Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boy A (2008) - 3½ Stars

A pretty intense movie about the life of a young boy found guilty of the unthinkable crime of murder, at age 10. He found comfort with his best and only friend Phillip, as he never felt any love from home as a child. His father was abusive and his mother, quite the hypochondriac, the parents never shared in their child's daily struggles of life. When a young girl is found murdered, Phillip and this young boy are on trial for murder. Phillip is found hanged in his home, labeled a suicide while this "Boy A" is sentenced to do his time in juvenile prison.

His caseworker Terry (Peter Mullan) is there to help this young man fit back into society and in this case, also change his identity as here are still people who would like to see him dead. He sees the good in "Boy A" and is eager to give him a second chance on life with a new name and image, job and a place to live. Jack (Andrew Garfield) once released from prison, is having trouble fitting into society as he is shy and doesn't easily strike up a conversation. Mainly because he doesn't know how to act anymore after being locked away for so long. He does bond with a fellow co-worker named Chris (Shaun Evans) and even meets a girl Michelle (Katie Lyons), where he works. As his relationships develops with her, he is eager to share everything from his past with her, but he can't. He feels as if he is deceiving her by not telling her everything about his past. It's the first time Jack has ever had someone tell him they love him. As his feelings grow for Michelle, he asks Terry to allow him to tell the truth about his past. But Terry enforces in him the need to keep quiet for his own safety.

One day when Chris and Jack are out making a delivery, they come cross a car that has been sent down the mountains side after an accident. Jack scrambles down the mountain side to help. He and Chris save a young girl who was trapped in a car seat and knocked into unconsciousness. Though they are unable to save her mother, the driver, the young men are labeled heroes and their picture plastered in the local newspapers as well as on T.V.. Even though Jack, no longer looks like the photos of Boy A, it is quickly realized by all and Jack becomes aware that no matter what, his past is going to be impossible to escape.

The Weinstein Company
Director: John Crowley
Writer: Mark O'Rowe
Producers: Lynn Horsford, Tally Garner, Nick Marston
I viewed 12/08

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

September 8 Tapes (2004) R - 2½ Stars

While I try and eat up everything that has to do with documentaries on the war in Iraq, 9-11, Afghanistan or anything else about the middle east, I felt this one was a bit over the edge. It has me questioning whether the director / star, was not being a little over melodramatic in his editing of his documentary. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that lives were at risk in the making of this film especially being in a country that hates Americans. It just appeared at times to me to look a little staged. I could be wrong.

American journalist Don Larson (George Calil), travels to Kabul, Afghanistan a year after the tragedy of September 11. Along with director Christian Johnston, cameraman, and interpreter, they're mission is to try and find Osama bin Laden and others responsible for tragic day. But in the process of documenting the event, Don is arrested and and put in an Afghan jail. It is there he meets up with Babak, a paid bounty hunter, who will try and help them find the terrorists responsible and Osama bin Laden.

First Look, THINK Films
Director: Christian Johnston
Writers: Christian Van Gregg, Christian Johnston
Producers: Christian Van Gregg, Matthew Rhodes, Christian Johnston
I viewed 7/09

Monday, July 27, 2009

12 Rounds (2009) PG13 - 3 Stars

If you like bombs, car chases, explosions and car wrecks, then this movie will be right up your alley. Seriously, it had to cost some bucks to destroy all the cars alone, that this movie does. I wonder if it made it back at the box office? The action through most of it is decent even though some of the scenes are pretty cheesy, especially the pool scene at the end.

Danny Fisher (John Cena) and Hank Carver (Brian J. White) are police officers in New Orleans. While out in the field, a call comes that Miles Jackson's (Aidan Gillen), mastermind thief and one of the F.B.I.'s most wanted, is in the area, and Danny goes off on pursuit by foot to make the arrest. In the process, Erica Kessen (Taylor Cole), Miles girlfriend, is accidentally hit by a truck. As they take Miles away, he vows his revenge on Danny, who's now promoted to detective for the arrest.

One year later, Miles escapes from prison and comes looking for Danny. George Aiken (Steve Harris) and Ray Santiago (Gonzalo Menendez) are the F.B.I. agents, hot on his trail. But no one bothers to tell Danny that Miles is on the loose and tracking Danny down. Within a few hours, Danny's home is destroyed and his girlfriend Molly Porter (Ashley Scott), kidnapped. Now it's a race against time as Danny must complete a serious of 12 rounds of booby trapped mazes in order to save his girlfriend's life.

