Monday, June 30, 2008

Transformers (2007) PG13 - 4 Stars

Great special effects and animation in this one. You'll almost believe they exist. Alien creatures robots come to take over the Earth and gain the power cube hidden away inside of the Hoover Dam.

The Autobots and the Decepticons are two races of robots from the planet Cybertron. These robots are able to transform into a variety of objects like cars, planes, etc.. Hundreds of years ago, the Autobots robots smuggled the Allspark, to a place on earth where it could be out of reach from the Decepticons. The Allspark, a powerful cube that has the capability of great powers, was hidden just beneath the surface where the Hoover Damn was formed. These Decepticons robots have come to earth to find the cube and the Autobots have come to stop them from finding it first.

2007 - Transformers - Las Vegas Film Critics Association - Best Visual Effects

Paramount Pictures
Director: Michael Bay
Writers: John Rogers, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Producers: Tom Desanto, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Thomas DeSanto
I viewed 11/07

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bridge to Terabithia (2007) PG - 3½ Stars

Hard to make me cry in a movie but this was a real terk jerker at the end showing the wonderfulness of a child's imagination and how important friends are.

Jess Aarons (Josh Hutcherson), 10 and Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb) also 10, go to the same school together. Jess tries to avoid Leslie but she offers a piece of gum on the bus ride home, he accepts and eventually the two become good friends. Both of them have trouble with bullies at school and they wonder into the woods. swinging across ropes and eventually end up in an abandoned tree house. The two fantasize about characters they have to battle with at at school create a new world in the woods called Terabithia. It is here the two can imagine anything they want and plot revenge against the kids back in school.

Jess shares his love of drawing with Leslie and she decides to surprise him with a birthday present of art supplies to aid him in his drawing. Jess is so taken by the gift he repays her with a gift of his own, a dog they name Prince Terrien. The children and Prince Terrien play in this imaginary world quite often.

But one day, Ms. Edmunds (Zooey Deschanel), Jess's school teacher, invites him to a field trip to an art museum. Secretly, Jess has a crush on his teacher and wants to attend the trip. He asks his mother Nancy's (Kate Butler) permission but she is half asleep and though she doesn't verbally agree, he takes it as a yes. He doesn't want Leslie to know he is going on the trip and avoids telling Leslie about it. But he feels guilty as the bus drives by her house on the way to the outing.

Meanwhile, Leslie goes to their secret area alone. The waters in the creek have grown more rapid and higher and as she swings across the rope, it snaps sending Leslie into the river where she is carried down stream to her death. When Jess returns from his day trip, his father Jack (Robert Patrick) and mother are in a panic as they have no idea where Jess has been all day. When they hear Leslie has drowned, they fear Jess was with her.

Jess is grief stricken especially when he and his family visit Leslie's family to pay their respect. He thinks that if he would not have gone to the museum, or better yet, invited Leslie to go along, she would still be alive today. Jess must find a way to deal with his grief and even though his sister has never been allowed to cross the river, he now invites May Belle Aarons (Bailee Madison), to become a new ruler of the land. This time they have constructed a bridge to go across the river to Terabithia and the this new King and Princess shall rule over the land and live happily ever after.

Buena Vista Pictures
Director: Gabor Csupo
Writers: David L. Paterson, Jeff Stockwell
Producers: Hal Lieberman, David L. Paterson, Lauren Levine
I viewed 7/07

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Mighty Heart (2007) R - 3 Stars

Based on the true story of Daniel Pearl, a reporter and Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and his abduction with eventual death while in Pakistan with his pregnant wife on January 23, 2002. Mariane Pearl wrote A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl, which is where the movie is based. While I felt the movie was emotional and moving showing the frustration she and the rest of America went through with their efforts to try and find Daniel before it was too late, I sometimes found it hard to follow and wished more things were explained better. Maybe that's as good as it got for the Pearls. Danny's body was discovered in 10 separate pieces - a true act of terrorism.

Daniel "Danny" (Dan Futterman) and Mariane Pearl (Angelina Jolie) are a very happily married couple temporarily living in Pakistan while Danny is on the job reporting. The couple is due to leave Pakistan and fly back to the U.S. as soon as he finishes one last interview he's been working on for the Journal. Danny tells his wife that he'll be late for dinner but that is the last time she will ever hear from him.

