Showing posts from April, 2010

DVD Review: Peacock

At first glance, you wonder how a film like this went straight to DVD. With a stunning cast of Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon and Josh Lucas, how could you not find an audience in that. After viewing the film, I can sort of see why it wasn't a hit, but to not include it at any indie festivals? That's still a mystery to me. 'Peacock' is a town in Nebraska. John Skilpa (Cillian Murphy) has lived there his whole life. From the opening scene we find out that John has some *ahem* "mommy issues". He also dresses like a woman in his spare time. (John's wife "Emma") Not only does he dress like her, wig and all. He does the house hold chores as her, "she" writes John notes throughout the day and makes him breakfast at exactly 8:15am. John in real life is a nervous man, he hides candy and baseball cards under his front step so "Emma" won't see. When a train derails and ends up in his backyard while "Emma" is

Rainy Day Reviews: To Kill a Mockingbird

Everyone has their favorite thing to do on a rainy day. Currently, it's pouring here and work is slow. One thing I like to do on a rainy day is watch black and white movies. I really can't explain why, it just puts me in the mood for them I guess. I thought I'd review one of my favorite old films. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is based off of Harper Lee's best selling novel. It revolves the Finch family during the depression era. It's told through the eyes of 6 year old Scout. (Mary Badham) She's a tomboy that loves tagging along with her older brother Jem (Phillip Aford) and idolizes her father Atticus. (Gregory Peck) Atticus is a very smart, gentle man. He allows his children to call him by his first name, he teaches them lessons about life. He also happens to be appointed to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Atticus isn't racist, neither are his children. He knows he's got a tough job ahead of him and his children want to s

My Top 10 Films of 2009

Ok, so this is a little 4 months overdue. I was waiting to see 'An Education' just in case, and I'm glad I did because it made my list. **Spoiler Alert** You won't find 'Avatar' on here. 10) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince I'm bias. You all knew that. From an book adaptation point of view, this film was horribly adapted. I've come to except this from HP's terrible screen writer Steve Kloves. He's always going to suck at adapting Harry Potter. I won't get over it, but I'll look past it. If you ignore the fact that there was an extra scene added to the film that added nothing to the story (The Burrow getting attacked), the complete ruining of Harry and Ginny's kiss, the fact that they didn't show Dumbledore's funeral and that they totally F**ked the ending when Snape reveals that he is in fact the 'Half-Blood Prince'. (they explained it in the book, unlike the film. Instead Kloves wrote in some un-need un-cano

Review: An Education

Now I can officially say I saw all 10 of the Best Picture nominees at this years Oscars. It took me a lot longer than I wanted to get my hands on this film, but it was definitely worth the wait. 'An Education' is a coming-of-age story set in 1960's London. We meet a bored but smart teenager named Jenny. (Carey Mulligan) Jenny's parents want her to get into Oxford, and she's all for the idea as well. She studies nonstop, but for what? Jenny likes to listen to French music and read good literature. She's very worldly for her 16 year old self. One day while walking home from school she meets an older man David (Peter Sarsgaard) who loves all the same things Jenny does, and can take her to experience them. Surprisingly her parents are alright with this. David takes her to Paris, to fancy restaurants and night clubs. She meets his posh friends, and soon begins to learn a little more about her mysterious friend. I can see why everyone fell in love with Carey Mull

Review: Kick Ass

Why don't more people try to become super heroes? This is the question 'Kick Ass' is asking you. Why don't more ordinary people dress up as masked vigilantes and try to stop crime. One could argue that those real heroes are the military or the police force, but hey, being eccentric is never boring. Dave (Aaron Johnson) is your every day teenager. He's not a jock, nor a stoner. He's not a mathlete, nor a theater kid. He's just normal, as he puts it he's "non-existent". Like a lot of teenage boys, he struggles with the ladies. Particularly Katie. (Lyndsy Fonseca) After being mugged (again) he decides he's going to stop all this. He orders a scuba costume, dubs himself 'Kick Ass' and goes out to fight crime. His first encounter results in an ass kicking/hit and run. He begs the EMTs to throw aside his costume so his dad doesn't know. Instead his father assumes he's gay since he was found naked (lame joke if you ask me) He tr

Review: Death at a Funeral

You almost have to question a remake of a film that's only a few years old. After seeing the film I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, and it became very obvious why they remade it. They hit a totally different demographic, and still managed to stick close to the original yet still add it's individual twists. I saw the remake first, then watched the original. Aaron (Chris Rock) has just lost his father. All he wants to do is get through the day. He has a lot to deal with, his absent/immature younger brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence) his emotional mother (Loretta Devine) ovulating wife (Regina Hall)and crazy uncle Russell. (Danny Glover) Not to mention they deliver the wrong body in the coffin, his cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) has accidentally given her new boyfriend (James Marsden) an acid-laced pill that she mistakes for Valium and he is nervous about giving a eulogy when his critical family thinks Ryan (who is a famous author) should be the one to do it. There's plent