Mark Gordon Company, Fox Atomic, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Director: Renny Harlin
Writer: Daniel Kunka
Producers: Josh McLaughlin, Michael Lake, Mark Gordon
I viewed 7/09

Friday, July 24, 2009

County General (2005) NR - 1½ Stars

Well here is another one of Maverick Entertainment's attempt at a movie. I swear, it should be a huge warning to me when I see that name on the outside of the box. But, once again in a moment of insanity, I inserted yet another one of their finest flops into my DVD. I love the way the box explains it. "The food is bad, The doctors are worse, and the nurses are really really naughty." Well the movie is bad, the writing is worse and other than the one nurse showing off her boobs and sleeping with any and everyone, it's not that naughty either.

The movie stars Jean Claude LaMarre, Robin Thede, Samuel "Caffeine" Monroe, John Jean, Kirtsine Bernard and Tine "Zeus" Lister. Basically, Craig (Jean Claude LaMarre), is a film student who is about to fail his final class exam unless he can come up with a very cool documentary on something. His last attempt at a film was a remake of "Titanic" filmed in his friends swimming pool. Craig's girlfriend Simone works at County General Hospital and Craig decides to shot a short film about the people who work there and the clients the see. However, Craig gets a bit too much information on tape and now everyone wants to foil the plans of his shot. No photos available.

Maverick Entertainment Group, Inc.
Director: Sphear Collins
Producers: Lila Aviv, Ken Halsband
Writers: Jean Claude Lamarre, Skryb Brown, Sphear Collins
I viewed 7/09

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Education of Charlie Banks (2007) R - 2 Stars

I never felt any connection with Charlie Banks. I assume the viewer is suppose to feel for the character that is constantly one upped by the new kid in town. But the new kid in town, has much more personality then poor old Charlie Banks and I couldn't care a less that this bully was taking his life over. Silly me, I was hoping for more of a "Talented Mr. Ripley" type movie but this one pales in comparison.

Charlie Banks (Jesse Eisenberg) and his best friend, Danny (Chris Marquette), live in a rough part of New York, where being cool doesn't just happen but more earned. Mick (Jason Ritter), is the kid that is cool and the other boys admire him but also know of his violent side that makes him appear cool. One day during a fight, Mick almost kills two other boys and Charlie is a witness. When Charlie's father explains to him the other boys could have died, Charlie decides he can't keep quiet and tells the police what he saw. But when fear keeps Charlie from testifying, Mick is allowed to go free of all charges.

When Charlie and Danny go off to and Ivy League college at a private campus, Mick shows up without any warning for a visit. Charlie is a bit paranoid with Mick's arrival and wonders if he knows it was him who pointed the finger at him years ago. His very presence makes Charlie uneasy as he watches Mick become comfortable staying with the two boys. Mick doesn't even go to the college but still manages to start dressing like a wealthy student and winning over Charlie's friends, teachers and even making advances on Mary (Eva Amurri), the girl Charlie has a crush on. Before Mick can take over, Charlie must make a stand against him and come clean about the secrets of their past.

Strongheart Pictures, Straight Up Films, Inc., Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Fred Durst
Writer: Peter Elkoff
Producers: Michael Corrente, Marisa Polvino
I viewed 7/09

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Masked and Anonymous (2003) PG13 - 2 Stars

It's really bad when you watch a movie and you are not quite sure what you just watched. Seems I'm on a streak this week of just such movies. Now mind you, this movie has a well supported cast who all do their part with their acting but I still don't get where they are, who's civil war and revolution it is, and how these few eccentric individuals all came to be where they are. Other than Bob Dylan who travels there to perform a benefit concert, I did not absorb the underlying meaning and was basically lost. Gotta put this one in my bizarre collection.

Uncle Sweetheart (John Goodman), is a big shot concert promoter who has found his niche in life in a nation plagued with a revolution of political unrest. But he can't do it alone and hires television producer Nina Veronica (Jessica Lange) to help promote the show. Nina is hoping Sweetheart will find an all star line up to head a benefit fundraiser concert but all Sweetheart can muster up is a has been headliner Jack Fate (Bob Dylan). Fate has been serving a prison sentence but Sweetheart is able to pull some of his last strings in order to get him released. While he is there, he must see his dying father, the President. Fate was never worthy in his father's eyes and instead, the next in line for his empire is (Mickey Rourke).

