Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ratatouille (2007) G - 4 Stars

A very cute fun film for the whole family. And even though I don't have children or grand children, I found the movie quit enjoyable even for an old fart like me.

Remy, (Patton Oswalt) a small city rat, with dreams of making it as a big time French chef. Unlike the rest of his family and friends, Remy prefers dinning on the finer foods that have great taste to them.

He's been reading an Anyone Can Cook Book, and has discovered many secret ingredients that aid in the flavor of food. Remy finds his way into the sewers of Paris, below chef Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett) restaurant. As Remy makes his way into the restaurant, a young chef Linguini (Lou Romano) is ordered to take him outside and dispose of him. Linguini can't do it and together they become friends and co-chefs of the restaurant. All of a sudden Linguini can cook and prepares award winning dishes that saves restaurant from closing and returns it it's number one status.

Awards include:
2007 - Ratatouille - American Film Institute - Best Picture.
2007 - Ratatouille - Austin Film Critics - Best Animated Feature.
2007 - Ratatouille - Boston Society of Film Critics - Best Screenplay.
2007 - Ratatouille - Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Animated Feature.

Buena Vista Pictures
Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
Writer: Brad Bird
Producer: Brad Lewis
I viewed 11/07

The Sandlot (1993) PG - 3½ Stars

Here's a cute coming of age story from the 1960's. Awww, the good old days and heck maybe I'm showing my age but life sure was much simpler then as shown in this story of kids and baseball. Finally a good old fashion fun for any age as we watch the boys get into a pickle.

It's 1962 and Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) is the new kid on the block, just moving to the neighborhood, but he's finding it hard to make new friends. His new stepfather Bill (Dennis Leary) promises to show Scotty had to play ball but never seems to find the time. Scotty only has a plastic glove from the dime store but still goes to the Sandlot daily to watch the other boys play. He's determined to join their game even though he has no idea how he's going to get there. Most of the kids make fun of him but Benny Rodriguez (Mike Vitar), takes him under his wing and shows him how it's done. He even gives him an extra glove, teaches him how to not think about catching the ball but just have fun. Scotty's now able to hit and catch like the other boys.

The kids get together at every given chance just to have a game and Scotty makes the ninth player to complete the team. Benny comes up to bat and nails one over the fence never to be seen again. It's gone into mean old Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones)'s junkyard and now is the property of his beast. Legend has it that the "beast" rips flesh from anyone who invades his territory. But the big problem is, the ball over the fence is Scotty's step dad's signed original ball from Babe Ruth. Who will have the courage to conquer the beast and get the ball?

20th Century Fox
Director: David Mickey Evans
Writers: Robert Gunter, David Mickey Evans
Producers: William S. Gilmore, Dale de la Torre
I viewed 4/08

Peaceful Warrior (2005) PG13 - 4 Stars

A great little movie based on the true story of Dan Millman a gymnast from Cal State who's leg was shattered in a motorcycle accident. Against all odds, he went on to compete with his team in 10 short months.

Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz) is a talented gymnast and one of the best on his competitive team. He has it all going on for him. He gets the good looking women with his good looking body, he gets straight A's, has enough money and he just so happens to be great in the sport and has a chance to go all the way to the Olympics. But his arrogance and his dreams are suddenly crushed one day when Dan is involved in an accident that shatters his leg.

The doctors tell him he will never be able to compete again and lucky if he can learn to walk on his own but he has major trouble accepting that. While on a walk, he sees a man, Socrates (Nick Nolte), on the roof of a gas station and the next second, he's behind him on the ground. He guides Dan on a journey of self discovery and trains and teaches him. "Throw out everything you don't need in here (your brain) and you'll be amazed at what you can do. Socrates teaches him there's no where to go but up.

