Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zola's Intermission Take 8 - My Solo Camping Trip

Hey everyone, it's not that I have not been watching any movies, I just have not had the extra time to post anything on line since the 5th. I am on vacation till the 24th and when I return you should see plenty from me.

I leave tomorrow, Sunday, for a 7 day stay over in the woods ALONE. Yep it would seem all of my camping friends have slowly passed away, just leaving me to enjoy the great outdoors by myself. It's going to be a big step for me to see how I handle the great out doors all by myself. I'm a pretty good camper and have everything I need but campionship always makes it a nicer trip.

I am taking a lap top with me so
A) I can watch some more movies - haha
B) I can stay in touch with the world thru mail.
C) I can write up so of the list of movies I have been trying to get written up (at least 250)
D) Defend myself against a wild animal.

I will return on Sept. 24th and I will be back in touch with more movie reviews and "Digging" your stories. Wish me luck while I have my mental brain floss.

Friday, September 5, 2008

City of Men (2007) R - 3½ Stars

This movie starts out all over the place. It doesn't really tell you from the beginning why these certain men became the 'king of the hill." At first, it was hard for me to keep track of the players and who was in charge. But the more the movie played, the more the characters take shape and really the only two that you bond with in the end are the two best friends who almost get killed while caught up in the chaos.

In, Rio de Janeiro's poverty part of town, people fight to keep what's theirs and take what doesn't belong to them. Two friends are growing up just trying to keep from getting robbed or shot and make a quick buck however they can. Laranjinha "Wallace" (Darlan Cunha) and Acerola "Ace" (Douglas Silva) have a tightly knit friendship. Laranijinha drives a motorbike for money while Ace is a new father though not doing a very good job of it. He almost looses his son when he takes him to the beach, just so he can be involved with the crowd from the hill.

But conflict arises when Madrugadão "Midnight" (Jonathan Haagensen), finds his hill has been taken over but his right hand man Nefasto "Fasto" (Eduardo BR Piranha). Now people must decide which side to join, and the two friends find themselves almost on opposite sides. Both young boys have just turned 18. Wallace is trying to locate his father to use his name for his new ID card. But after meeting his dad, he is forced to choose between his best friend and the man responsible for Ace's fathers death. Turmoil erupts on the hill as the two sides battle for the right to claim the top of Pool Hall Hill.

Miramax Films
Director: Paulo Morelli
Writer: Elena Soarez
Producers: Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Paulo Morelli, Fernando Meirelles
I viewed 8/08

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In the Shadow of the Moon (2007) PG - 3 Stars

There is a story to be told about even being able to watch this movie. First I have had it on my list at Blockbuster for over 5 months with it telling me "Very Long Wait." I walked into Blockbuster and found it on the shelf, rented it, came home and erased it from my online want list, and popped it in my DVD player. Wait what's this? It's a comedy special, not what I was waiting for as someone has returned the wrong DVD. The girl calls around to see if any store store has a copy, nope and they have only the one. Now I REALLY want to see this movie as it's been such in demand and out of reach. Well, my online subscription came through and whaa-laa, I get the movie. All I can say is how disappointed I was to finally see the flick after having so much trouble obtaining it. Hey Ron, you tried to make this documentary to much of a production and didn't spend enough time showing the footage we all wanted to see. I was bored with the dialog waiting to finally see some moon footage.

Perhaps, I should have seen this flick before I watched "For All Mankind." Maybe then it would have done something for me, but for all the trouble and time I went through to finally view it, it wasn't cracked up to what I thought it would be. If you want to see moon landing footage that really blows you away, see "For all Mankind" and don't waste your time trying to get a hold of a copy of this one. It's not a horrible documentary, I just recommend if you want to take that journey back to the moon, see the other one.

Director: David Sington
Producer: Duncan Copp
I viewed 8/08

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Happens in Vegas (2008) - PG13 - 3 Stars

Would this movie be known as a chick flick? Boy meets girl falls in love and gets married and lives happily ever after. Well, it's a cute movie and I love Cameron Diaz and getting used to seeing Ashton Kutcher in many films lately. But it's pretty much the same principles as most other love stories and even though it had some funny scenes, it's just your average rent. Dennis Miller makes a brief appearance as well as Queen Latifa.

Joy McNally (Cameron Diaz) is a Wall Street trader on the NYSE and has a loving fiance' Mason (Jason Sudeikis) whom she prepares a surprise birthday party for. But as her guests are hiding and she great Mason at the door, he dumps her in front of all their friends. Her best friend talks her into taking the tickets for Mason and going with her to Vegas.