Investigative journalist (Jeff Bridges) and his girlfriend Pagan Lace (Penélope Cruz), show up but no one wants to talk to them. The concert goes on as planned until the President's death interrupts their broadcast. Also starring Luke Wilson as Bobby Cupid, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dean, Ed Harris and Christian Slater.

Marching Band Productions, Spitfire Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Larry Charles
Writers: Sergei Petrov, Rene Fontaine
Producers: Jeff Rosen, Nigel Sinclair
I viewed 7/09

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Push (2009) PG13 - 3½ Stars

I found this movie to be extremely visually stimulating, most every frame could make a photograph in itself, but yet, it's very hard to explain. Here's my take... The "Division," is a secret government agency that's looking for certain citizens, "pushers," with their physic abilities to control other people's thoughts but getting inside their heads. Nick Gant, is a "mover," with his own physic abilities, though he hasn't quite figured out how to control them. There are also a handful of "watchers," who can see the future and keep their eyes on the "movers," "pushers," and other "watchers." The "Division" is trying to get the "movers" out of the way while enhancing the superhuman powers of the "pushers." But the watchers see the future and a powerful drug the "Division" is trying to get their hands on. Now, where does the group of screaming Asians fit in? Are they yet another "Division" looking for the drug? Confused? Well just enjoy the visuals and some pretty decent action scenes.

Nick Gant (Chris Evans), is a second generation telekinetic "mover," who's been hiding out in densely populated Hong Kong, ever since his father was murdered by the "Division." Though he has not perfected his powerful techniques, he knows there are people watching his every move. When a young 13 year old girl, Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning), enters his life, she tells him he is the one needed to help find her mother, who can take down "Division," and save his life. Cassie is a clairvoyant who sketches her predictions crudely on a tablet, to keep Nick safe as they search for Kira (Camilla Belle). But the "Division" head Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), seams to always be one step ahead tracking down Nick and Cassie, to put an end to their quest.

Infinity Media, Inc., Icon Productions, Infinity Features, Summit Entertainment, LLC
Director: Paul McGuigan
Writer: David Bourla
Producers: William Vince, Bruce Davey, Glenn Williamson
I viewed 7/09

Monday, July 20, 2009

Knowing (2009) PG13 - 3½ Stars

This movie had me really going until the ending. Perhaps, a better ending would have been to show Earth, accepting the disaster thrown upon it, while "knowing," that life will still exist some day. I felt it somewhat presumptuous on the writers part taking into consideration only one religion of the world. But having said all that, I think Cage was at one of his better moments in time with this movie. Plenty of special effects and the action scenes and the airplane crash is pretty awesome. So much so, I backed up one part up about 4 times to see it over again. Granted there are a lot of things that happen in this movie that couldn't possibly really happen, but I love the concept and would have given it 4 stars if it didn't end so bad.

It's Massachusetts, 1959, and the newly constructed William Dawes Elementary School is having a ceremony to mark the occasion. Miss Taylor (Danielle Carter), and her class of young students, have been chosen to draw pictures of what they think the future will look like. Most of the students draw pictures of space ships and robots and fantasy worlds. But one young girl Lucinda (Lara Robinson), spends the entire assignment scribbling the front and back page of her imagery with a series of numbers. The class drawings are then placed in envelopes with the name of the student who drew it printed on the front. Now these images have been consumed into the time capsule where future generations of young students will unlock them, 50 years from now.

Professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), lives alone with his young son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury). Caleb's mother was killed from smoke inhalation in a hotel fire, two years prior making John overly protective on what he allows his young son to do. While he and Caleb attend the ceremony of the opening of the time capsule, Caleb is given the drawing Lucinda, made 50 years ago. At dinner, Professor Koestler sees the paper, wondering what the numbers represent. As he studies it closer, he notices amazing coincidence between certain numbers and certain disasters that have happened over the last 50 years. Next to each date, lays also the number of lives lost from each particular tragedy. The more his obsession grows over cracking this seeming decoded message, the farther his beliefs show him Lucinda was predicting the future. With the last three dates showing disasters yet to have happened, he feels he must try and intervene where ever possible to prevent the codes from harming his son.