Universal Pictures
Director: Victor Salva
Writers: Bob Dolman, Kevin Bernhardt, Anthony DiPietro
Producers: Mark Amin, Cami Winikoff, Robin Schorr
I viewed 11/07

The Reaping (2007) R - 3 Stars

Katherine Winter's (Hilary Swank), whole life was with the ministary. But after her husband and daughter are killed in Sudan through a sacraficial event, she stops believing in God. Now, a university professor and theology scholar, she believes more in studying facts rather than beliefs. She has traveled the world investigating all sorts of phenonomin like bleeding palms and weeping statues.

After the town of Haven, Louisiana has been swarmed on by locust and seen their rivers turn blood red, they believe a revisiting of the Biblical ten plagues has been thrust upon them. They also believe that a child Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb) is the work of the devil and most want to destroy the girl in order to bring peace back to the town. However Katherine's tries to save the young "choosen" girl as she can be the one to defeat Satan's work.

Warner Bros Pictures
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Writers: Jacob Aaron Estes, Carey Hayes, Christopher Markus
Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Herbert W. Gains, Susan Levin
I viewed 11/07

Captivity (2007) R - 2½ Stars

This movie had the potential, maybe, of being better. I sort of liked the end result of the plot but it just didn't have it going on. It also has a lot of gross parts which don't turn me on.

A psycho stalks and captures model Jennifer Tree (Elisha Cuthbert), but instead of killing her, he physically and emotionally tortures her. As she's beginning to think there's no way out, she hears someone in the room next to her. It ends up being a man Gary (Daniel Gillies) who seems to be in the same predicament as she is. When the two are able to communicate, and eventually put together, she no longer feels so alone. Little does she know he is in on the game.

Freestyle Releasing, After Dark Films
Director: Roland Joffé
Writers: Larry Cohen, Joseph Tura
Producers: Mark Damon, Gary Mehlman, Sergei Konov
I viewed 11/07

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) R - 4 Stars

I didn't even hear of this movie when it came out but I'm glad I rented it. The acting is strong and the story line chilling. I guess I sort of get off on that dysfunctional family type thing but from their appearance, this family didn't seem to look like one. But soon we see what hardship and desperation can force people to do. The film takes you back and forth in time and it's not the kind of movie you can easily take a potty break watching unless you hit pause.

Andy Hanson (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a successful brooker. He's married to his beautiful wife Gina (Marisa Tomei) they live in a nice home but Andy can't keep up his appearance anymore. He needs to support his hidden drug problem and he's finding it hard to make ends meet.

Hank is Andy's younger brother and even though divorced, still spends as much time with his daughter as he can. He's behind on child support payments, his ex is a bitch and he's over extended on just about everything else in his life. When he can't afford to pay for his daughter's sleepover, she calls him a loser. Hank is also secretly sleeping with his brothers wife every Thursday.

When Andy approaches Hank with a plan to rob their parents jewelry store, Hank is very hesitant but when Andy reassures him their parents are insured, no one will get hurt, and they can both finally stop worrying about money problems, Hank agrees to do it.

But Hank can't hold up to his part of the plan and brings in an outsider. Things go terribly wrong and it just get worse from there. When their father Charles (Albert Finney), is determined to make whoever did this pay, he finds his loved ones are involved.

Awards include:

2007 - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - New York Film Critics Online - Best Ensemble Acting
2007 - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - American Film Institute - Best Picture.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Writers: Sidney Lumet, Austin Chick, Kelly Masterson
Producers: Brian Barclay, Michael Cerenzie, Paul Parmar
I viewed 4/08

Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch (2005) R - 2½ Stars

Actually when I was about 8, 1964, right after my family and I had dinner in Weott, Ca. their were rumors that Big Foot was sited there. That's been one of those things that has always stuck with me. Ancient Indians told the story of the "Yeti" in these parts of the woods. Today is no different surrounding this city of Pine Creek in the Pacific Northwest, with their legend of the Sasquatch, "Big Foot".

After a group of local hunters were all brutally killed by a hairy creature in the woods, the incident would come to be known as, the Echo Mountain Massacre. Pine Creek has been put back on the map with these latest sightings of the creature. Now a bunch of thrill seeking high school students trying to document the slaughter of gun toting hunters try to get revenge on the beasts will all be fighting for their lives. But could the below picture really be scary? I guess camping in a tent in the middle of the woods, okay maybe.