Paramount Vantage
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writers: Michael Winterbottom, Laurence Coriat, John Orloff
Producers: Arti Gupta Surendranath, Dede Gardner, Brad Pitt
I viewed 11/07

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jumper (2008) PG13 - 3½ Stars

The movie has some good special effects like leaving Samuel stranded in a cave on the side of the cliff, eating lunch on top of the pyramids, driving a car literally through traffic, etc. Hayden Christensen is good and of course Samuel L. Jackson plays his mean bad ass self and Jamie Bell plays the role of a jumper perfectly. It's a good rental and worthy of seeing but plot gets a bit annoying and didn't have me jumping for joy.

David (Hayden Christensen), is sort of the outcast in high school. He likes a girl named Millie (Rachel Bilson), and has found her a snow globe with the Pairs Eiffel Tower in it as he knows how found her dreams are of once traveling to Europe and seeing everything. But a bully at school makes fun of him and throws the globe onto thin ice. David is caught in an under current below the ice, resurfacing soaking wet, in the school library. While everyone thinks David has died, he has quickly discovered he has a power to teleport from any area to another but just implanting the image in his mind.

Five years later, David has learned that he is a "jumper" and can keep an awesome lifestyle funded by teleporting in and out of vaults of bank. He is also able to see the world by teleporting anywhere in it, like picking up a hottie in London and back for dinner in N.Y. that night. What David doesn't realise is that are another group of teleporters who deem it their goal in life to put and end to "jumpers." One such is Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) who's life long mission is to find these "jumpers" and kill them all.

When David comes back into Millie's life and offers her a trip to Rome, she "jumps" on it and though the two use normal methods of transportation to get there, their lives won't be the same after their journey. It seems a fellow "jumper" named Griffin (Jamie Bell), has been following David for many years. He knows Roland is after David as well as himself and the two somewhat join to put an end to Roland.

20th Century Fox Distribution
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Jim Uhls, David S. Goyer
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Arnon Milchan, Lucas Foster
I viewed 6/08

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Next (2007) PG13 - 3 Stars

I love Nicholas Cage but this is not one of the greatest movies for him. Cage can see 2 minutes into the future. He's able to save his new girl friends life cause he knows how she dies.

When Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) was just a boy, he was used in a series of cruel scientific tests for the government and medical doctors. He has the ability to see 2 minutes into the future and all sorts of scientists have haunted him through his youth. Now trying to live a normal life, Cris has changed his name, moved to Las Vegas and has an act on stage as a low budget magician. He can usually win a few hands of black jack too.

Cris is content with his life now until he foresees a vision of terrorists threatening Los Angeles with a nuclear bomb. Even though Cris thinks he's hidden his past life pretty well, FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) finds him and convinces him to use his vision to help prevent or at least save millions of people from dying.

Sony Pictures
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writers: Jonathan Hensleigh, Paul Bernbaum, Gary Goldman
Producers: Norm Golightly, Todd Garner, Nicolas Cage
I viewed 11/07

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flakes (2007) NR - 3½ Stars

I thought the concept of this movie was really cute and I am actually surprised someone doesn't have a store like this already. I've always loved the character "Jim" when Christopher Lloyd played in the old series Taxi, so it was nice to see him back on the screen again.

Willie (Christopher Lloyd) an old hippie from the sixties, owns and runs a New Orleans cereal bar. His clients consist of artist, old timers and druggies who need their fix of cereal each morning and to feel like hey belong somewhere. Neal Downs (Aaron Stanford), a struggling musician, is the manager of the restaurant. His career is put on hold in order to serve up his crunchy grains. His girlfriend and room mate Pussy Katz (Zooey Deschanel), is growing restless with Neal as she feels he needs to take time off and finish the CD he has been working on. She offers to work at the restaurant in order for him to take a week off and finish what he started. Instead, Neal hires and fires her to continue with his duties and avoidance of their situation.

When rich kid Stuart (Keir O'Donnell), opens a rival cereal shop directly across the street from Flakes, both his livelihood and his love life will be threatened when Ms. Pussy takes a job there. She is able to add new ideas to Stuart's shop to attract more business. Neal must now decide what's most important in his life and take a risk before it's too late.