Escape Artists, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
Director: Alex Proyas
Writers: Ryne Pearson, Stuart Hazeldine, Juliet Snowden
Producers: Steve Tisch, Alex Proyas, Jason Blumenthal
I viewed 7/09

Friday, July 17, 2009

Love Jones (1997) R - 3 Stars

I'll never forget Larenz Tate in "Menace II Society" and it's nice to see him in a different role where he's not playing a juvenile delinquent. This is your typical love story, where boy meets girl and fall in love, but then neither will let on to the other until their exes and one night stands send them back into each others arms.

Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate), is a novelist in Chicago, who brings his upscale bohemian style of poetry to the stage. This night club is famous for jazz and poetic readings and while another performer is on stage, Nina Mosley (Nia Long), walks up to the bar to order a drink. Darius takes one look at her and instantly feels something no other woman has been able to produce in him. Could this be love at first sight?

Nina is a photographer looking for work and as the two exchange chit chat, Darius is called to the stage to preform. To her surprise, Darius starts to recite a love poem entitled, "A Blues For Nina." The feelings start to grow but Nina leaves alone that night. Later, when she pays for a CD at the video store when Darius works, he is able to get her address and phone number. Being very daring, he shows up at her door step with the CD she'd been looking for. What woman can say no to a man who makes such a production over her and soon she finds herself saying yes and letting him in. The flirting is on and one sexy thing leads to another but neither know how to explain it. Darius has not been known to care about the women he sleeps with and Nina just got out of a relationship so they pass it off to just being "friends."

When Nina is called out of town for work, the two have the chance once again to tell each other how they feel. Instead, Nina leaves and encounters her ex boyfriend while Darius makes the best of it with a girl from the club. Nina returns only to see Darius with another girl so she hooks up with one of Darius's best friends. Will the two be able to get back to each other or will in be a case of you snooze you loose?

1997 - Love Jones - Sundance Film Festival - Audience Award

New Line Cinema
Director: Theodore Witcher
Writer: Theodore Witcher
Producers: Jeremiah Samuels, Nick Wechsler
I viewed 11/08

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Death Defying Acts (2007) R - 3½ Stars

This movie didn't get as good of reviews as I am giving it, but I really loved Saoirse Ronan character as Benji. Though based on a true story, Gillian takes liberties in creating the ending of Houdini's life, for example location. Catherine Zeta-Jones was extremely elegant in her role as the fortune teller and I thought the movie captured the technological innocence of the time period, as well as the beauty of Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the 1920's, Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce), was known as the greatest illusionist to ever deceive a live audience. His obsession with cheating death was closely involved with his obsession to finding proof of the hereafter. He was very close to his mother and never forgave himself for not being by her side during her death. He yearns to find someone that can reveal the last words she spoke, to console himself until their meeting in the afterlife. He posts a $10,000 reward for the person who can grant him access into this after world.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh, Mary McGregor (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and her daughter and sidekick, Benji (Saoirse Ronan), dress as the poor and canvas the streets for clues in front of the auditorium they will preform in later. Ease dropping on conversations and pick pocketing their guests, they use the information to gain the respect of a crowd eager to connect with the past. After the show, the girls return to their humble existence living in a secluded graveyard. Benji is a great Houdini admirer and when she hears of Houdini's offer, and his plans on preforming in Edinburgh, the two decide that's money in the bank. Mary does her research, learning everything she can about his mother, in order to pull off the prize reward. But what no one expects is to find love as they unleash the truth.

Third Rail Releasing
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Writers: Tony Grisoni, Brian Ward
Producers: Chris Curling, Marian MacGowan
I viewed 11/08

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caramel (2007) PG - 4 Stars

Aka Sukkar Banat, the film is in Lebanese with subtitles and maybe considered somewhat of a "chick flick", but speaking from a woman's point of view, I really loved this foreign movie. The Arabic women are so richly portrayed with their deeply hidden emotional problems. I fell in love with Aziza Semaan in her role of Lili. The movie makes me appreciate the close cultural traditions, of certain ethnic groups, that I think we Americans loose site of unless we dig deep into our roots. Just the way the girl friends flock together to celebrate when one of them will marry, the mother daughter speech before the wedding, as well as putting the love of an aging family member before ones own personal needs, it all quietly shows the beauty of the family/friendship bond. It also shows that woman all over the world share in the same set of problems. Bravo Nadine for giving us something so enlightening from the middle east which we rarely hear anything else but war stories.