Meanwhile, Jack Fuller (Ashton Kutcher) is a single guy living in Manhattan. He still works for his father though he goofs off so much at work, his father has fired him many times. His girlfriend comes over once a week and can't get a key to Jack's apartment as Jack is just not commitment boyfriend material. His best friend takes Jack to have a night of crazy fun in Vegas while he decides what to do next in his life.

The four arrive in Vegas separately but by a mistake are meet rudely when they are thrown into the same room together. After working out the problems, Jack convinces Joy to have one drink with him before deciding he's a dog. She agrees and the four take on the town and drink and oops what's this? Joy wakes the next morning in a large empty bed with a ring on. Now having her senses back she confronts Jack at a slot machine about having the marriage annulled. As she gives Jack her last quarter he slips in in a machine to win the 3 million jackpot. But hey, we're married now, what's mine is yours etc. Now the two must decide what's important in their lives the money or true happiness with themselves. Can they find both together?

20th Century Fox
Directors: Tom Vaughan, Julian Farino
Writer: Dana Fox
Producers: Michael Aguilar, Dean Georgaris, Jimmy Miller
I viewed 9/08

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

War Dance (2007) NR - 4 Stars

I really liked this movie about the Acholi Tribe of Uganda, struggling to stay alive, during the 20 years being victums of the Lord's Resistance Army. 90 percent of the tribe is living in refuge camps and of the 2 million children living here, many are orphans. One camp, Patongo is the most remote and vulnerable camp in the war zone and houses approx. 60,000 Acholi people along with armed military protection. This is the story of three brave children whom live in this camp but still manage to keep smiling as long as the music is alive inside of them.

Nancy, lived in the Kiteng Village and when the rebels came to visit her home and while the children watched, their mother and father were taken to the field where rebels killed and cut to pieces her dad. While her mother watched in horror, she was then forced to pick up her husband and bury him in parts. Rebels came back that night and took her mother away and Nancy was forced to be in charge of her three younger siblings. Later she would find her mother who was forced to work at another camp.

Dominic has lived in the war zone his entire life. His passion is playing the wooden Xylaphone and he is quit good at it. He was ubducted, along with nine other children while hiding from the rebels in a school. The rebels did horrible things to him in the woods he can still not talk about as they forced him, along with 39,000 other children to become child soldiers. Dominic bears the scar of being ordered by Rebels to kill two innocent farmers with their own hoes. He is haunting by the images of the "heads not moving but the legs still kicking."

Rose wants to go to Kapala for the competition in dance but since her parents are dead, she is forced to live with her aunt in camp nd do all the chores. She is extremly soft spoken with little self esteem. She remembers her mother forcing Rose to hide outside in the bushes denying she had and children. The rebels killed both her parents and placed their heads in the home's cooking pots and she is haunted by the fact that she hide in the bushes and did nothing to help them.

But these there children do still have something they can call their own and that is their Acholi culture and keeping it alive with music and dance. The music class in camp is determined to bring pride to their camp by winning the competition for best in dance. They travel 2 days over 200 miles to Kapala where they preform their traditional dance, the "Bwola." 8 catagories, 315 contestants and 3 days to cpomplete, the group does their Acholi people proud by winning the war dance catagory and Dominic won a new Xylaphone for his performance.

You can help their tribe by going to

Directors: Andrea Nix, Sean Fine
Producers: Susan MacLaury, Mark Urman, Daniel Katz, Stephen Nemeth, Albie Hecht, Erik Cleage, Kari Kim, Andrew Herwitz
Writers: Andrea Nix, Sean Fine
I viewed 8/08

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bowling For Columbine (2002) R - 3 Stars

I know, I know the movie is old and I should have seen it by now, BUT, I'm just getting to it. I've been getting into Michael Moore more and more (get it) and though I like his documentaries a lot, I didn't find this one as interesting as most I've seen. I get the idea of what he was trying to find out. What makes two American teens wake up one morning, go bowling and then go to school and kill 11 fellow students as well as themselves. Moore tries to show the comparisons of what makes Americans so violent versus the rest of the world. I did like his interview with the late, Charleston Heston. When put on the spot asking him why he would show up to these cities after a tragedy involving guns to protect guns is beyond me. Even Michael Moore grew up in Flint, Michigan and a member of the NRA but still doesn't understand that. I did find it quite fascinating to learn that here in America we have over 11,000 killings by gun each year and our numbers are so staggering compared to other parts of the world like Japan with only 11. Why do we want to kill each other? Teens, in other parts of the world, watch the same movies, play the same video games for fun and entertainment and some dress more extreme than the teens here in America. However, what they don't share with us Americans is the violence. And we still don't know the answer to that one.

The movie won many awards including:
2002 - Bowling For Columbine - Academy - Best Documentary Feature.

MGM Distribution
Director: Michael Moore
Writer: Michael Moore
Producers: Michael Moore, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Donovan
I viewed 8/08