IFC Films
Director: Michael Lehmann
Writers: Chris Poché, Karey Kirkpatrick
Producers: Jake Abraham, Mark Ross, Karey Kirkpatrick
I viewed 6/08

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Here's my contribution to the lack of good taste, effed up, sucky, blog-a-thon that Piper from LAMBS is throwing. Hey Piper, I'm doing my very best to NOT support your stupid idea of the blog-a-thon. Please leave me alone and never talk to me again. I'll wait to hear from you.

Too many times high quality movies like this come along and I ALWAYS want to make sure I see none of them. The special effects are outstanding as the camera man is really paying attention to countless details of the movie. His manipulation of the camera angle along with its constant swaying and vibration motion really accent and add to the viewers nausea of the movie. I felt like running outside in a lightning storm after watching it as the actors were all so electrifying.

The Eye (2008) PG13 - 3 Stars

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) has been blind since age 5 when she and her sister Helen (Parker Posey), had an accident with firecrackers. None the less, she has become an accomplished violinist and quite an independent woman. Sydney gets another chance at sight as she's scheduled for a double corneal transplant.

While she's awaits the procedure, her sister comes into town to be by her side. She has always blamed herself for Sydney's accident and wants to see Sydney's transplant a success this time. At age 12 Sydney's last transplant failed when her body rejected the new organs. Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola) views the operation as a complete success. As the bandages are removed, she can faintly make out objects but her world is still a bit blurry. When she sees dark forms keep passing around the room, the doctor tells her it's normal as she has to train her brain to make reason out of what it is viewing.

When Sydney realises these images mean something deeper, she tries to find out more about the the donor. The eyes she once wished for become more blinding as she tries to make sense of their past.

Lions Gate Films
Directors: Xavier Palud, Hideo Nakata, David Moreau
Writers: Sebastian Gutierrez, Hillary Seitz, Ryne Douglas Pearson
Producers: Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise, Don Granger
I viewed 6/07

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hard Luck (2002) NR - 2½ Stars

No matter what, this guys luck seems to keep getting worse. First trying to save his friend, he ends up in a mental institution, then the girl he loves gets married and if things can't get any worse for him, he now finds his friend has just a few weeks to live.

Trevor "Lucky" O'Donnell (Kirk Harris) is in a state mental hospital and has been for the last seven years. Trying to help his best friend Eric (Matt Faber), he was pronounced unstable and sentenced to do his time in the hospital.

Eric, Trevor and Eric's sister Sheryl (Renee Humphrey), have all grown up together and Trevor has been in love with Sheryl since their youth. The three were inseparable and would always spend the summers on an island off the Oregon coast.

88 days before Trevor is scheduled to be released from his prison, Sheryl comes to him to tell him she got married and her brother Eric is dying of cancer. Trevor can't stand it any more and finds a way to escape from the hospital to be by Eric's side. Once he finds him, he puts Eric in a wheelchair and breaks him out of the cancer center and takes him back to the island where life was simple with no problems. Trevor encourages Sheryl to come too so the three can be together like the old days. But Trevor is still in love with Sheryl and her husband Matt (Darrell Bryan), is unwilling to give her up so quickly. Sheryl and Eric's father is a cop and he has orders to bring Trevor in but now he must decide which is more important. To uphold the law or the love of his son.

Film Kitchen Inc
Director: Jack Rubio
I viewed 7/07

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Believer (2001) R - 3½ Stars

Boy, I'm really beginning to like Ryan Gosling in movies. He is absolutely outstanding in this role and the movie really sucked me in on his ability alone. A scary look at religious hatred amongst us today while still attaching a human personal look from within. It's most definitely worth the rental for for Gosling's acting alone. Based on the story of Daniel Burrows, a leader of the American Nazi Party, who committed suicide in 1965 after a writer from The New York Times found out he was Jewish and exposed him.

Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling) is Jewish and was a top religious student at his local Yeshiva. At age 22, Danny grows tired of his Jewish beliefs of the Torah and the Old Testament, as when starts questioning God, he's expelled from the temple. Danny transforms himself into the neo-Nazi movement of skinheads led by by Curtis (Billy Zane) and Lina (Theresa Russell).

