Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gulliver's Travels

In lieu of seeing Blue Valentine I opted to see this retelling of a literary classic with the hit or miss acting of Jack Black. The updated pop culture references and the regular manic antics of Black do not make for a fun film for anyone over the age of ten. The cast includes some of my favorites actors like Emily Blunt, Billy Connolly, Jason Segel and the hilarious Chris O'Dowd - loved him in The IT Crowd - and Catherine Tate from the revived BBC Doctor Who series but they do not make the movie any more enjoyable. Tenacious D rules but it is the duo that rules and not just Black on his own. Your children might suck you into seeing this but try not to disturb everyone with your snoring.

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The Dilemma

Ron Howard teams up with Vince Vaughn and Kevin James for a new buddy comedy where one of the friends finds out that his best friend's wife is cheating on him and he doesn't know if he should tell him or not. A bit of a downer comedy but what makes it worth watching is the supporting performance by Jennifer Connelly who play's Vaughn's long time girlfriend. Winona Ryder is good as the cheating spouse but loses out on her scenes to Channing Tatum's ridiculously sensitive Zip. I have to agree with Cecily Knobler's comment from the Jack Diamond Morning Show on Friday in that James's character is not endearing at all so why do we care about his wife cheating on him. Another matinee movie so save your cash unless you think Vince Vaughn is worth it.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

The Green Hornet 3D

After meeting my best friend Geoff and his family for a late birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Bethesda - my was the ribeye terrific - I decided to hit this film at the Regal Cinemas just across the street to make up for passing on dessert. I like Seth Rogen as a general rule but did not have any high expectations for this film since I never followed The Green Hornet old time radio dramas and was more of an Abbott and Costello Show fan but I was pleasantly surprised to find this film enjoyable. There are plenty of comic moments and the 3D is rather unnecessary - yeah marketing execs - with some fine action sequences throughout and a dash of darkness to keep it interesting. I won't go in to the story because you get the gist of it from the trailer pretty much verbatim but it was great to see that Cameron Diaz was more than just eye candy in the film and she still has good comedy chops. If you are in the mood for a matinée then you really can't go wrong seeing this movie but beware of the gas gun!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

The King's Speech

There is a lot of Oscar buzz for Colin Firth's portrayal of King George the VI and it is well deserved. This is a perfect little movie with outstanding casting that includes Helena Bonham Carter as George's wife and Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist that helps the King overcome his speech impediment but all compliment the outstanding and constrained performance of Firth. The pressures on King George to overcome his stammer and be the voice of his country during the rise of Nazi Germany while maintaining the dignity and propriety of the royal family are overwhelming but Firth captures it all in a very credible and human performance that is deeplying moving. Firth has been an Oscar nominee before but I believe this perform just may snag it for him - damn it he is due! Everyone I know who has seen this film loved it so don't short change yourself by waiting for it to come out on cable - get a ticket now.

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Season of the Witch

Nicholas Cage is popping up everywhere and always seems to have a movie coming out and this week it is the Crusades and witchcraft. Behmen and Felson, played by Cage and the always cool Ron Perlman (any thinking The Name of the Rose besides me) , are two deserting Crusaders who are drawn back in by the Church to deliver a witch to a local monastery for judgement and hopefully end the plague afflicting the countryside. The movie is fun with good Crusade fight scenes and decent horrific plague imagery with ok CGI effects when needed for the witch showdown but the film is very short and no great leap in storytelling. I wonder how many more hell or magic themed movies Cage has left on his plate because that ship is starting to founder. With my AMC Producer's pack to keep me satiated it was still a good way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

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Country Strong

I am a sucker for country music themed movies and after seeing Gwnyneth Paltrow perform on an episode of Glee this season I knew I would be seeing this movie. The great thing about a movie like this is that the stars, or actors, actually sing the songs and it is funny that the one real country music performer, Tim McGraw, does not sing at all. The movie is supposedly about the comeback of a signer after she has fallen from grace and tries to make it back from rehab but it is more than that. The movie has good acting and even better music but it is the ending that that may through some people off track. If you like country music than you will want to see this but like country music it is about the story and that is not always pleasant or happy.

here to check out the official website.