you have not seen Spider-Man 3!

Sadly, after all the hype, after all the waiting, after all of the anticipation and guesswork, Spider-Man 3 just doesn't measure up. The movie is nearly three hours long, but the entire thing is crammed with way too much plot for just one movie. Sadly, this will mean yet another sequel. Most superhero movies focus on one, maybe two villains. This film takes on Peter's ego, Peter as Venom, Eddie Brock the evil photographer, Eddie Brock as Venom, Sandman (a completely pointless addition that adds nothing but more special effects), Harry as his father's sequel, M.J., and a conflicting love interest. All in all the sheer volume of storylines in this movie nearly rivals that of Pirates 2. And that's saying something.

Spider-Man 3 was predictable, and bordering on boring. There were pointless, unnecessary storylines like that of Sandman. He's a boring villain with nothing that sets him apart from other villains. He's your classic misunderstood, "I only became evil to help people" supervillain. For some reason, they also decided to throw in that oh, by the way *SPOILER!* He really killed Peter Parker's uncle, not the guy who's already dead. I mean, come on. Did we really have to go over all of this again? As if that's not enough, we have to waste a bunch more time having Peter dance around in the streets all emo.

There were far too many ridiculous scenes and silly "what the heck?" moments. Why does Peter's hair keep changing colors? Is there a reason for the eyeliner too? Why does Spider-Man save Bryce-Dallas Howard from the rampaging crane and then leave without having stopped the rampaging crane? Is the part with the waving flag really necessary?

This third Spidey movie will have to receive a sad, 2 1/2 stars out of five. Those stars are generous kudos to James Franco and the underlying story of the real Spidey- egotistical and a media whore. Interesting take. Also, Spidey does pull some pretty cool moves, and the special effects aren't half-bad.

Starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane, James Franco as Harry, Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom, and Bryce-Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, Peter's Conflicting Love Interest. (Which by the way is a sad step down from The Village and Lady in the Water.)

Spidey isn't exactly unmissable. More of Unavoidable.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Summer Blockbusters

No doubt about it, these are the summer's most anticipated films. Check it out for yourself:

Click on the titles to see the trailer.

- Spider-man 3. In the last installment of the Spider-man trilogy (there could be more but let's hope not), Peter Parker must battle his own demons, his ex-best friend, the real killer who murdered Peter's uncle, and an evil photographer. Starring Tobey Maguire as Spidey, Kirsten Dunst as M.J., and James Franco as Harry. I most look forward to: Franco's performance. IMDb

- Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Captain Jack is back from the dead, Elizabeth is torn between the two men she loves, and Will wants to marry Elizabeth. The East India Trading Company wants to exterminate pirates once and for all; and with the help of Davy Jones and a tentacled leviathan, they just might succeed. All the pirates of the world must band together under Jack Sparrow to fight back. Starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, and Chow Yung Fat. I most look forward to: Jack's return. IMDb

-Ocean's 13. Danny Ocean and his crew are back, but now they're adding another partner- their former enemy, Terry Benedict. This time the target is a casino owned by Willy Bank (What a name), and this time the odds are higher than ever. Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Al Pacino, and Ellen Barkin. I most look forward to: Matt and Brad. IMDb

-Live Free or Die Hard. Maybe you thought John McClane's adventures were over? Think again. McClane is back, Die Hard is modernized: he's got a sidekick and he's fighting terrorists. What more could you need? Starring Bruce Willis and Justin Long. I most look forward to: Willis' famous "Yippykayay" line. IMDb

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are back. This time, the battle might actually kill them. Harry will find out the truth about who he is, Voldemort will return, Draco will whine a lot, Dumbledore will kick some serious butt, and Hogwarts will be taken over by an evil frog-woman. Starring Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Ralph Fiennes. I most look forward to: Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. IMDb

-The Bourne Ultimatum. Jason Bourne is back. With no past and no identity, Bourne is a little pissed off. Everyone wants to kill him, his girlfriend has been murdered, and someone seriously messed with his life. He's out to find out the truth and he'll kill anyone who gets in his way. Starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, and Joan Allen. I most look forward to: Damon's performance. IMDb

Also: Transformers, Fantastic 4, Evan Almighty, Next, Vacancy

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Unmissables Vol. III

These are Unmissables numbers 21 through 30. Enjoy!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
When the earth is destroyed, one man embarks on a journey that will take him far beyond his wildest dreams, not to mention his galaxy. He meets the president of the universe, a
depressed robot, and the love of his life along the way. If you like and understand British
humor (ie. Monty Python), Hitchhiker's Guide is a must.
Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def, and Sam Rockwell
Don't Panic

Rat Race
Nine people are chosen at random to race across the country where two million dollars awaits the first to cross the finish line. Rat Race is hands down one of the funniest movies you will ever see as the incidents that occur along the way become more and more full of unbelievable hilarity.
John Cleese, Whoopie Goldburg, Seth Green, Rowan Atkinson, Amy Smart, Brekin Meyer, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Jon Lovitz
563 miles. 9 people. $2 million. 1001 problems!

