Defiance (from Netflix)

Director:

Edward Zwick
Stars:
Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell

Plot Synopsis

This movie starts in 1940 in rural Belarusse, as the Naxis are invading and killing jews and driving them from their homes. It centers around the Bielski brothers who learn early on in their movie that their family was betrayed and slaughtered by SS soldiers.

We first meet Zus Bielski, played by a stern-faced Liev Schreiber who hasn't looked this good and focused since "A Walk On The Moon" which was made several years ago. He is accompanied by Asael Bielski, played convincingly by Jamie Bell. Asael is a pivotal character and seems to play the conscience of the family throughout the movie.

These two Bielski brothers, aware of the gravity of the situation, decide to flee to the forest and find refuge there. They soon meet with Tuvia Bielski - a worthy competitor to Zus Bielski, and as the movie progresses their sibling rivalry will prove comforting amongst all of the chaos.

The Bielski brothers decide to take refuge in the woods where they have been playing "fort" and exploring in their whole lives. What they don't expect is to find that the woods are crowded. Other Jews have had similar ideas. The Bielski brothers, who seemed to be village goofballs and school drop outs in the normal world, soon take positions of leadership of a growing forest society.

The Nazis are always close behind, they are never safe, food is sparse and let us not forget about the harsh winters in that part of the world. The Bielskis will be challenged in just about every possible way as they try to survive to just one more day of freedom.

Who Would Like It
Any world war II  history buff will enjoy the movie's attention to historial and geographical detail. There are many fighting and war scenes from this director Edward Zwick who brought us Glory and Blood Diamond. I think that Daniel Craig fans would enjoy this as long as they know who won't be wearing any tuxedos and that there are absolutely NO martinis in this movie what so ever!

Sandout Scenes
There are a lot of war and fighting scenes with Schreiber, who decides to fight with the russians. There are several revenge scenes that are hard to take but will make you think. There are several "forest" relationships that bud amidst all the murder and mayhem that are touching.

Summary
Zwick paints a harrowing picture of this dark time in the world but manages to eek out some humanity and hope, just as his protaginists the Bielski brothers did.

Rating:

 Three Mike and Ike packages out of a possible three. This is absolutely a must see.

Henry V -Laurence Olivier's

Henry V (1944)
The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France


Director:

Laurence Olivier
Stars:


A special category and award was made for this movie by the Academy. What is so enthralling about this movie is how it starts, in a theatre of the round, the Globe perhaps. And you, as an audience member, yawn, not wanting to be involved in another lame Shakespeare play. But Olivier knew this. So quickly, as the gialogue progresses, we are thrown into the black, by that I mean there is a black back drop to the actors, as if they're in some sort of alternate universe.

Then, suddenly, if I remember correctly they are outdoors and then after that there are horses in full gallop hurling towards the camera. And then we are in a full fledged combat zone.

This is the play where the king goes and describes himself as a commoner (many say that's what Shakespeare or the Earl of Oxford, whoever directed these plays, did) and he goes to talk to his troops the night before a big battle. And I seem to remember there being a rousing speech and him motivating the troops.

Henry V, I think, was very much revered in his day. That is what I would say with my limited scope of history. If you are truly into film and acting, check out Laurence Olivier, don't be scared of him, he was in a movie with Dustin Hoffman in the seventies, and if you don't know who Dustin Hoffman is, God help you, but just think about Justin Bieber except a talented accomplished actor, with a big nose.

Rating Key:
1 Mike and Ike means this movie is not even worth the cost of a Mike and Ike's, let alone a movie ticket.
2. Two Mike and Ike's says pay the matinee price but don't expect miracles.
3. Three Mike and Ikes is a great movie you should see in the theatre if you can but then if not, you should rent.


 

Major League

Major League (1989)

 Director:

Stars:

PLOT SUMMARY
I think this comedy could find relevance to modern-day Dodger's fans.

This is IMBD.COM's summary: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. But when the plot is uncovered, they start winning just to spite her.

I remember very well the group of misfits that was put together. Talk about Bush League - a catcher with two bad knees, a pitcher with a 110 mile an hour fastball who thinks the strike zone is in the stands, a speed demon who can't hit - the list goes on and on.

But, much like life, like it or not, they are stuck together. And their owner wants them to lose. Somehow, the coaches are crazy enough to get these guys to work together, and suddenly, out of nowhere . . . they start winning.

THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE
What an ensemble! Dare I say I wish they had ensembles like these today! Pre-IRS trouble Snipes, Pre-"Bi-Winning" Charlie Sheen and the great Tom Berenger, who I last saw in "Training Day". Worth noting too is that Dennis Haysbert plays a very amusing character who is constantly trying to evoke voodoo magic so that he can hit better. And of course, the voluptuous and beautiful Rene Russo, whose sex appeal also lies in the fact that she knows baseball.

