Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner for Schmucks

Paul Rudd stars a Tim who must bring an idiot to a monthly dinner hosted by the executives at his company for their entertainment with a prize going to the best dinner guest. Tim crashes in to Barry, played by Steve Carell, who does dioramas featuring mice, who he convinces to be his guest at dinner but has a change of heart when they actually become friends. The comedy is good with only a few ridiculous moments that are a bit distracting and over the top. The dinner guests are hilarious and played by comedy regulars Jeff Dunham, Zach Galifianakis, Chris O'Dowd, and Octavia Spencer. A good ensemble comedy that is worth checking out and who knew dead mice could be so cute and heart warming.

Click here to check out the official website.

Charlie St. Cloud

I had no desire to see this movie after being inundated with the never ending trailers for it and I believe I also got free advanced screening passes that I let go but I had time to kill time today due running late to the theater to see Dinner for Schmucks due to the never ending weekend maintenance on the DC Metro's Yellow line. Zac Efron stars as Charlie who loses his brother in a car accident and gives up going to college and his career as a sailing champion to keep a promise to his brother's ghost to play catch with him every day. The movie plot is a bit hokey but scripted well enough to suspend disbelief until the reveal is made. Efron is a decent actor and does deliver a good performance but it seems like this should be a Lifetime movie versus being on the big screen. Not a bad movie but not my cup of tea so I would say rent it for date night and you would be fine.

Click here to check out the official website.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Not being at San Diego Comicon this year was a drag especially with all the pics coming out about this film but at least I lucked in to an advanced screening and man is it totally awesome! This movie is very stylized and if you grew up with video games then the hook is set and the movie adheres to the rules of the game and the defeating of the big bosses. Basically Scott, played by the every popular Michael Cera, falls for Ramona, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who must defeat her seven evil ex's, who are know as the League of Evil Exs, to be with her. The movie is fun, the music rocks, he game inspired final fight sequences are amazing and Kieran Culkin is so friggin' hilarious he steals all the scenes he is in hands down. The director, Edward Wright, hits another home run for gamers just like he did for zombie fan's with Shaun of the Dead and I can't wait to see what he does with Marvel's Ant-Man.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Angeline Jolie has been everywhere else except on the big screen since 2008's Wanted but that drought is now over with the release over her latest action thriller costarring Liev Schreiber. Salt is a CIA Agent who must go on the run after being accused of being a Russian sleeper agent by a defecting Russian spy but is she really trying to save her husband or carry out some deep covert operation after breaking free from CIA HQ? As expected the action is fun and the effects are top notch with some killer fight sequences delivered by Jolie and her stunt team. The plot is good and the twists are decently hidden but not completely for those paying attention. If you are a Jolie fan then this is a must see film with the final villain's death scene a joy to behold - I can still here the snap!

Please click here to check out the official website.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The trip down sentimental lane brings me back to another beloved TV show of my youth that hooked me because the main character could change in to any creature at will to save the day with creature effects brought to us by the late Stan Winston. The show does not hold up as expected, and to be honest it is quite bad which is why it only got eight episodes, but the effects are what hooked me and the transformation in to a panther, hawk and snake were very cool given what was being done as special effects on TV at the time with the late William Conrad providing the series narration. Yes they recycled the effects constantly but I didn't care - hell I was only thirteen at the time - and besides Melody Anderson was a babe. As for Simon MacCorkindale, aka Professor Jonathan Chase aka the Manimal, also stared in another fun film that year when 3D was popular for horror films in the early 80s - Jaws 3-D. NBC may have struck out on this show back in 1983 but it will always be an in the park home run for me and part of my youth's horror inspired wellspring that I still revel in.

Click here to see the tv show's weekly intro.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

For a movie inspired by a segment from the 1940's Walt Disney animated film, Fantasia, that featured Mickey Mouse, Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub deliver a fun little movie that will go over well with the kids and has some great homage moments for us bigger kids even if the classic mop and bucket scene is just a bit to cartoonish. Jay Baruchel, who is a dead ringer for a human version of Mickey, stars as the apprentice to Nicolas Cage's sorcerer who must stop the return of Morganna LaFey, played by genre favorite Alice Krige, who wants to raise up her long dead followers to destroy the world as we know it if evil sorcerer Horvath, played by the always sinister Alfred Molina, can break her from her imprisonment. The visuals and effects sequences are kinda cool as you would expect in a Bruckheimer production and do over shadow the plot but this is what I expected. The high point for me was seeing the beautiful and sensuous Monica Bellucci, from such films as Shoot 'Em Up and Brotherhood of the Wolf, in a Disney family film even if it was a small part. Not a bad movie to see during a weekend matinée with the kids but there are better films out currently to spend you money on.

Click here to check out the official website.


