Friday, November 27, 2009

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

I did not see the 1999 film The Boondock Saints but after hearing about it from a my co-worker Carl I figured I should check this movie out. This sequel was hands down funny, violent and had a great cast which makes me want to pick up the first film on DVD to get all of the back story on the Irish brothers and their vigilante murders of Boston mobsters. The cast includes Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as the MacManus brothers with help from Clifton Collins Jr. and Julie Benz to seek justice for the killing of a local Boston priest by the mob. Other cast notables are Billy Connolly, Peter Fonda and Judd Nelson as the MacManus patriarch and the mobsters behind the priest's murder to lure the boys back to the states to seek their revenge. A good movie to see even if you missed the first one - thanks for the recommendation Carl.

Click here to check out the official website.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson, the director behind such cult favorite films as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, tries his hand at stop motion animation with this Ronald Dahl children novel. Wes Anderson's voice cast includes his regular stable of actors with a few new ones you would not expect like George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Brian Cox. The story is about the trickster Mr. Fox and how he tries to steal from the three largest farmers in the valley while keeping his activities secret from his family and the consequences. The animation is quite good and gives the film a very surreal atmosphere with great dialog that engages the adult even more than the child. A good family movie but also a great film just to enjoy sans the kids.

Click here to check out the official website.

Old Dogs

John Travolta and Robin Williams, Charlie and Dan, are best friends and business partners doing well until a former girlfriend comes back in to their lives with a set of twins in which Dan is the father. The movie is meh and the only real draw for me was Seth Green and it turns out all of his best moments were in the trailer. The movie limps along and the laughs are few and far between. It was nice to see that Kelly Preston is still hot and makes me nostalgic for seeing Mischief again. A rental at best so save you money.

Click here to check out the official website.

NInja Assassin

James McTeigue, who brought us V for Vendetta, delivers an adrenaline fueled revamping of the tired ninja film that explodes off of the screen. Instead of the old fountains of blood spray and ridiculous fight sequences with no physical harm, this film gets a healthy kick of CGI enhanced in-screen kills that look cool and all kinds of flying blades in Matrix -style bullet time. The story revolves around Rain, played by Raizo, who is taking out his former ninja clan brethren and exposing them to the world. If ninja films keep this up then I want to see more and hopefully they make it to the big US screens instead of just to the foreign DVD racks at the local mall. Check this film out and you wont regret it.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Let me start out by telling you that I abhorred this movie once I finally saw it after being asked by a co-worker, Kristen, if I would see this move. My reaction to it was so vehement and visceral that my friends could not believe my hate for it but this movie struck at my very core and made me angry and literally hate Mary, played by Mo'Nique, the mother of Precious, played by newcomer Gabourey 'Gabby" Sidibe. I was so appalled by Mary and how she hated and abused her own daughter that it made me physically hurt to watch the film and has taken me a while to write this review to make sure I am doing the movie justice. The reveal in the social workers office literally brought me to my knees. Due to the subject matter of this film I cannot recommend it to everyone but if you see this film and are not moved by it - maybe not to the extent I was - I feel sorry for your very soul and Mo'Nique deserves the Oscar for her performance if for nothing else but making me believe her character was real and hurting me like no other movie has ever done.

Click here to see the official website.

Planet 51

With all the voice talent in this film I was bummed that is was just mediocre at best. I actually found myself nodding off a couple of times because it could not hold my interest. The story is about an astronaut who lands on a planet that is inhabited by little green men but who seem to be stuck in their own 50's like era. The role reversal should be interesting but it is not. This movie is a pass until it shows up on cable.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

I did not know anything about this movie but I loved Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant from 1992 that starred Harvey Keitel with the unforgettable scene where he pull's over two young women for speeding and makes the driver give him a blow job before letting them go with a warning - and you see his penis too! This is not a sequel but Nicholas Cage is a New Orlean's police lieutenant who starts out hooked on prescription drugs for his back pain and then starts snorting coke, has a prostitute girlfriend played by Eva Mendes, is trying to solve a drug multi-murder case while owing his bookie played by Brad Dourif for not making the spread of the game of the week. Other cast members include Val Kilmer as another crooked cop, long-time no-see hottie Fairuza Balk - in a lovey black bra and panties - as a female cop over seeing a police evidence locker room, and Tom Bower and Jennifer Coolidge as Cage's recovering AA father and still drunk on beer stepmother. The movie is interesting and is art house and indie film fodder at its best with a few surreal moments thrown in to really make the audience laugh. If you like your cops really bad and strung out then check this film out and you will not believe the luck that gets thrown to Cage's character as you are hauled away to the last scene and the light come up.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Blind Side

I had high hopes for this movie based on the trailers and to my delight I was not disappointed. The story stars Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron and tells the story of Michael Oher and the family that takes him in off of the street and gives him a family that supports and loves him and how he goes from being an under-educated but giant teenager to become a much sought after recruit for major college football programs. Quinton and Sandra's performances are terrific and heart felt with Tim McGraw showing his acting chops just may be better than his music. There is Oscar buzz already for this film and from what I have seen it is well deserved. I dare anyone to see this movie and not be moved by it or have to wipe a tear away from their eye.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The next installment in the most anemic vampire series known to man hit the theaters today. I read the books and the highlight of the series was the werewolves with Jacob Black learning to deal with his family heritage and his love for Bella after being left by Edward. The effects are OK but could have been better and the plot of the story is almost word for word the same as the book but thankfully the internal monologues are absent which makes the films far superior to the books if that is even possible to imagine. The howls and wolf calls the audience made when Jacob took of his shirt were ridiculous and goes to prove why this series makes any real horror or monster fan just cringe. Stephanie Meyer is not the next J.K. Rowling but may be the tween set's Barbara Cartland.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pirate Radio