They make a life-size cardboard picture of their somewhat attractive owner who could be described with an expletive, and each time they win a game, they strip off a piece of clothing from the cutout.

ART REFLECTS LIFE?
I think the greedy owner who knows and cares nothing about the game is especially relevant for Los Angeles residents who have been betrayed and sold down the dirty LA river by the Mccourts. Keep in mind, this is an old movie, but there are certainly some timeless themes.

It is important to mention and remind people how incredible Charlie Sheen was as the incorrigible "Wild Thing" who was brought up from a prison league to play. They have to teach him how to tame his fastball, but they don't try to tame his heart. He becomes known to fans as "Wild Thing", and when he comes out on to the field, they play the most popular rendition of that song. He is one of my favorite movie characters of all time. And Sheen doesn't overdo it, he just plays it.

This is an ode to a real-life "Wild Thing" who struggle this year and last to maintain equilibrium. My hope is that young people could watch this movie and realize why Sheen, who was one of the most entertaining leading men of his time, is relevant.

THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE
Wesley Snipes' "Willie Mays Hayes" is another character I loved and cared about. I would paraphrase this movie as a child for years after watching it. What's special though is the bond that these misfits create. That is an age-old recipe for a movie, and in this one, it worked. It was not contrived.

For me this movie out-Bull Durhams Bull Durham, maybe because there are more characters and it's about the major leagues and not the farm leagues. Also, there is nothing wild about Kevin Costner, but Snipes and Sheen, who have had real-life struggles recently, fit the bill.


Rating: Three Mike and Ikes out of a possible three which implies excellence in film making.




Charlie Sheen as "Wild Thing" who is prescribed glasses to help him hit the strike zone.
A sort of wierd, unfortunate celebrity that resulted from Sheen's social media melt-down and eventual depatrture from his sit come "Two and-a-half Men"

Henry Fool


Henry Fool (1997)  


Director:

Writer:

(uncredited) See more »


This movie was exceptional. It was a masterpiece. A poem. By a man who now directs operas in LA and over seas. This movie will rule your world.

It's about a man who is a poet but he doesn't know it. And another man who tries to bring it out of him. It talks about work, responsibility, etc.

Some of the action is very wierd and stylized. It's about the main character whose name is Henry Fool if you can imagine that!

Geoffs Movies is a full-time movie review blog. Movies are color. Movies are light. Movies are life!

Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet

Great movie. Kate Winslet as Ophelia. How can you get any better than that?

Hamlet (1996)

 

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writers:

William Shakespeare (play), Kenneth Branagh (screenplay)

Sideways

Sideways (2004)

Director:

Alexander Payne

Writers:

Rex Pickett (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay), and 1 more credit »

Stars:

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen

PLOT SUMMARY
A bordering on middle-aged middle school English teacher and wino by hobby takes his former-actor friend on a wild trip up to Napa Valley, where his friend wants to sow his wild oats one more time before getting married.

WHAT YOU MIGHT LIKE
This is a great job by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. The two friend's bond is what made me care about the movie. I also thought that director Alexander Payne and Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael did a great job of photographing the valley, which made it even more interesting. They create a warm feel and environment for these two philandering men.

Also worth noting is Virginia Madsen the sensual "pourer" who Giamatti likes.


WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE
There is a A LOT of desperation in this movie, some scenes result in the two running from naked, angry cuckolded husbands. Also, the movie taps into Giamatti's melancholy, and they document him spiraling. This could be an uncomfortable for any alcohlics or people who are depressive.

Giamatti is trying to get a novel published so he can quit his day job of reading Tom Sawyer to middle school kids who would rather be somewhere else.

IN SUMMATION
I have to say though that the ending to this movie was one of the most beautiful endings of all time. I don't want to give it away, except that it ends with a beginning.

Frida

Frida (2002)

Director:

Julie Taymor

Writers:

Hayden Herrera (book), Clancy Sigal (screenplay), and 3 more credits »
This was a great movie that got my dad to exclaim what a nice bust Salma Hayek had to which I responded where the F have you been the last ten years or so.

This was a great movie by Julie Taymore, that's right the one who is suing Spiderman. I wish I could have travelled back in time to warn her about that whole Spiderman debacle.

A debacle this was not though. This was a well thought out well paced and very colorful movie with Geoffrey Rush involved in a pivotal communist role which I won't give away except to say that he gets an axe through his head in the middle of Mexico.

Frida, a brilliant artist in her own right was sort of a victim of her big opaque husban Diego Rivera with whom she travelled the globe. He was always fooling around on her and it was sort of tragic how she let it happen. Anyway, this movie, of course, deserves probably an A.

Geoffs Movies is a full-time movie review blog. Movies are color. Movies are light. Movies are life!