Diversa Films
Director: Karl Kozak
Writers: Don Rearden, Karl Kozak
I viewed 9/07

Once Were Warriors (1994) R - 4 Stars

If you liked the passion in the Maori culture, you'll like this movie. I've actually seen it twice now and I think it's a great movie. Definitely a depressing movie but great acting. When the movie first opened in New Zeland, it caused an uproar as many viewed the movie as an accurate depiction of what was occurring in low socio-economic neighborhoods there. The movie also caused an increase in popularity of Kirituhi (skin art) and Maori tattooing.

Jake (Temurea Morrison) and Beth Heke (Rena Owen) have been married for 18 years and have been living with their children in somewhat poverty. Jake can't seem to hold a job because of his drinking. When Jake is sober, he is a very sweet guy but as soon as he gets together (which is almost every night) with his friends to drink at his home, the fireworks start. Beth always stands by her man but life is becoming more difficult when Jakes anger turns to domestic violence. Now his friends are making advances on his daughter Grace (Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell), and Nig (Julian Arahanga), the oldest son has marked his body in the old Maori way and hits the street as a bad ass. Boogie (Taungaroa Emile) looking for attention ends up in juvenile hall. Each member of the family will succumb to a chain reaction of unfortunate events.

Fine Line Features
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writer: Riwia Brown
Producer: Robin Scholes
I viewed 9/07

Antibodies (2005) NR - 4 Stars

I really liked this movie as it's one of those mind games I love so much. In German with subtitles, it's a story of a serial killer who's driving a cop insane by turning the good inside of him to evil.

Gabriel Engel (André Hennicke) is one of the most gruesome serial killers that's ever been dealt with. When he is finally brought to justice, Michael Martens (Wotan Wilke Moehring), is the cop that will be interviewing him. Engel has confessed to 13 murders but there is one more unsolved case that has his signature on it. Engel says he knows who the murderer is but will only to talk to Michael under certain conditions. Sort of mind games if you will that eventually are working their way deep into Michael's psyche. When Engel makes it personal, Michael's mental stability is put to the test.

Dark Sky Films
Director: Christian Alvart
Writer: Christian Alvart
Producers: Boris Schoenfelder, Rainer Kolmel, Boris Schonfelder
I viewed 11/07

The Heartbreak Kid (2007) R - 3½ Stars

Eddie Cantrow (Ben Stiller) is constantly reminded he is single. From his father, his best friend Mac (Rob Corddry) and even made to sit at the "singles" table full of children at a wedding, he's beginning to feel that maybe it's time he found that special someone.

Eddie meets Lila (Malin Akerman) who seems like just perfect. After six weeks of dating, Eddie implusively proposes so Lila doesn't have to relocate with her job. Now married, Lila's annoying habits begin to surface as they drive down to Cabo San Lucas for their honeymoon.

The little sing-a-longs and talking about her past are really getting to him and he is wondering if he made the right choice. Once in Cabo things that should be making him happy are making him feel trapped and goes out for some air. It's there he meets Miranda (Michelle Monaghan).

Miranda is on a family reunion vacation and the two hit it off and he's thinking he's just met the girl of his dreams. Little does Miranda know, Eddie is on his 1st day of his honeymoon. They start to spend a lot of time with each other even meeting her family but what does he do with the Mrs.?

Paramount Pictures
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writers: Peter Farrelly, Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon
Producers: Ted Field, Bradley Thomas
I viewed 1/08

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bobby Z (2006) R - 3½ Stars

A guy in prison for life, needs to pretend he's a dead guy to make a deal and get out of jail. This is a pretty good movie. He's going to be used as a trade to the bad guys and he needs to pull it off completely in order to keep himself alive.

Tim Kearney (Paul Walker) is an ex Marine who's convicted to life in prison. He strikes a deal with DEA agent Gruzsa (Laurence Fishburne) to take on the role of a drug lord Bobby Z. A hostage, the DEA wants, will be traded for him. But the cops haven't told him the whole story.