The film takes place in Beirut, Lebanon at the SiBelle beauty salon where 5 women work together. Layale (Nadine Labaki), in is love with a policeman named Rabih. But she can not announce it to the world as Rabih is married with a child. She secretly slips away to be with him when he calls. Nisrine (Yasmine Al Masri), is a Muslim about to be wed but she fears on the wedding night her husband will find out that she's not a virgin anymore. She evens goes through great lengths to rectify the problem. Rima (Joanna Moukarzel) tries to hide her lesbian instincts when a new customer comes to the shop for regular appointments with her. Jamale (Gisèle Aouad) is an aging actress that tries everything to keep herself in the fountain of youth. Rose (Siham Haddad) is the local seamstress who sacrifices her own needs to take care of her aging sister Lili (Aziza Semaan). Together, the group tastefully shares their intimate lives, revolving around sex and men, while at the same time uplifting the souls of their clientele with caramel.

Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions
Director: Nadine Labaki
Writers: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Rodney al Haddad
Producer: Anne-Dominique Toussaint
I viewed 11/08

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gran Torino (2008) R - 4 Stars

What a great movie Clint Eastwood has produced. Though at first, I was wondering how he got away with it, considering all the racial comments. But the movie has an extremely honest breakdown between the two ethic groups, which form unlikely bonds in the end. Clint is getting old but still manages to bring that crusty yet, "Dirty Harry" attitude to his character.

Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is a Korean Veteran, still bitter from the war, and stuck in the middle of a Detroit neighborhood living next to Koreans and the gang of Hmong teens that plaque his streets. His wife has just passed away and he's finding that his own children are just wanting to stick him in a home, rather than deal with him. As a matter of fact, the only things that mean anything to Walt are his dog, his M1 rifle that protected him from the Koreans, and his spit shined polished classic Gran Torino.

One night, Tao (Bee Vang), Kowalski's teenage Korean neighbor, attempts to steal his Gran Torino, as part of a gang initiation. As Walt may be old but he's not dead, he manages to foil the attempt with his trusty rifle. Later, when the neighbors realize their son was responsible for the almost theft, their cultural pride forces them to offer Tao to Kowalski to work for him one week in order to make amends. They insist and Walt finds it easier to go along with them as they won't take no for an answer.

Kowalski decides to put Tao to work across the street cleaning up the eye sores of the run down homes, he's been facing these last few years. But when Tao turns out to be a hard worker, Walt decides he's possibly worth saving and helps him out by teaching him the trades of construction, eventually even finding him a job. Walt also discover that the only way he can come to terms with painful memories of his past is to face his own bitter prejudices head on.

Also staring Ahney Her as Sue and Christopher Carley as Father Janovich.

2008 - Gran Torino - American Film Institute - Best Picture
2008 - Gran Torino - National Board of Review - Best Original Screenplay
2008 - Gran Torino - National Board of Review - Best Actor

Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Nick Schenck, Nick Schenk
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Bill Gerber
I viewed 7/08

Monday, July 13, 2009

Zola's Intermission Take 15 - July 13th, 2009

Hey gang and sorry to not have posted any current movie reviews. BUT I have a good excuse.

I was hiding out in the "Avenue of the Giants" camping in the Coastal Redwoods of northern California, with no phone reception, wi-fi, or current movies. But never fear, I'm back now and more movie reviews will be coming soon.

Thank you for your patience as I needed that sanity break.

Friday, July 3, 2009

"O" (2000) R - 4 Stars

When I rented this movie it was sort of an after thought as I had a free coupon for a rental but it had to be non - new release. Okay "O" sounded like something interesting and without my glasses on, its hard for me to read the box anyway. It's how I have been renting a lot of movies lately. See if I like the cover and put it in DVD player without even knowing what to expect. WOW, the movie was great, extremely intense, and well worth my free coupon. Makes up for all those poopy films I've paid for. I love a good screw with your mind type movie, and this one more than satisfied my need.

Odin James (Mekhi Phifer) is the star basketball player and the only black student at Palmetto Grove private school in the south. He has everything going for him including scouts visiting the games to watch him play, and he is dating one of the prettiest girls on campus, Desi Brable (Julia Stiles), who just so happens to be the daughter of the dean (John Heard). For 4 months, Desi has been keeping her relationship from her dad a secret. She knows once he finds out, he will be angry and not approve of her dating a black man.

