Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cop Out

I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith's and was looking forward to this film until I found out it was not written by him but that he was just directing it for the "paycheck". There are a few funny moments in the film but after the opening interrogation scene they are few and far between and the film just lacks the dialogue you would expect in a Kevin Smith project. There where plenty of people in the theater when I went and they were laughing at scenes that I just could not find any humor in. The stars abound in the film which included Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Pollack and Sean William Scott but none of their performances really clicked with me and Adam Brody was the worst. Skip this movie and check it out on cable - you will be thanking me later.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Crazies

If you cannot come up with an original horror movie idea then your safe bet is to go to the well of a master who has has done it all before and "re-image" or remake one of his. So far, remakes of George A. Romero films have been paying off well for younger directors and let's hope they continue to do so. The story is that town folks have been going crazy and killing each other and the government is stepping in to lock down the town for the citizens own protection but with all Romero stories this is never the case. The new film stars genre favorites Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mithell with relative newcomers Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker as a last remaining town members trying to get out of the city and away from the government that is set on killing them to hide their secret. Horror fans should be pleased with the fast pacing and appropriate levels of gore - check it out.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crazy Heart

Jeff Bridges stars as Bad Blake in the twilight years of country music career who is scrapping by going from one small time gig to another subsisting on whiskey, one-night stands, and a beat up pickup truck. But as he is going from town to town he falls for a local journalist and tries to start a relationship that is doomed to fail. Bridges is great and seems to channel the very soul of Merle Haggard who the story is supposedly based on. Maggie Gyllenhaal is the local love interest but other cast members include Robert Duvall as an elderly bartender and Colin Farrell as Tommy Sweet, Bad Blake protege whose star is surpassing his mentor's. This is one of Jeff's finest performances in a long time and definitely worth the Oscar buzz he is getting.

Click here to check out the official website.

Valentine's Day

A sappy movie with an all star cast directed by Garry Marshall. Not sure how many boyfriends and husbands got subjected to this but based on the box office it does not seem like many had to endure it. Plus side was that it did have a few of my favorite hot actresses like Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, and Anne Hathaway. The funniest part of the movie was Anne Hathaway's phone sex operator business while Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner where just plain annoying. Stick with flowers and chocolate this year and avoid this flick if you want to make through to another Valentine's Day together.

Click here to check out the official website.

Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are back together to bring us a mystery about the disappearance of an inmate from an insane asylum for the criminally insane. The story unfolds in the finest traditions of Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick with plot twists, misdirection and genuine scenes of graphic horror you would not typically see from a Scorsese film. DiCaprio delivers his best performance to date with a supporting cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow, Ted Levine, and Patricia Clarkson. This movie is great and a must see for all Scorsese fans to see a true master at the top of his craft. Now we just need to see what Scorsese can do with a musical or sci fi film.

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brooklyn's Finest

Antoine Fuqua, who brought us Training Day and Shooter, is back with his newest cop drama where the line between doing what is right and what is wrong has never been more obscure. I lucked in to an advanced screening of the film with the director and Wesley Snipes on hand afterward for a little Q & A but I opted for half-smokes from Ben's Chili Bowl across the street instead of the Q & A. The movie was good but deliberately paced and a bit slow in spots. Richard Gere was interesting as the retiring cop who just wanted to make it to retirement alive while Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke both delivered power performances as the long under cover cop who is losing is family and the cop who can not get enough money to support his family except from the leftover cash during drug busts. Wesley Snipes was good too but his role was more understated that you would expect and not the break out performance as some critics where saying.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Wolfman

Of all of the Universal monsters, my favorite has always been the Wolfman and upon hearing that a remake of the classic tale was being done with a cast that included Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving with creature makeup done by Rick Baker there was no way I was not seeing this as soon as humanly possible. Homages to the original film are as pervasive as I had hoped and the werewolf makeup just fantastic. There is a deeper story than found in the original film and the acting was all top notch but I did see the plot twists coming and could not have cared less. It was great seeing the classic monsters of my youth treated with the respect they deserved unlike in the ridiculous mashup called Van Helsing. Now I hear a remake of the Creature from the Black Lagoon is due in 2011 - as Stimpy would say - JOY!

Click here to check out the official website.

From Paris With Love

Luc Besson, who brought us the action thriller classics like Nikita, Leon, and The Fifth Element, brings us a new story starring a bald but cool bad-ass played by none other than John Travolta. Travolta plays the American spy come to stop a terrorist plot in Paris with the aid of a reluctant ambassador's aid played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who discovers he is a key asset in the terrorist's plot. Travolta's performance steals the show and is a joy to watch on screen as he chews up the scenery with either fist fights, gun play, explosions or chase sequences. Besson films are always fun to watch unfold and worth the price of admission. Although not Besson's strongest story, Travolta more than makes up for this and redeems himself well after such a lackluster performance in Old Dogs.

Click here to check out the official website.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Another popular children's book series gets the big screen treatment by Chris Columbus but this time out it focuses on the Greek gods and their human offspring better known as Titans. Our story deals with Percy, the hidden son of Poseidon, who has been tasked with retrieving Zeus's missing lightning bolt before the gods go to war and destroy the earth in the process. The cast includes Sean Bean as Zeus, Pierce Brosnan as Chrion, Rosario Dawson as an amorous and bored Persephone, Uma Thurman as the deadly Medusa, and Kevin McKidd as Poseidon. The movie has great effects and the story is pretty good too. Studio's are looking for the next big thing to fill in the void that will be created by the last installment of the Harry Potter franchise and I am not sure this series will be up to the task. Either way, this is definitely one of the better family films out right now and it will keep the kids happy and the parents entertained.

Click here to check out the official website.