Now can he convince Bobby Z's ex-girlfriend Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde) and son that he is who he says he is? When the drug dealers show up to settle old debts, the shooting begins and Bobby finds himself in the battle of his life.

Sony Pictures
Director: John Herzfeld
Writers: Allen Lawrence, Bob Krakower
Producers:Brandon Birtell, Matt Luber, Peter Schlessel
I viewed 9/07

Oldboy (2004) R - 3 Stars

I don't know what it is about Korean subtitled movies they seem to be my favorite of the subtitles. Yes it's always a challenge to watch any subtitled movie for me, but the action is good and usually not something you have to read on the screen

Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is a normal family and business man in Seoul, Korea. One night after he was out drinking, he wakes up in a private jail like cell. For 15 years, no one tells him why he's there nor does he remember. In his fairly comfortable room, there is a television set. The only way he can tell what's going on in the outside world. He works out every morning to try and stay fit and aware.

As he is watching the television he hears reports that his wife has been murdered and he is the one being blamed as his blood was found at the scene of the crime. Dae-su realizes when he knocked out one night by gas, blood was taken from him to use just for this scenario. He uses a pair of chopsticks and begins the pain sacking task of digging out of his prison. He is determined to get out and find this enemy that has imprisoned and framed him.

Then without warning, he finds himself released on a roof top full of grass. He is given a large sum of cash and a cell phone but a homeless man on the street. He hooks up with an old friend Mido (Gang Hye-jeong) but he feels he can't even trust her anymore. After more clues, he meets a smooth talking man that tells him he has 5 days to discover who this enemy is and he will kill himself or if he can't, he will kill Mido. There is a gross part at the end.

2004 - Oldeuboi - Cannes Film Festival - Grand Prix.
2003 - Oldeuboi - Blue Dragon Film Awards - Best Actor.

Tartan Films
Director: Park Chan-wook
Writers: Park Chan-wook, Hwang Jo-yun, Lim Jun-hyeong
Producer: Kim Dong-ju
I viewed 10/06

Redemption (2003) R - 3 Stars

Based on a true story of the Crips gang founder "Tookie" Williams though a lot of liberties are taken with the facts in this movie. and Jamie Foxx is really good playing the lead role.

Stan "Tookie" Williams (Jamie Foxx), at the age of 17, co-founded the infamous Crips street gang and by 1971 the Crips became one of the most powerful gangs in the country. In 1987, Tookie was sentenced to death row in San Quentin prison. From the prison walls, Tookie wrote children's books teaching them how to love each other and stay out of gangs. He received three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is his story....

FX Movie
Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Writer: J.T. Allen
Producers: Sue Bugden, Eva Garofalo
I viewed 1/08

Testament (1983) PG - 3½ Stars

I bet when this movie first came out, it was probably pretty scary to most people watching it. This movie is set in one tiny neighborhood that deals with the emotional wake-up call of post nuclear fallout.

The Wetherly's are a happy family of five living in the small town of Hamlin, California. Dad, Tom (William Devane), has to go away for work out of town for the evening. His wife Carol (Jane Alexander) is home with the children. Mary Liz (Roxana Zal) is the star pianist of the family, Brad (Ross Harris) trying his best to follow in dads footsteps, and the youngest Scottie (Lukas Haas) who wants to be a rat in the school's upcoming play. The television broadcast is interrupted with a news special that nuclear bombs have been detonated all over the East Coast. A few minutes later, the sky lights up with a blinding white light and Carol huddles the children to the floor warning not to look at the light.

A calm panic fills the town as the neighbors meet at one house to discuss what they do next. Carol makes time to keep a journal to occupy her mind while she waits for word on her husband. The town is cut off from the outside world and must do their best to stay calm and alive. But as the days become weeks and the weeks become months, the radiation fallout is claiming its victims in large numbers. Eventually they must adjust to face the inevitable.