Danny meets Carla (Summer Phoenix) and falls for her and secretly teaches her a new religion. I don't really get her character and not sure why they even needed her but... His contempt for Jews as well as himself, has him going through some extreme measures and even when the gang breaks into a Jewish temple, Danny struggles to fight for his roots and heritage as he protects the sacred Torah. One thing he can never let them know is that he really is Jewish.

2000 - Believer - Sundance Film Festival - Dramatic Grand Jury Prize.

Fuller Films
Director: Henry Bean
Writer: Henry Bean
Producers: Christopher Roberts, Susan Hoffman
I viewed 12/07

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wild Seven (2006) R - 2 Stars

Boy this movie was all over the place. Sure after the end of the movie, I sort of understand what went down but by that time, I had lost interest in the characters, the plot and just about everything else. I think the best part of the movie is the constant time lapse photography of the colorful Arizona sunrises and sunsets. The acting was so so but given no direction.

Wilson (Robert Forster) and Marvin (Richard Roundtree), are just released from prison and already plotting their next crime. Marvin needs the money and Wilson just has plane old revenge against Mackey Willis (Robert Loggia), who ratted on him and sent him away. But Marvin had devoted his life to God now and backs out at the last minute. Call this the old group if you will.

The young group, consists of 4 beer drinking, pot smoking friends, Buckley (James M. Hausler), Nick (Zev Stern) Phillip (Michael Mandell) and Petey (Tyler Parkinson) and 1 annoyance to the gang, Connor (Christopher Clark). They are plotting to rob the Jose Sanchez Bank of Arizona. The job is sure to go off without a hitch and no one will get hurt as it's a smal bank in a rural area with not a lot of police or guards.

Two of the young group travel to Mexico to see Mr. "Texican" (William Wiyugal) the local gun supplier. A southern talking, beer belly, Jack Daniel guzzling man, he's given himself this name just because. Armed with a shot gun and a pistol, they head back home to continue plans for the job.

Connor is such a klutz, he ends up causing the young group more harm than good and while robbing the bank, the old group shows up to do the same thing. Will anyone come out a winner?

Beat Pirate Films
Director: James Hausler
Writer: James Hausler
Producers: Michelle J. Vogler, Todd Turner, Tim Haskins
I viewed 6/08

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blood In Blood Out (1993) R - 3 Stars

Your average gang movie where control is held from with inside of San Quentin prison. It's an okay watch if you really can't find anything else and you like prison/gang type of movies.

Miklo (Damian Chapa), Paco (Benjamin Bratt) and Cruz (Jesse Borrego) are three cousins living amongst the other Chicanos in East Los Angeles in 1972. The streets of their city are infested with gangs and the violence effects them all in some way when one day the three are caught up in a fight that will change all of their lives.

Paco will be convicted of an accessory to murder unless he enlists in the military. Later when he gets out he has the opportunity to take a seat with the LAPD. Cruz, no longer can has the desire to paint after he becomes injured and now crippled for life. Instead he chooses a life of drugs in order to mask his pain. Miklo was caught with the gun and must now spend his life behind bars at San Quentin. But even in jail, Miklo finds a way to belong with his home boys and is rising to the top of a new gang, the La Onda, becoming a serious player in the Chicano Mafia.

Buena Vista Pictures
Director: Taylor Hackford
Writers: Floyd Mutrux, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ross Thomas
Producers: Jerry Gershwin, Stratton Leopold, Taylor Hackford
I viewed 12/07

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irresistible (2005) R - 3½ Stars

Sophie Hartley (Susan Sarandon), lives with her husband Craig (Sam Neill) and their two girls. Their lives seem pretty normal until Mara (Emily Blunt), becomes Craig's new co-worker. Sophie tries to make nice with this new young sweet thing working arm and arm with her husband. But still things seem pretty innocent until the Hartley's home is broken into and the thief takes only personal items.

Sophie starts to think she's going crazy when Mara shows up at her home wearing a dress that Sophie has listed as stolen. Could this be just a coincidence? When Sophie feels like Mara is trying to take over her life by always showing up and flirting her way into Craig's trust, she begins to feel like she's being stalked by Mara. When she explains her feelings to her husband, he instead tries to defend Mara as his fondness grows for her.

