Friday, April 11, 2014

Lakeview Terrace (2008) PG13 - 4 Stars

I like this movie a whole lot more than most other critics out there. For me, I think Samuel L. Jackson is perfect in his character. The macho cop, looking after his kids, but holds a grudge against everyone for the fact he's doing it alone. It's a good high charged movie throwing the proverbial wrench into the gear at every opportunity. The grass isn't always greener at the top of the hill.

Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson), is a LAPD officer living with his two children in the upscale neighborhood in Lakeview Terrace. Chris Mattson (Patrick Wilson) and his new wife Lisa (Kerry Washington), have just moved into their dream home, becoming new neighbors with Abel. Abel is not impressed with his new interracial neighbors. Instead shows contempt at any glace thrown his way.

The first night in their new home, the newlyweds are rudely awakened by powerful spot lights, illuminate their bedroom. Abel has a sophisticated light system, surrounding his home, to keep intruders out. But it also makes it impossible for Chris and Lisa to sleep as the light blares in their bedroom window.

Tensions escalate, from both sides of the fence, as Abel's children are exposed to a midnight love making session in the new neighbors pool. It's not long after that, Chris and Lisa start receiving threats from their new neighbor. But no one will be ready when the sparks ignite into flames too hot for any of them to put out.

Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing
Director: Neil LaBute
Writers: Howard Korder, David Loughery
Producers: James Lassiter, Will Smith
I viewed 2/09

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Air I Breathe (2007) R - 3 Stars

Great all star cast, I was hoping the movie would be over the top but instead falls into the mediocre. The movie splits itself into 4 separate stories, based on an ancient Chinese proverb of four emotional cornerstones of life: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. But with all the great acting, the characters don't fall into place properly. While each name star gives a great performance, I didn't feel that powerful connection in the end to Sarah the way the director probably intended. On the same plane as movies like "Crash" and different lives intertwining, it does allow you to get close to the characters, feeling their pain and desperation but it just doesn't come all together properly, instead leaves you depressed and wondering what that point is suppose to be as the time line is so confusing.

When a nerdy businessman, "Happiness"(Forest Whitaker), is in the right place at the right time, he over hears three men talking about a horse that's a shoe in in tomorrows race. Taking his entire life savings, he attends the race putting his life on the line to find out there is no sure thing and now finds crime boss Fingers (Andy Garcia), about to dismember him if he doesn't come up with the money. This once quiet man, now desperate, robs a bank to come up with the cash.

A gangster, "Pleasure"(Brendan Fraser), who works for Fingers, is assigned the task of collecting money along with his nephew Tony, (Emile Hirsch). His assignment is to go after Trista "Sorrow", (Sarah Michelle Gellar) a famous pop singer, who has lost her contract to Fingers without her knowledge. Along the way he has a powerful premonition keeping him from doing his job.

A doctor "Love"(Kevin Bacon), will learn the true meaning of the word as he attempts to save the woman he loves Gina (Julie Delpy), who is dying from serious injuries. But her rare blood type will test his abilities in playing God with the one he loves. Each event seems to have an effect on the other characters to come to a head at the end.

ThinkFilm, Pathe International
Director: Lee Jieho
Writers: Bob DeRosa, Lee Jieho, Jieho Lee
Producers: Darlene Caamano Loquet, Paul Schiff, Emilio Diez Barroso
I viewed 4/09