Paramount Pictures
Director: Lynne Littman
Writer: John Sacret Young
Producer: Jonathan Bernstein, Lynne Littman
I viewed 4/08

You Can Count On Me (2000) R - 2½ Stars

Sammy (Laura Linney) and Terry Prescott (Mark Ruffalo) lost their parents in a car crash at a very young age. After growing up in an orphanage both siblings have remained close even thought their lives have taken different paths.

Sammy at a young age, has already been married and divorced. Now a single mom living in Upstate New York, she's very overprotective of her son Rudy (Rory Culkin). Sammy works for a difficult boss Brian (Matthew Broderick) whom allows to get under her skin but she's making do in life.

When her self destructive brother Terry leaves his pregnant girlfriend, and comes asking for money, she soon finds the priorities in her life changing. She allows his to stay while he cleans up his own life. But soon she is doubting her decision and wondering if Terry is a bad influence. The two siblings struggle as Terry brings Sammy out of her shell as she helps him with a new take on life.

Awards include:

2000 - You Can Count On Me - American Film Institute - AFI's Top 10 Films of the Year
2000 - You Can Count On Me - Independent Spirit Awards - Best Screenplay
2000 - You Can Count On Me - Independent Spirit Awards - Best First Feature

Paramount Vantage
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Producers: Jeff Sharp, Larry Meistrich, John Hart
I viewed 1/08

Zoom (2006) PG - 2 Stars

Don't get me wrong, I love Tim Allen and have since I saw him as a stand up way before "Tool Time" came around. But I don't have kids and I think this movie would be much better appreciated by them.

Jack Shepard (Tim Allen) is a former superhero that has been called in to find the next super team of kids. Marsha Holloway (Courteney Cox Arquette) is his lab assistant along with the help or Dr. Grant (Chevy Chase) find the perfect dream team of super hero kids.

Sony Pictures
Director: Peter Hewitt
Writers: Adam Rifkin, Tim Allen, Matthew Carroll
Producers: Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Todd Garner
I viewed 1/08

Sunday, April 27, 2008

He Was a Quiet Man (2006) NR - 3½ Stars

I've never seen Chirstian Slater take on this type of a role before but he's great in it. Bob Maconel (Christian Slater) works for a real asshole boss. His picked on and made fun for some of his quirky ways, though most employees have never heard of him. There is one girl in the office, Vanessa (Elisha Cuthbert), who makes his day every morning with her wonderful smile but other than her, he'd like to see everyone else dead.

He's really loosing it at home as he speaks with his goldfish, who answers him back. That little evil fish inside of him keeps driving him to pull off, what he's till now only imagined, killing his bosses at work. The next morning he takes a gun to work and as he's ready to do it, he drops a bullet and some other asshole in the company, beats him to his plan. Bob pulls out his gun and kills the man but not until after he has taken quit a few people out. Bob's the hero of the day for stopping the bad guy.

Now Bob has a new set of problems. Vanessa wants to die. She could be paralized for the rest of her life and wants him to help end her life. Bob's heorism causes him to be even more unsettled until he comes apart at the seams.

Quiet Man Productions
Director: Frank Cappello
Writer: Frank Cappello
Producers: Michael Leahy, Frank Cappello
I viewed 1/08

Delta Farce (2007) PG13 - 2½ Stars

Larry (Larry the Cable Guy), Bill Little (Bill Engvall)and Everett Shackle (D.J. Qualls) get together to help Larry forget the fact he's just lost his job and his girlfriend. They go out weekend warriors drinking and target practicing and are mistaken for the Army Reservists by a loud talking Sergeant Kilgrove (Keith David).

The next thing they know, they're in a helicopter headed for Fallujah, Iraq. When the weather turns bad, the pilots start lightening their load and eject a Humvee that the men had fell asleep in. The men awaken thinking they are in the desert of Iraq not knowing they've been unloaded in Mexico. The men sort of free a town from the ruthless warlord Carlos Santana (Danny Trejo).

The movie has a few funny scenes if you are into Larry the Cable Guy, you'll probably get more out of it.