But it seems Mara wants everything Sophie has. Her husband, her identity and eventually her entire life, kids and all. What Sophie doesn't know is that Mara's connection to her family is going to become a whole lot deeper.

First Look International
Director: Ann Turner
Writer: Ann Turner
Producers: Tatiana Kennedy, Francisca Wagenfeld
I viewed 12/07

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Julie Johnson (2001) NR - 2½ Stars

Julie Johnson (Lili Taylor) is married to her chauvinistic husband Rick (Noah Emmerich), and they have two children Lisa (Mischa Barton) and Franky (Gideon Jacobs). Rick believes that a woman belongs at home barefoot and pregnant taking care of her family and mainly her man. But Julie is growing tired of this scenario and yearns to go back to school to become something better. Along with her best friend Claire (Courtney Love), the girls enroll in and "Introduction to Computers" class, knowing Rick would be furious if he found out.

Once in the class, Julie picks up on it really quick and their instructor Mr. Miranda (Spaulding Gray) realises she has the potential to make this a successful career. Julie now has a new gained confidence in her abilities as a woman. When Rick does find out about it, he's furious with her and tries to break her back down. This time, Julie is a much stronger woman and makes Rick leave so she can continue with her dream. Claire is so impressed with Julie's new energy on life, she too decides to leave her husband and share a room with Claire. The two close friends find that taking their relationship to the next level gives them the true love they've been looking for.

Regent Releasing
Director: Bob Gosse
Writers: Bob Gosse, Wendy Hammond
Producer: Ray Angelic
I viewed 11/07

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ivory (2004) NR - 1 Star

Cristina Aroca, Guillermo Bergandi, Agustín Lozano, Ezequiel Cipols and Enrique Liporace are the stars of this real stinker of a movie. In Spanish with English subtitles, The Ivory aka El Marfil has got to be about one of the lamest movies I have ever watched. Hardly worth the time of a revue, basically there is an Ivory tusk horn that the family has been given in a game of chess. It is said to have great magical powers and the ability to grant three wishes should they decide to believe in it. But believing in it's powers unleashes the evil of greed that costs the son his life and mom must unleash the power again to wish him back. Just horrible story line, bad hammy acting and with subtitles, maybe there's more to it than I saw but I just don't want to work that hard to see a movie. Sorry could find absolutely nothing in the way of an image from the movie.
I viewed 11/07

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Winter (2006) NR - 3 Stars

I liked the concept of this movie a lot where the earth takes back what mankind infringes upon, and if it would have had a stronger story line, it could have been a much better movie. I really only identified with Hoffman and possibly Pollock the greedy ruthless leader of the group but as opinions go, the person I watched it with loved everything about this movie.

A crew on a petroleum exploration, goes to a remote part of Northern Alaska to evaluate and prepare the site for "North," a large oil manufacturing company. When the some of crew start acting differently, they start to believe they're not out there alone. Strange visions are seen by some of the crew as they await the start of the project.

Ed Pollack (Ron Perlman) is the macho leader of the expedition and hell bent on drilling this area. His team, on a schedule, is already behind due to a climate warming change that is making it impossible to create ice roads to bring the equipment in. He's unwilling to take no for an answer.

James Hoffman (James Le Gros) and Elliot Taylor (Jamie Harrold) are research scientists sent to insure the environment will not be altered the area. The rest of the team consists of Motor (Kevin Corrigan), the mechanic who smokes pot and drinks too much, Abby Sellers (Connie Britton), who used to be in love with Ed but now is sleeping with James, and Maxwell McKinder (Zach Gilford) an inexperienced worker who's told he must be there by his father. Dawn Russell (Joanne Shenandoah) and Lee Means (Pato Hoffmann) are the Native Americans and hired hands for the expedition.

Hoffman makes some grave discoveries of the warming patterns in the area. His theory is the ground is becoming unstable and they must abort their mission as it would cause way too much havoc on the land. But Pollock is dead set against turning back now and instead orders Hoffman off the team.

Cabin fever begins to set in and strange changes are starting to effect some of the crew. Visions of the dark souls of the land are rising up and claiming victims one by one. When these visions start to effect Pollock himself, he decides they should all leave momentarily and have themselves looked at. But the rescue plane does more harm than help when it looses control and crashes into their shelter.