DVD Review: Brothers

'Brothers' centers around the Cahill family. Sam (Tobey Maguire) is about to be deployed to Afghanistan again. He has a family, wife Grace (Natalie Portman) and two young daughters he doesn't want to leave but understand he has to. His younger brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) has just gotten out of prison. Sam picks him up a few days before he is set to deploy and we get a quick look into the lives of these brothers. Their father Hank (Sam Sheppard) has always viewed Sam as "the hero" and Tommy as "the disappointment". He makes this very clear. Tommy is trying to adjust to live out of prison, but his family isn't making it easy. Soon, Sam goes missing in Afghanistan and is presumed dead. We the audience know that Sam has really been captured by Terrorists, his family thinks he died. Grace has a hard time dealing with it. She can barely get out of bed, she cries all the time. Soon Tommy tries to help out with everything from re-doing her kitchen to pla

Indie Gems: My Own Private Idaho

I've been on a Gus Van Sant kick lately. He's a great director, very artsy, very visual. He loves the "long shot". One of my favorite films by him is 'My Own Private Idaho'. Released in 1991, it stars then up-and-coming Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix. The film centers around two friends, Mike(Phoenix) and Scott. (Reeves) They are hustlers living in Portland, OR. Although they are friends they are in many ways total opposites. Mike is gay, quiet and obsessed with finding his long lost mother. Scott is obnoxious, and lives the life of a hustler simply to embarrass his prestigious parents. Mike is in love with Scott, Scott insists he just sells him self to gay men for money. They begin to search for Mike's mother, finding themselves in Portland, Idaho and even Italy on the way. The film is a character study and Van Sant really lets it show. He's got lots of shots focusing mainly on the actors and not at their surroundings. He really makes yo

The Other Guys Trailer

I'm seriously so excited for this. I hope it's as funny as I think it will be.

Random Ramblings: The Radio Flyer Conundrum

Recently, I was talking to someone about who I thought were the best child actors when I was also a child.  Two that really stood out to me were Elijah Wood and Joseph Mazello, and one film those two were in together was called Radio Flyer.  Then I was reminded about the uniqueness of this film. Instead of reviewing the film, I wanted to have an open discussion about the ending. It deals with a tough issue; child abuse. What I’ve noticed is the way that the film ends is interpreted many different ways, and the filmmakers never came forward to say what was right and wrong. I’m interested in hearing everyone’s opinions on it. How did you interpret the ending? Obviously spoiler alerts will follow.. For those of you who haven’t seen the film, the basic premise is this: Two young boys, Mikey (Wood) and Bobby (Mazello) move in with their single mother and her boyfriend, who refers to himself as ‘The King’. It doesn’t take long for The King to start physically abusing Bobby, and the

Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

You've got to love movies that have really pronounced titles. 'Snakes on a Plane', 'Volcano', 'Fighting', 'Alien vs Predator'. They get to the point. You can find out the plot of the film just by looking at the name. Well, hopefully you can..when I went to see 'Hot Tub Time Machine' I did overhear someone ask the girl at the box office what it was about. Yikes. Hot Tub Time Machine knows what it is. It's supposed to be stupid. They wanted to come up with one of the dumbest ideas ever and make it funny. They succeeded. What I actually admired most about the film was it actually tried to explain it's actions. It didn't have to, it could've just thrown them out there, but it's nice to see they put some thought into their story. Even though it's completely unbelievable, they still made it passable. 'Time Machine' follows 3 long time friends, and one of those friend's nephew. Adam (John Cusak) has recently split

Review: Clash of the Titans

An interesting debate has been brought up lately. Is 3D the best way to see a movie? Well in my opinion, no. It is not. This movie is a prime example of that. 3D is not for everyone, I say save it for the IMAX crowds who don't mind shelling out an extra $3.00 per ticket to get the "3D experience". Ever since 'Avatar' made a ton of money at the box office, more and more films are being converted to 3D. It worked for 'Avatar' because it was computer generated (and the only interesting aspect of the film). It works for stop motion films like 'Coraline' to show us that we can make beautiful visuals without CGI. It works for cartoons like recently released 'How to Train your Dragon'. Kids like the "jumping out at you" schtick. But why take live action films and try to ruin them with 3D? 'Clash of the Titans' was not originally intended to be in 3D, it was all done in post production. You can tell, 3D was absolutely pointless in