Lions Gate Films
Director: C.B. Harding
Writers: Thomas F.X. Sullivan, Bear Aderhold
Producers: Alan C. Blomquist, J.P. Williams
I viewed 9/07

Perfect Stranger (2007) R - 4 Stars

I really like this movie and add Halle Berry to my list of top actors. I don't think I've seen one movie she wasn't good in and this movie is no exception. The movie takes a lot of dynamic twist towards the end that I don't want to give too many details away.

Rowena Price (Halle Berry) is an investigative reporter trying to catch corrupt individuals and their wrong doings. Her childhood friend Grace (Nicki Aycox) comes to her with a story of Harrison Hill (Bruce Wills) a top ad executive with his own ad agency, whom Grace has been having an affair with and now is being blackmailed. Before Rowena has a chance to get to the story, Grace is found murdered.

Rowena vows to bring this killer to justice. Harrison is a big wig who feels he is above the law and Rowena must find a way to take him down. With the help of her loyal friend Miles (Giovanni Ribisi), she goes undercover posing as a temp employee, Katherine, and gets a job at Harrison's agency. She also goes on-line posing as a girl named Veronica, to flirt with Harrison and find out where his limits are. She'll stop at nothing to avenge Grace's death and take this play boy down. Through a twisted maze of blackmail and mind boggling turns, Rowena and Harrison test each others limits.

Sony Pictures
Director: James Foley
Writers: Todd Komarnicki, Frank Rinzulli, John Bokenkamp
Producer: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
I viewed 9/07

Collapse (2007) NR - 1 Star

Boy this is a real stinker of a movie. Written, directed and produced by Javier Babera - Javier, keep your day job. Man the acting in this movie is just about as bad as it can possibly get. Especially with the head dude calling all the shots. Basically John's dad is murdered and leaves a lot of money behind to his son. The girlfriend is suppose to get into his life but instead takes matters into her own hands and kills him. She buries him outside in the yard but he escapes and now he's massively pissed off and every one's going to pay. Yawn.

This movie is so bad, I can't even find a picture to go with it.

Barbera Productions
Director: Javier Barbera
Writer: Javier Barbera
Producer: Javier Barbera
I viewed 9/07

The City of Violence (2006) NR - 2 Stars

I didn't care as much for this Korean subtitled movie as I normally like them. However, if you're a big martial arts fan, I think you'll enjoy the action in this movie. Jeong Tae-su (Jeong Du-hong) used to be a real punk in the old days before becoming a detective. When he travels back to his home town for a funeral of one of his buddies, Wang-jae (Ahn Gil-gang), he suspects foul play. He meets up with the other gang member punks that he used to hang with.
Sukhwhan (Ryoo Seok-hwan), Jang Pil-ho (Lee Beom-su) , and Dong-hwan all catch up on their tiny empires that some have made for themselves. They end up killing each other off and only one survives.

RK Production
Directors: Ryu Seung-wan, Ryoo Seung-wan
Writers: Lee Won-Jae, Lee Weon-jae, Ryu Seung-wan
Producers: Jung Doo-hong, Kim Jeong-min, Jeong Du-hong
I viewed 9/07

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) PG - 3½ Stars

In this episode, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are heroes saving the galaxy from the clone invasion in episode II. Anakin has been away from his now secret wife, Padame (Natalie Portman) and in this, the last of the series, she will give birth to Luke and Laura. Anakin has visions that she will die giving birth. When the mission is to free Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from the Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), Palpatine plants seeds of doubt in Anakin's mind about the strength of the Jedis. Anakin is determined to do what ever it takes to ensure his wife safety during the births. Anakin and Obi-Wan will battle it out as Anakin turns to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader.

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Producer: Rick McCallum
I viewed 9/07

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) PG - 3½ Stars

It's ten years later after episode I and now Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) age 20, is the apprentice to Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). This young Jedi is arrogant, and stubborn and causes great concern to Obi-Wan. Anakin and Obi-Wan are ordered to protect Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the former queen of the planet Naboo. She now represents her people in the Galactic Senate. Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is building a military presence to safeguard her.