Faced with no other choice, Pollock and Hoffman take off on their last operational scooter in search of a way to get them out. In this white oasis of nothingness, the good in Hoffman battles the evil in Pollock as these dark souls of Mother Earth await their revenge.

IFC Films
Director: Larry Fessenden
Writers: Robert Leaver, Larry Fessenden
Producers: Jeff Grace, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Dave Eggar
I viewed 6/08

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2 Days in Paris (2007) R - 2½ Stars

I liked the direction of the way this movie was shot but it also found it on the annoying side with the constant battle of dialogue among the two stars. Switching back and forth from French to English was not the problem, but the constant bickering from both characters made me want to shut them off at times and I didn't feel myself connecting to anyone. I think the point of the movie was that even with constant bickering, two people can find and hold onto love. Julie Delpy writes, directs and stars in the flick.

French photographer Marion (Julie Delpy) and American interior designer Jack (Adam Goldberg) have just returned from a trip to Venice. Marion thought her adventure in Venice would be a romantic one with Jack instead, the food didn't agree with Jack so he was miserable most of the time and when he could go out, he took photos to capture the beauty without experiencing it. The couple are constantly bickering but before returning back home to New York, the stop off for 2 days in Paris to see Marion's parents.

Marion's non English speaking parents are quick to laugh at Jack's quirks and talk behind his back and when they are out in public, Marion runs into all sorts of ex boyfriends. As she tries to explain they are just past exes and nothing more, Jack begins to realise the women he thought he knew, he really knows nothing about. But in the end, their constant bickering is just what each other is looking for.

Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Julie Delpy
Writer: Julie Delpy
Producers: Julie Delpy, Thierry Potok, Christophe Mazodier
I viewed 6/08

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fierce People (2006) R - 3 Stars

16 year old Finn Earl (Anton Yelchin), has never met his father, the great archaeologist from South America who's been studying the tribe of the Ishkanani . Finn writes to his father and views tapes of the Ishkanani people who have never had contact with the outside world before. He yearns to accept the invitation to spend the summer with his dad and learn more about these primitive people. For now, he lives with his mother Liz (Diane Lane), in Manhattan along with her alcoholic and drug problem.

His mom, a masseuse, has a bit of a cocaine habit and when Finn is arrested for possession of her drugs, Finn's plans to finally meet his dad are canceled. Liz also realizes she can't go on like this anymore and she excepts an offer of rehab from a wealthy old client and friend, Ogden C. Osbourne (Donald Sutherland). Finn will get to meet a tribe after all consisting of these wealthy posh snobs who reside on a 10 mile radius parcel of land.

Once they arrive, they are treated like outsiders and the hired help until of course Osbourne delivers Liz to his elegant manor. It is here the two will take up residency as he and his mother, try to regain their love. Finn becomes involved with Osborne's daughter Maya (Kristen Stewart) and her older brother Bryce Langley (Chris Evans). Finn immediately sees the correlation between the tribe of South America and this tribe of the Osbournes. The way he sees it, the Ishkanani people either love something or kill it and it is no different for this Osbournes and their back stabbing tendencies. Osbourne identifies with Finn and takes him under his wing which causes rage and jealousy amongst the kingdom and eventually Osbourne's death. But he has also taught Finn that something good comes out of something bad, which gives Finn and his mom and fresh start on life. "We are the sum of all people we've ever met. You change the tribe and the tribe changes you."

Lions Gate Films
Director: Griffin Dunne
Writer: Dirk Wittenborn
Producers: Nick Wechsler, Griffin Dunne, Keith Addis
I viewed 6/08

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flawless (2007) PG13 - 3½ Stars

I really enjoyed this movie. Moore and Caine are great together and this movie is really close to a 4 rating in my opinion. Taking place in the 60's and based on a true story, two employees of the London Diamond Corporation are involved in the heist of a life time. Great acting and suspense from everyone.

Laura Quinn (Demi Moore) has been working at the London Diamond Corporation for over 15 years. In the 60's, a woman was hardly recognized for their achievements, and Laura is no exception as she keeps getting passed over for promotions in the company. She has made it to a major managerial position but still isn't allowed to climb any farther up the corporate ladder. Sometimes she's the first to arrive to the office in the morning and the last to leave at night.