There are very few writers/directors that always bring their "A" game to the big screen like Christopher Nolan who shoots and scores without any disappointment in his latest thriller that delivers on the fantastic that we have been waiting for as glimpsed in the trailers. I am not going to go in to the plot because you already know it is going to be great and half the fun of a Nolan film is being sucked in to the plot twists and nuances with amazing visuals that blows your mind ands never trumps the story or the characters but lays the foundation for an immersive movie going experience like no other. The casting is superb which includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, who both seem to have the Midas touch when selecting film roles, Michael Caine a Nolan regular, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who seems to be finally making in to the big films after a very successful run of indie films. As much as I enjoyed Predators last week, I do have to admit this film floored it and I expect to see it rake in the big bucks this summer based on the huge cross-section of patrons I saw packing the theater at the 10 A.M. matinée. Nothing else to say but go see this film - hell see it twice!

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Although I liked the idea of Aliens versus Predators when it came out in the comics several years back it never did live up to my expectations of the films and it did not do justice to either franchise but thank goodness for producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal who deliver us a new action-packed thriller that restores the Predators back as the bad asses we came to love from the original 1987 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. From the opening sequence where we find Adrian Brody waking up as he is free falling to the Earth and lands quite painfully to instantly being joined by other falling bodies, some live and some die in the fall, fully armed and with no idea as to why they are here or how they got there but they all know they need to figure this out quickly if they are to survive. The plot is simple, straight forward, and compact with just the right amount of special effects to deliver the tension and carnage we all came to see. I never think of Adrien Brody as an action guy but I will be damned if he does not pull it off convincingly like he did in King Kong but this time covered in mud instead of being chased by stampeding dinosaurs. I will have to go out on the limb an say that this is the must see action film for the summer of 2010 that every one should see and will love and it is the film Predator fans have been waiting for for a long time.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Despicable Me 3D

The animated kids movie that has been hyped all year long and stars the voice talents of comedy regulars Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Will Arnett, Russell Brand, and Kristen Wiig has finally made it to the theater and it is funny and I dare say a bit heart-warming even with the umpa lumpa like minions. Gru, voiced by Carell, is our evil genius who is being eclipsed by the heists of his Spy vs Spy rivalry with Vector, voiced by Segel, and sets his sights on stealing the moon with the aid of three little girls he adopts to help him steal a device to make his scheme a reality. The animation is top notch but not up to Pixar's benchmark and the story is good but there is no real benefit from seeing this in 3D so save your three dollars. The movie trailers featuring the bursting of the kid's balloon animal and the freezing of the guests in line at the coffee shop are literally the openibg sequences of the film but like in all trailers some things are left out so the boy does not show back up to get his revenge on Gru as you would expect. A good family outing at the movies is to be had here and plenty of laughs for dad with a great fart joke set up by Brand's character Dr. Nefario - who doesn't like a good fart joke?

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The forever tween vampires and shirtless werewolves are back this week to rake in more of the cash from the Stephenie Meyer's rabid fan base. Just like in the books this is were the story starts to actually get interesting and deliver for us horror fans that actually want some horror in our stories. We finally get a combined vampire and werewolf royal rumble as they go up against Victoria, played this time out by Bryce Dallas Howard, and her new born vampire army while the Volturi are coming to check on Bella to see if she has been made in to a vampire yet by Edward. The royal rumble is fun to watch but ultimately unsatisfying because all you get are shattered vampires all over the place but not a single drop of blood spilled except for Bella cutting herself to distract a set of vamps attacking a new werewolf cub and Edward trying to protect her. This will be the big movie of the July 4th weekend and is so far the best in the series if you like sparkly vamps and unconsummated teenage lust.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Last Airbender 3D

M. Night Shyamalan is back with the big screen adaption of an anime favorite that features the return of the Avatar who is destined to restore balance between the nations of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The best thing about most anime is that it is not just for kids but Night seems to have taken all of the adult interest out and condensed it down to an anemic story with a few iconic scenes, all found in the trailer of course, with no form of character development that is instead handled by narration. M. Night built his career on having fantastic characters that you care about in great films like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs but seems to have left that all behind for just simple telegraphed plot twists as in The Village and The Happening. Also, the 3D adds nothing to the film and justs works to take $3 out of you wallet that you could have spent towards a soda or popcorn - from me its the Producer's Combo - a large soda and two hot dogs with ketchup and mustard. Although not an avid fan of the anime series like some of my friends, I did have high hopes for this film in the hands of M. Night and am sorry to say those hopes where dashed again and recommend a pass on this to rent it later so you can save your $10 bucks to spend elsewhere this July 4th weekend.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mary Poppins @ The Kennedy Center

As part of an annual traditional, or expectation :), I bought tickets to this show for my good friend Sharon to celebrate her birthday. The production was spectacular with amazing wire work for the chimney sweep number and the farewell of Mary as she leaves the Banks family because she is no longer needed. Normally having little kids behind me in a theater talking during the performance drives me nuts but the little girl behinds us was so enthralled and mesmerized by the show that it was just plan adorable. Mary Poppins, played by Caroline Sheen, and Bert, played by Gavin Lee, are wonderfully cast and deserved their standing ovation at the final curtain call. As always, the Kennedy Center gets some great Broadway performances and this is definitely one you and your family should see before it closes on August 22nd.

Click here to get information on the Kennedy Center production.