The Sixth Sense
In M. Night Shyalmalan's masterpiece thriller, a psychologist must help a little boy, Cole, who believes he can see dead people. The ghosts don't know they're dead, but Cole must find out why they haunt him. Excellent, filled with suspense and intrigue.
Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, and Toni Collette
Not every gift is a blessing

At 41,000 feet, the two pilots and the navigator are dead, and the passengers are falling ill as well. It seems as though the only ones who can save the dayare an ex-pilot who hasn't flown since the war, a stewardess, and a wacky doctor. Despite its apparent seriousness, Airplane! is a
comedy that willleave you rolling on the floor laughing.
Robert Hays, Leslie Nielson, and Julie Hagerty
What's slower than a speeding bullet, and able to hit tall buildings at a single bound?

Blades of Glory
After being banned from Men's Singles Ice Skating for life, Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy must work together to be the first mens team in the history of Pairs Ice Skating. It won't be easy, since Chazz and Jimmy are polar opposites. This is Napolean Dynamite meets Talladega Nights. On ice.
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder
Kick some ice

The Persians are hell-bent on ruling all of Greece, only Sparta stands in their way of complete domination. King Leonides and only 300 faithful soldiers stand up to the Persian army, numbering more than one million. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, 300 is a gory, stunning, and stylized Unmissable.
Gerard Butler and Lena Heady
Prepare for glory

Sin City
In the city of sin, trouble is brewing. A serial killer is on the loose, the fragile peace between the prostitutes and the police is about to be broken, and the only heroes are the worst of criminals. Sin City is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel and is a stylized portrayal of true justice, honor, and loyalty.
Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Elijah Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Alexis Bledel, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, and Mickey Rourke
There is no justice without sin.

Sleepy Hollow
In the town of Sleepy Hollow, a monster has awoken: The Headless Horseman rides again, claiming the heads of those involved in a secret conspiracy. Inspector Ichabod Crane is sent to investigate, but he must uncover the truth before the Horseman comes for him. One the best Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations, full of thrills, chills, and plenty of morbid humor.
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Walken
Heads will roll.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
In the sleepy town of Endora, nothing much happens, especially for Gilbert Grape, who must care for his obese mother and handicapped brother after his father's death. When he meets Becky, everything changes and he begins to see that life can be beautiful.
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Juliette Lewis
Living in Endora is like dancing to no music.

Top Gun
Maverick is a student at Top Gun, the best flight school in the nation. He is determined to live down his father's reputation and make a name for himself as the best pilot in Top Gun history. But he won't get there without a little help from his friends.Dramatic and funny.
Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis
I feel the need, the need for speed.

Out of these last ten, I would especially recommend Sin City or Rat Race- completely opposite films, but superbly done. Second choices would be Sleepy Hollow and The Sixth Sense. (Or 300 if you're okay with gore.)

The Unmissables Vol. II

This is Vol. II, numbers 11-20, of the 100 movies you can't miss and must see.

The story of how a man became a legend and how the Scottish people fought back against tyranny.
Mel Gibson

Lord of the Rings, the Trilogy
Join Frodo, Aragorn, and their friends as they embark upon an epic adventure to fight for good and destroy evil forever. Based upon the beloved masterpiece by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortenson, Hugo Weaving, Liv Tyler, and Ian McKellen

A Beautiful Mind
A mathematician, possibly the most brilliant in the country, finds himself at odds with his own mind. Will he overcome, or will madness consume him?
Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly

Last Samurai
When American military captain Nathan Algren is recruited to train the Japanese army to fight against the uprising Samurai, he never could have dreamed that it was his destiny to become one of them.
Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe

Garden State
A young man returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral. He must come to terms with his father, whom he hasn't spoken to in ten years. When he meets a girl named Sam, he may just realize that life is worth the living.
Zach Braff and Natalie Portman

This heartwrenching tragedy is seen through the eyes of Jack and Rose, two passengers on the great oceanliner, Titanic. They find themselves madly in love with each other although their social status forbids such union. Will love triumph?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

When a woman and her daughter come to town to open a chocolate shop, the townspeople find that such sinful temptation will teach them about love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, and Johnny Depp

War of the Worlds
Aliens are attacking the earth, and it's one man's mission to keep he and his family both alive and together.
Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Justin Chatwin

Pay It Forward
A class assignment to better the world becomes a nation-wide movement. One boy decided to change someone's life for the better and instead of asking for a favor in return, he asked that the favor be passed forward.
Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Jim Caviezel

Ethan Hunt, a top spy for his agency, finds himself under suspicion of being a mole. Hunt must discover the true mole before it's too late- without his agency's help.
Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, and Jon Voight

Recommendations: Titanic, Braveheart, and A Beautiful Mind


Find out which films to absolutely skip and which you can't miss. THese are my opinions on current films and timeless classics