Hobbs (Michael Caine) has also been with the company for years. He's the after hour janitor and takes care of cleaning the offices and floors. Hobbs runs into Laura quite often when she works into the evening. He has collected quite a bit of information about the company, after many years of dumping garbage. He's also been going through Laura's trash and has found many notes of frustration she has written and thrown away regarding her lack of acknowledgement within the company. Hobbs has a certain agenda of his own with regards to his contempt against London Diamond and he approaches Laura for her help. He tells her of a plan he has had in the works, to rob the companies vault only taking a small thermos full of stones no one would miss but enough to change their lives. She reluctantly becomes involved and gains the codes to open the vault.

Things seem to be going as planned until the vault is opened the next morning and every last stone has been taken despite the new surveillance camera system. Fearful she will be blamed for the crime, Laura must now try and stay cool as the crime is investigated.

I viewed 6/08

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Along Came Polly (2004) PG13 - 3½ Stars

Seems hard to find movies that keep up the pace of funny lines consistently and along with some good named actors, I think this movie does a good job. The bathroom scene with the flooded toilet, had me in stitches.

Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller) makes a living as a risk assesor for an insurance company and hates taking risks in his own life. His excessive compulsiveness over germs, upsets his stomach and does not allow him time to relax.

Lisa (Debra Messing), is his new bride and on their honeymoon he catches her bedding down with the French speaking scuba instructor Claude (Hank Azaria). Returning home alone, his best friend Sandy Lyle (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his obnoxious boss Stan Indursky (Alec Baldwin), try to console him. He knows he must get back into life but doesn't know how. And then along came Polly.

Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston), is bartending a party that Ruben attends and she recognizes him from back in 7th grade. She's a free spirited fun risk taking girl, who owns ferets for pets. After their chance meet, Reuben takes his first major risk on inviting her out. One spicy meal later, Reuben finds himself trying to play it cool while his stomach erupts but he's determined to do what ever he needs to attrack Polly's affection. From salsa dancing to extreme sports, Reuben lets it all hang out and finds that living in the moment is the best risk he's ever taken.

Universal Pictures
Director: John Hamburg
Writer: John Hamburg
Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg
I viewed 11/07

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thirteen (2002) R - 3½ Stars

I really liked this movie partially written by the co-star Nikki Reed. Filmed in Los Angeles, it's a scary look at what goes in some young girls life when they feel the need to be noticed.

Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) appears to be a normal 13 year old girl in the 7th grade. She gets good grades in school and is talented in poetry. She lives with her brother and mom Melanie (Holly Hunter). Dad seems to not have much time for his children these days and he has remarried and working on a new project. But Tracy is restless and lacking something, going through that awkward age where her body is changing.

Evie (Nikki Reed), is one of the most popular girls in school and Tracy longs to be like her and have her as a friend. She pays her a compliment one day and Evie gives her a number to call to hook up later on. Tracy thinks she's been accepted until she calls the number only to find out it's disconnected. She heads out for the mall to find Evie and win her as a friend. When she meets up with Evie, her and another girl are shoplifting in a store. Tracy doesn't feel comfortable stealing and starts to leave. But when temptation is in her face of an unguarded purse, she snatches it up and returns to the girls inside offering to buy them new shoes. Instant gratification as she is accepted into the "cool" group. Tracy feels like her life just got the meaning and recognition she's been waiting for.

The girls are inseparable, dressing alike and teasing all the boys. But, Evie is a bad influence on Tracy and the two continue to get into more trouble together when Evie convinces Tracy to pierced her tongue insisting that her mother won't notice. She arrives at school the next day, sporting a thong, tongue ring and a whole new wardrobe accentuating her newly developed body and the boys take note. This one time "good girl" now ditches class, plays with drugs and is ruining her relationship with her mother as well as her old friends.

2003 - Thirteen - National Board of Review - Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Antidote Films
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writers: Nikki Reed, Catherine Hardwicke
Producer: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte
I viewed 6/08

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mama's Boy (2007) PG13 - 3 Stars

I was hoping this was going to be a whole lot funnier than it was. Diane Keaton is so great and lately I've just been seeing her in this weak comic type movies. At least this one was better than "I Told You So", barely. I'm sure there are plenty of these mamas boy around as I've met too many of them. Men living with their mothers till way into their 30's because they can get away with it and lack skills needed to get out there on their own.