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation


Christmas Vacation (1989


Writer:

John Hughes


This is my favorite of holiday movies and I have been known to order people to sit down and watch it. I think the laughs and the funniness are unparallelled. I know it's a little old fogey of me but tell me one modern movie that has this much funniness.

My favorite scenes are between Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid, the unwanted brother in law. I hope that I never turn into that guy.

Anyway, there is also a funny rottweiler that plays prominently. And his wife is always beautiful. But mostly it's just a really great ensemble movie. It has has Ray's Mom from Everyone Loves Raymond, showing off her comedic chops. When the family shows up at the door, the parents of each side, at the same time, the dread on Chevy Chase's face is classic. Just classic. People need to laugh during the holidays.


Geoffs Movies is a full-time movie review blog. Movies are color. Movies are light. Movies are life!

How To Train a Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Directors:

Writers:

William Davies (screenplay), Dean DeBlois (screenplay), and 2 more credits »

POT

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is different. He lives on an island full of vikings who must constantly defend themselves from dragons. His dad is king of this society, and a great warrior viking.

Just his luck that is son is thin, intellectual, and doesn't see any interest in slaying dragaons.

This was a beautiful movie. I thought they made the dragons look like dogs and I think that over anything is what made it amazing.

Gerald Butler and Craig Fergusson added the accents, which I thought was beautiful. The animation was beautiful and the writing was great too. There was a lot of personality in the whole thing.

Geoffs Movies is a full-time movie review blog. Movies are color. Movies are light. Movies are life!

The Social Network

The Social Network (2010)
Director:
Writers:
Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Ben Mezrich (book)
Stars:

The Plot:
Mark Zuckerberg is breaking up with his much prettier girlfriend at a bar near Cambridge, where he attends school at Harvard. We become immediately aware about how sensitive he is to social pressure, advantage, and making it in life. In fact, as they're breaking up, his girlfriend points out that it's an unhealthy obsession.

Does this sound like the inventor of Facebook to you? Obsesses with social and or relationship status?

Regardless of your bias towards Facebook, a social networking phenom that has captures the attentions of billions, changed the world an make Zuckerberg a rich and powerful man - this is a personal look at the formative years of its originator, Mark Zuckerberg.

After this opening scene we are led back to a stinky Harvard dorm room where Zuckerberg vents his frustration on a personal blog that he makes viewable for many other people. Then, some drinking ensues and he writes up a program that allows people to rate the "hotness" of Harvard women. This program, because so many people get into it on a Friday night, shuts down one of Harvard's main servers and gets Zuckerberg some press in the student newspaper.

As a rebellious programmer, there seems to be no bigger honor and after that, a lot of interesting offers come in. One of them is to create a site to help people socialize. Zuckerberg, a creative genius, takes this ball and runs with it.

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT LIKE:
I was sort of bored by all the press this movie got, and I felt that Fincher did a decent job, not a great job. What stood out though, like a beacon in the night, was Aaron Sorkin's brilliant writing. It was even better this time than his usual trademark wit displayed in Sports Night and West Wing. This was Sorkin enlightened. Some insiders say that Sorkin, a reclusive genius himself, could fully relate to Zuckerberg. I have read in interviews that Sorkin bristles at this "accusation". Whatever it was, I was laughing every five seconds because of how witty everyone was.

I was warned before I saw it about how heavy this was and how dark it made Zuckerberg appear. This made me not want to see it for a long time. But I found the movie to be quite optimistic. I felt that it embraced themes of modern day expansion, exploration and not having time to wait four years for a degree to start your business. I think Zuckerberg's foibles were approached by Fincher and Sorkin with a lot of care and he was made to look simply human, and actually likeable at points. 


WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT LIKE
The awards press for this movie was obnoxious. It's sad when the campaigning ruins an interesting movie. I don't think that Fincher did an amazing job on this. In Los Angeles there seems to be a flutter of press about all the wild techniques he used to direct it. I found it to be straight forward, which was good enough! 

Justin Timberlake critics will enjoy his appearance as the inventor of Napster who shepherds Facebook towards its millionth user. No complaints, he did a great job, period!




The Negotiator

The Negotiator (1998)

R  140 min  -  Action | Crime | Drama   -  29 July 1998 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 56,765 users   Metascore: 62/100 
Reviews: 260 user | 121 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director:

F. Gary Gray

There is nothing like Kevin Spacey in a bad sweater staring down Samuel L. Jackson who claims his white friends at the Chicago police force framed him. What would make you say something like Samuel?

Samuel is in full-fledged scary scream mode in this one. I am not sure where this falls in the Ezekial section of his career or "I hope they burn in Hell" section but there is a scene shot from a helicopter where he is screaming to the city of Chicago and staring the dozen or so SWAT officers trained on him with assault rifles to kill him. Epic!