Hugo (Josh Hartnett) is on the basketball team, and happens to be the son of the basketball coach, Duke Goulding (Martin Sheen). Duke seems to be more in love with his star player Odin, than he does with his own son. The more Hugo sees his father making over Odin, the more jealous and enraged he becomes.

Hugo comes up with a plan to capture his revenge, while driving Odin insane. It starts out with leaking info to the dean about his daughter, Desi. He then enlists the help of Roger (Elden Henson), his roommate. Roger is the outcast and wants to fit in so badly, he is willing to do just about anything. At a party off campus one night, Hugo involves Roger in a fight with Michael (Andrew Keegan), another player in the team. His goal is to have Desi witness the argument and see how everyone take special notices of the way Michael handles the situation. Michael comes out smelling like a rose and Desi takes notice and the two start talking. Hugo then implants the seed into Odin's mind that he thinks Michael and Desi are now seeing each other and sleeping together. And as with the power of suggestion, Odin's relationship with Desi starts falling apart and anger engulfs him instead. Hugo has one last plan for Odin that is going to cost everyone a very high price.

Lions Gate Films
Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Writer: Brad Kaaya
I viewed 7/08

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Poseidon (2006) PG13 - 3½ Stars

If you want a good action adventure that has you sometimes holding your breath, this version of Poseidon will give that to you. Even though the movie is full of flaws, like - okay come on, they get to the bottom of the ship and find decorations for the New Year hanging from what would now be the floor, I don't think so. Where did the raft come from that was waiting outside the ship, perfectly positioned for them to get on? People can hold their breaths for an amazing long period of time and no one is getting electrocuted, wading through water with electrical cables sparking all around. But, if you can get past all of that and pretend what it might feel like to be trapped beneath the water in a luxury cruise liner, fighting for your life, then you can enjoy a little thriller about the will to survive.

The magnificent, and very elegant Poseidon, is at sea in the vast waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, with passengers aboard awaiting to toast in the New Year, enjoying a party in the ship's ballroom. But what the passengers don't know is that the Poseidon is about to be hit by a rogue wave, over 100 feet high. When it does hit, the ship is turned upside down sending most of the precious cargo tumbling to their deaths. Those that survive, huddle together on the ceiling, now floor, awaiting the arrival of the rescue ship. That's when Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas), makes the wager of his life, betting if he can make it to the ships haul, he can find a way out through the bottom. A curious young boy Conor James (Jimmy Bennett), along with his mother Maggie (Jacinda Barrett), Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfus), who was on the verge of suicide before the wave struck, ex mayor Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell), along with his daughter Jennifer (Emmy Rossum) and her boyfriend Christian (Mike Vogel), all decide this inverted plan seems more plausible then sitting in a room and force Dylan to take them along his route. Waiter Marco (Freddy Rodriguez), along with his stowaway Elena (Mía Maestro), are asked to join the group as Marco knows his way around the ship and obnoxious Lucky Larry (Kevin Dillon) demands he be taken too.

As most of the survivors await their fate in the ballroom, Dylan and his crew risk their lives climbing up through burning wreckage, trying to find a way out of the ship. As the ship begins to collapse it's air pockets, the question will be, can they make it out in time.

Warner Bros. Pictures International
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writers: Mark Protosevich, Akiva Goldsman
Producers: Akiva Goldsman, Mike Fleiss, Diana Rathbun
I viewed 6/09

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Son (2002) NR - 3 Stars

In French subtitles, this is a gripping movie about the patience of a teacher and learning of a young boy. Patient because the young boy has murdered the teachers son, done his time in prison and now trying to start over again.

Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) is a carpenter and an instructor at a vocational training center for troubled boys. He teaches the craft to these boys so they have a skill to find them work in the future. A new boy Francis (Morgan Marinne), joins the class and Olivier senses something strangely familiar about him. He discusses the boy with his ex-wife Magali (Isabella Soupart). She conforms his suspicions and now Olivier must hold his tongue in order to get closer to the boy.

Francis, just fresh out of juvenile jail, is the one responsible for the murder of Olivier's child and he is here getting the training so he can turn his life around and start over. Olivier becomes obsessed and even goes as far as stalking the boy and trying to hold his tongue in class. Francis does not realize still what Olivier's roll in his life is but eventually the two must confront their demons and lay it all out on the table.

2002 - Fils - Cannes Film Festival - Best Actor.

New Yorker Films
Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writers: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Producers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Denis Freyd, Luc Dardenne
I viewed 2/07