Sunday, July 29, 2012

Trespass (2011) R - 2 Stars

Loving Cage and having total respect for Kidman's roles, this movie sounded like it should be exciting. But this is one of Kidman's and Cage's worse films ever. I feel robbed by wasting my time watching such a ludicrous script. To me, it's not suspenseful even though the musical score tries to suck you in. It's also a ridiculous plot and I became bored quickly.

This is my quick version of the characters. Dad - work aholic, Mom - Lonely, Daughter - Rebellious, spoiled and into boys. Mom's trying to put together a family dinner. Daughter sneaks out, robbers enter, most wearing horrible see-thru masks. Threaten family with a syringe of paralyzing serum. (Please tell me, if the robbers put so much effort into casing the joint inside and out before then, why bring a psychotic airhead girl with them that serves no purpose.) Then Dad tells the robbers he won't open safe. Daughter returns and offers money from a party she was just at. Daughter leaves, one robber's in love with the wife, fights break out with other robbers. (I'm still unsure if wife is in on it or not and even if she is, who cares.) After the fire scene I turned it off, which is so unlike me as I usually give the movie the benefit of the doubt, watching to the end. In my opinion, there is no ending that could have made this a good movie. I've read some other reviews before writing mine because I felt I was being harsh. I have to say, I'm surprised to read to see so many people enjoyed it. Were we watching the same movie? I'd advise not wasting your time.

Businessman Kyle Miller(Nicolas Cage), and his trophy wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman), are a well to do family living with their rebellious daughter Avery (Liana Liberato), in a secure neighborhood. They are having some work done to their home and Sarah can't help keep her eyes off of one of the handsome workers Jonah (Cam Gigandet). All seems normal in their somewhat happy home even when Avery sneaks out to go to a party she's forbidden to attend.

Little do they know that a thief named Elias (Ben Mendelsohn), has been casing their home for months. Now, complete with masks, Elias decides the time is right to move in. Along with a group of thugs and a girl named Petal (Jordana Spiro), Elias knocks on the door of the Millers home. The group of criminals barge in and take control over this family refusing to leave until their demands are met.


Millennium Entertainment
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writers: Eli Richbourg, Karl Gajdusek
Producers: Irwin Winkler, René Besson, David Winkler
I viewed 11/11

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Canyon (2009) R - 3½ Stars

I certainly was not expecting the ending of this film and I think that alone makes this a good movie. Really a mind screwer though the acting could been better. For example, I had a hard time believing Lori's character was so strong at first. The scene where she's battling the wolf could have been done much more convincing. But after her first two battles, you start to believe she is actually getting pissed off and ready to attack back and very realistic at the end. Reminds you to think twice about invading into natures territory.

A young couple Nick (Eion Bailey), and Lori (Yvonne Strahovski), have just eloped in Las Vegas. For a quick honeymoon, before they tell their friends and families, they take a drive to the Grand Canyon for a little sun and adventure. Their goal is to take a mule ride to the bottom of the canyon but everywhere they learn it's too late to get a permit to enter the canyon. They arrive at a local bar where they meet mountain man Henry (Will Patton), who tells them he can solve all their problems. After all, he's been exploring these canyons for years and knows them like the back of his hand. He also has an Indian friend that can arrange the mules and that specially neded permit. The couple agrees and the three set forth on the trip of a lifetime to the canyon floor.

Henry really knows his stuff and Nick wants to see it all so he agrees to go to another area of the canyon where ancient explorers have discovered caves unseen by most. The trip seems like a dream come true for Nick and Lori tags along supporting her new husband. Henry tells the couple ancient tales of the wolfs and crows that inhabit the area. But just around the next bend, they encounter rattle snakes who manage to get two could bites in on Henry. The scared mules run off down the canyon with Nick in fast pursuit. Unable to regain control of them, the threesome is left without food, water, medical kits or bedding and must make due this first night below the stars.

The next morning, Henry has not done well and with out the proper medical attention he succumbs to his poisonous system and dies. One lone wolf has been following the trio and eagerly awaits a tasty meal in Henry so the couple tries to bury him as best they can. Now they are left in the canyon without a guide and unaware of the proper path to get back. They have matches, a knife, cell phone with no service, chewing gum, chap stick and sun tan lotion. It's up to them to figure out which way they came in and back track their steps before the wolves show up looking for dessert.


Middle Fork Productions, Pierce/Williams Entertainment, Zero Gravity Management
Director: Richard Harrah
Writer: Steve Allrich
Producer: Mark Williams
I viewed 7/12

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Source Code (2011) PG13 - 4 Stars

This film belongs in an episode of a modern day Twilight Zone. A great psychological thriller, Source Code weaves you through an alternate reality that hooks you into solving the mystery.

The story is of a soldier being kept alive to channel the last fragments of his brain via "source coding" helping him look into another man's life. He has just 8 minutes to ride the train, uncovering the bomb and it's creator. The problem is, he must re-play the scene over and over again as he keeps running out of time. With each replay the viewer is slowly allowed deeper into the story, almost the same as Captain Stevens is.

Aboard a crowded Chicago train, a bomb goes off derailing the train and killing hundreds of people. When it's learned that a larger bomb will explode in the heart of town, the government has no choice but to try a wild card experiment known as "Source Code." US Army helicopter pilot, Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), is kept alive to be artificially transported back in time to the 8 minutes before the train explodes. The last thing he remembers is flying in Afghanistan and now waking up in a commuter train, bound for Chicago. As the train explodes, he finds himself in a small pod where the voice of one doctor, Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), encourages Stevens to go back 8 minutes and try to find the device and bomber. She explains the importance of encountering the bomber to save hundreds preventing a much larger explosion about to hit downtown. But Stevens begins to loose reality after encountering a passenger Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan).


Vendome Pictures, The Mark Gordon Company
Director: Duncan Jones
Writers: Ben Ripley, Billy Ray
Producers: Jordan Wynn, Philippe Rousselet, Mark Gordon
I viewed 8/11

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Reef (2010) R - 3½ Stars

The suspense in this movie is pretty good. I could feel my blood pressure raise more than a few times. Based on a true story, the movie offers you a good thrill ride. Though I would have liked to have gotten more acquainted with the characters before they were thrown out to sea, you really begin to feel their fear yelling to yourself, "Swim, you fools swim!"

A brother and sister, plus their significant others, Luke (Damian Walshe-Howling), Kate (Zoe Naylor), Suzie (Adrienne Pickering), Matt (Gyton Grantley) and Warren (Kieran Darcy-Smith) head off to explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef. When the boat tears a hole in the bottom of its haul, it capsizes leaving it's five travelers in the water. Now,the group has to decide if  they stay with the boat hoping to be rescued or put themselves in shark infested waters,  to swim to a shore more than 12 miles away they can't even see?


Lightning Entertainment, Screen Australia, Image Entertainment
Director: Andrew Traucki
Writer: Andrew Traucki
Producers: Andrew Traucki, Michael Robertson
I viewed 7/12