Richard Curtis, the director of 2003's Love Actually, brings us the story of a band of rogue rock-n-roll 60's disc jockeys who broadcast from the high seas to bring the people the rock music the British radio stations would not play. The movie is a romp with killer music that has plenty of British comedy regulars on board to man the ship like Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd, and Rhys Ifans with indie favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman to throw an American in the mix. The best parts of the film involve Kenneth Branagh as Sir Alistair Dormandy and his crusade to rid the air waves of the filth of rock-n-roll. The film has no deep message but delivers a love letter for the music and the life style. A fun ride and worth checking out.

Click here to check out the official website.


The much hyped end of the world epic has made it to the screen from none other than Roland Emmerich, who has brought us The Day After Tomorrow and the mega hit Independence Day, starring the 80's generation's everyman John Cusack. What makes this film work is that as the effects and set pieces get bigger and bigger the story condenses around the Curtis family and how they race to save themselves. The cast includes Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson and Danny Glover as the President who is faced with saving, or salvaging, the human race from extinction by bringing the nation's of the world together with a final solution made in China. The destruction is incredible and the effects spectacular as you would expect and fortunately the acting is good too. A good popcorn muncher that I enjoyed and I believe you will too.

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Broken Lizard @ GW Lisner Auditorium

The boys were in town tonight and they rocked the Lisner with skits and every member of the group getting their turn at the mic as part of their comedy tour de force. Just before the show got started I realized Lynda Carter - aka Wonder Woman - was setting in front of me and I pointed this our to my friend Sharon who was the only black person at the show apparently from the third row view. To get the show started, Steve told masturbation stories about himself and his fellow troopers much to the chagrin of Carter who learned that Jay had a Wonder Woman poster he liked to "make love to" at age thirteen but she recovered well and was laughing just like the rest of us in the audience. It was great seeing bits from each of their movies replayed on the stage and original material along with a large amount of audience participation. Their next movie, The Slammin' Salmon is due in theaters on December 11th and stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Olivia Munn and many more celebrity cameos - I can't wait to get my tickets.

Click here to check out the Broken Lizard official website.

Click here to see The Slammin' Salmon trailer or here for the Red Band trailer.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Box

The writer and director of the cult favorite film Donnie Darko brings us a creepy morality play based on a Richard Matheson short story. Basically a disfigured stranger played by Frank Langella delivers a box to Cameron Diaz with a simple proposition in which she has 24 hours to press the button on a box and she will receive 2 million dollars but the catch is that someone she does not know will die. The film is intriguing and the web woven between the receivers and the victims of the the box is well crafted. There is only one moment in the film where the juxtaposition seems off but maybe this was due to a poor edit that may be resolved in the DVD director's cut. The film goes to show that Richard Matheson regardless of year is one of the best prolific writers we have ever had and can deliver a mean little story that will always pack a punch.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Fourth Kind

Director Olatude Osumsanmi brings us the true story of Doctor Abigail Tyler and the shared fear and mystery surrounding inhabitants in a small Alaska community who are terrorized by dreams of a white owl. The film is split between real case footage from Dr. Tyler's work and re-enactments and dramatizations featuring Milla Jovovich as Tyler. The split screening and dramatizations tend to be distracting more than engaging as the film unfolds but the real footage is very engaging and at points down right frightening. The footage where one of the patients is actually possessed by an alien or entity is startling and the aftermath where he literally breaks his own spine from the remenbered encounter under hypnosis is horrific. The ending sequence between Dr Tyler and the director on where things stand now is disturbing and sad but makes you really wonder what is out there waiting to mess with your life and you cannot stop it.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

George Clooney and an all star cast bring to screen the story of the U.S. Army's involvement in developing a unit to engage in paranormal warfare and espionage. As funny as this premise seems to be and the clips from the trailer, this film is surprisingly dull and the funny moments fall in to obscurity and make you just go meh. Jeff Bridges's Bill Django is the only real funny part of this film and he does steal the screen when he is on it. As much as I had wanted to like this film from the trailers it did not deliver much like Clooney's previous lackluster film effort Leatherheads. This is a pass unless you are a fan of Jeff Bridges.

Click here to check out the official website.

Disney's A Christmas Carol: An IMAX 3D Experience

A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite holiday classics that I have watched over the years in all its many film versions with Scrooge from 1970 starring Albert Finney still being my favorite version to date. That said, any Robert Zemeckis film is always a treat but add in Jim Carrey, the human cartoon, Digital 3D and IMAX and this is something to behold. The IMAX 3D is friggin' amazing and the best I have ever seen which gives me high expectations for James Cameron's Avatar. Jim Carrey provides the visual ques and voices for Scrooge and all of the ghosts with Zemeckis making sure the ghostly parts of the film still have a fright to them even if they are CGI while the rest of the familar cast of characters are brought to life by the voice talents of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright Penn. If you have yet to go to an IMAX screening or seen IMAX 3D, then this movie is a most see just for these two features only - Happy Holidays!

Click here to check out the official website.