Jeffrey Mannus (Jon Heder) is a 29 year old mama's boy who's never left the nest. His mother Jan, (Diane Keaton) has allowed her son's behavior to control her life since his father died many years ago. She has not been getting out in the social scene as her demanding drama queen at home, wants to control her every move.

When Mert Rosenbloom (Jeff Daniels), a motivational speaker, meets Jan, he falls head over heels over her. Though she is leery to become involved, due to what her Jeffrey might think, she is also finding she needs to have a life outside of that with her son. But trying to hide this affair is not easy, when eventually Mert wants to move in.

Jeffrey is relocated to the basement so the couple can have some privacy but now it's a full on war between Mert and Jeffrey to see who is going to get mom's attention. Jeffrey even goes as far as enlisting the help of Nora Flannigan (Anna Faris), to drive him to Arizona to dig up more dirt on Mert. Nora has actually started to fall for Jeffrey but he's too busy trying to break up his mom and Mert to notice a new life standing right in front of him. But now that Jeffrey has alienated everyone around him, when he is arrested for relieving himself in a public sink, his only friend left Seymour Warburton (Eli Wallach), bails him out and gets Jeffrey to realise what he must do next in life.

Warner Bros Pictures
Director: Tim Hamilton
Writer: Hank Nelken
Producer: Heidi Santelli
I viewed 6/08

Monday, June 9, 2008

Black Sheep (2006) NR - 3 Stars

Of all the movies I have reviewed to date, I don't think I've used that word "hammy" yet but I feel hammy is exactly how to describe this one. A sheep experiment goes bad and two brothers, 1 good 1 evil, fight to save the farm from the sheep-a-noids.

Henry (Nathan Meister) and Angus Oldfield (Peter Feeney) are two brothers raised as sheep herders on their family ranch in New Zealand. Henry has had a major fear of sheep ever since his brother played a trick on him when they were younger. He is actually in therapy for his fear and on his way to the ranch to sell his part to his brother, now that their father has died. He has not been to the ranch in over 15 years and just taking the ride down a local road where sheep are crossing, gives him the creeps.

His brother Angus, is involved in a genetic experiment to produce the finest woolly coats on his herd. But something has gone terribly wrong and the sheep are starting to bite and attack each other as they developed a desire for the taste of blood. Two environmental activists have snuck onto the land as they've learned Angus has been conducting experiments. The pair release a mutant sheep stuck in a fence who promptly infects the rest of the herd. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwe that was probably not a good thing to do and now they must fight to stay alive.

Meanwhile, Angus has invited a huge group to announce his discovery and show off his top sheep with their nice woolen coat. But things take a turn for the worse when the crowd is attacked by stampeding sheep looking to quench their thirst. They'll be lucky to make it out alive.

First Take, IFC Films
Director: Jonathan King
Writer: Jonathan King
Producer: Philippa Campbell
I viewed 11/07

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Zola's Intermission Take 6 - Happy Birthday To Me

Hey gang, I'm taking today and tomorrow off for posting as today is my birthday, cake is on it's way and Tekillya too, so I won't be in any shape to post anything. But rest assured, the movie reviews WILL continue on Monday, June 9th. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Stay safe!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dark Storm (2006) PG13 - 2 Stars

Pretty week movie in most categories. I'm rating it a generous 2 because I got all the way through it without causing too much brain damage. Military usage of an satellite instrument goes bad when grey matter escapes and starts entering it's creators body.

Dr. Daniel Gray (Baldwin) is designing an instrument to alter an object's molecular makeup. General Killion (William B. Davis) is funding the project and eager to see what this team of scientists have come up with. The first examples look very promising of the existence of this new unstoppable weapon which will put the military in number one position on the planet. However, the weapon is still in the experimental mode and highly unstable, and when he starts leaking grey matter into Dr. Gray, he must find a way to destroy it before it consumes him and the rest of the planet.

Insight Film Studios
Director: Jason Bourque
Writers: Sean Malcolm, John Cherfer, Brett Schneider
Producer: Kirk Shaw
I viewed 11/07