Meanwhile Obi-Wan travels to the planet of Kamino and the asteroid planet of Geonosis. His mission is following a bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his son, Boba (Daniel Logan), who are up to no good. The two are involved in creating a massive army of clones. This episode is filled with battle scenes and also introduce Yoda (Frank Oz).

Anakin and Padme will fall in love and Anakin will be faced to make some hard choices that will impact his own fate and the destiny of the Republic.

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Director: George Lucas
Writers: George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
Producer: Rick McCallum
I viewed 9/07

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) PG - 4 Stars

The Phantom Menace starts a new series to explain what happened before the original Star Wars began and Luke Skywalker was born. It tells the story of a young Anakin to eventually become "Darth Vader" and the way he was trained to show of how he came to be. He will father Luke Skywalker in another episode. It also shows the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice training with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). The Trade Federation is cutting off routes to the quiet planet of Naboo. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are sent to the planet to meet with Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). It is there they meet Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) a young 9 year old slave and they think is a prodigy child and they train him to be a Jedi Knight. It is also in this episode, we meet a Gungan named Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best).

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Producer: Rick McCallum
I viewed 9/07

Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) PG - 5 Stars

I decided to go on a little Star Wars journey so I could stay "up" on where Luke and his gang go from here. Over a week, I watched 4 of these movies sine they are all suppose to tie in and complete the story.

When this original Star Wars first came out in 1977, there was nothing like it on the movie scene. I think that's what made it such a great movie too. Special effects unlike movies had known before, which gave you the feeling of time travel and fighting "evil" for the sake of "good". Of course, the original seems to always be the best and in this case, it's no exception with timeless remarks like "May the force be with you . It could also be, the older I get (and living reality) perhaps the less impressed with the story line I've become. I did also liked The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) and I'm just not sure what sort of time frame they fit into the trilogy. Each movie can be watched on it's own and still be enjoyable.

A long time ago, in a galaxy, far far away, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) the rebel leader of her planet is being held by the evil Empire and its enforcer Darth Vader (David Prowse). Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), along with the droids C3PO and R2D2 are sent on a mission to rescue her. We are introduced to the great characters that have surpassed time also including Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness).

Princess Leia sends a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi asking for help. When Ben rescues Luke from the sand people, he tells him his father was a great Jedi. He also explains "the force" to him and how it captures and surrounds everyone. He tells how he must help free Princess Leia and follow in the footsteps of his father becoming the next great Jeti warrior.

Awards include:

1977 - Star Wars - Los Angeles Film Critics Association - Best Music Score
1977 - Star Wars - Los Angeles Film Critics Association - Best Picture
1998 - Star Wars - American Film Institute - 100 Greatest American Movies

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Director: George Lucas
Writers: Ben Burtt, George Lucas
Producer: Gary Kurtz
I watched 9/07

Murderous Intent (2006) NR - 2½ Stars

This movie was also marketing with the title "Like Minds". Alex (Eddie Redmayne) is a smart 16 year old living in an upscale elite private school for boys where his dad (Patrick Malahide) is headmaster. But he lets another boy gets inside his head and a murder take place.

Alex has always had his own room in this school until, Nigel (Eddie Sturridge) becomes his roommate. Nigel is a strange sort of boy. His hobby includes practicing taxidermy at night and leavings spare dissected parts in jars on shelves and he draws their bodies in his journal. He's the kind of boy that gives you the creeps. Nigel believes Alex is his partner in crime based on mysterious historical texts of the "Knights Templar". Alex feels that Nigel has somehow been able to enter his mind. But when Nigel is found dead from a gun wound down by the train station, Alex is charged with his murder.

Sally Rowe (Toni Collette) is a psychologist who interviews Alex. Sally doesn't really believe the boy has committed the crime but it's hard to tell if he has gotten to her too.

Darclight Films
Director: Gregory Read
Writer: Gregory Read
Producers: Jonathan Shteinman, Carol Hughes, Piers Tempest
I viewed 10/07