Red State


Red State (2011)

R  88 min  -  Action | Horror | Thriller   -  30 September 2011 (Ireland)
6.3
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 15,197 users   Metascore: 50/100 
Reviews: 179 user | 154 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.

Director:

Kevin Smith

Writer:

Kevin Smith


Wow! What a crazy movie. This is Hostel meets Bowling For Columbine. The Republicans just can't seem to get any respect in Hollywood these days!

A lipo -suctioned John Goodman in the role of an ATF head, debating whether or not to invade a place. What I didn't know is that this was direct by the prolific and ebluent Kevin Smith.

THis is a rolicking movie from right from the start. I think the award, though, goes to Ryan Parks, who plays Abin Cooper, or the leader of the sect. He is composed and relaxed yet evil. A natural leader and preacher, who believes that what he is doing and how he is doing it is right, the right way.

There are long, drawn out monologues of him, preaching, while people are being tortured, or wrapped up and shot.

This no doubt at least sheds some light on how someone like Smith must feel about states that are majority Republican. Just taking a stab, don't know if that's the real case or not!

X-Men First Class

A link to the movie's IMDB page

Let me start off by saying HOT HOT HOT! A thousand times hotter than X-Men 1, 2,  or 3. I think this movie was a great argument for not even having Brian Singer around. SInger, of course, is a very capable director but he managed to make X Men boring and predictable and not even Halle Berry was that hot!

Matthew Vaughn took this movie by the bullhorns in a way a dude director only can. January Jones as Emma Frost and the indelible Rose Byrne as Moria Mactaggart, a CIA agent.

With plenty of skin being displayed by all the right people, this movie managed to about much more than how hot the 60s were. The junior cadets of the X-Men school, and of course aptly titled the first class, were all genius in their own way.

All struggling to fit in on the outside, they were taught discipline by the dashing James Macavoy who ended up playing Charles Xavier with 1960s debonair and panache.

Also striking was Jennifer Lawrence as a younger version of Rebecca Remain StayPut's Raven.

My favorite new talent of this X-men movie was the kid who had to use sonar to fly. I thought that was genius. Of course this deals with conflicts between good and evil and shows the reasons for the original split. But it also shows extreme set design and costume talents.

With all the other bells and whistles going on, they manage to catch a time period in swinging London and my eyes were transfixed on that.

Also, I must say, it was so so nice to Kevin Bacon in a sort of nemesis and dramatic role.

This movie takes the cake. Now that is how you make a movie Singer!

Easy A


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Easy A (2010


Easy A

Director:

Will Gluck
Stars:



PLOT: This movie is about Olive, a late-blooming young lady who until recently spends her weekends studying, painting her toe nails and hanging out with her exceptionally cool and laid back California parents (this takes place in Ojai).

Then, in an effort to shame a friend who is preoccupied with sex, she lies about an affair Olive had one weekend. This is overheard by an uber-Christian girl who was hiding in the bathroom. Everyone is alarmed by how fast word gets around about this non-sexual weekend being a real romp. Then a gay "friend" of hers asks her to help him spread a rumor that they got together to boost his reputation. This basically opens up Pandora's box at her medium-sized high school in Ojai.

At the beginning of the year Olive was transparent to all but a dozen at the high school, and for the first time she is NOTICED, but she wonders if it's for the right reasons.

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT LIKE:
Emma Stone is special. She is able to single-handedly light up this movie with her energy and enthusiasm and humor. And if you watch the outtakes the way I did, you can see she was having an absolute blast filming this. Much of the movie is her recounting this odd journey to popularity through video blog to set things straight. Even her acting on the video blog is good.

Also, the supporting cast, which includes all star heavy weights such as Thomas Hayden Church from Wings and Sideways, Lisa Kudrow from Friends, Stanley Tucci from many movies, Malcom McDowell from Clockwork Orange, Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen who plays a hilariously unhelpful priest, Patricia Clarkson who in this gets a "coolest and most understanding Mom in the world" trophy.

Worth noting is Amanda Bynes who leads these teenage uber Christians who pass out pamphlets on campus and play Jesus songs on guitar. I personally didn't have them at my school, what fun!

Also worth noting were Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson's working together and playing Olive's super-cool parents. Their scenes together were so warm and touching, it was a great part of this movie. It was nice to know that Olive had an amazing support system as she went through these tribulations that could break lesser people.

WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT LIKE
This is movie about young people's approach to sex and sexuality. It also underscores how horrible high school and how a public high school, almost with trying, can keep people down because of the weird social microcosm it creates. It might bring back bad memories.

In this movie, Emma Stone is a rising star, and one begins to think she will find a way to get out of all of this. In life, Stone is a rapidly rising star with her unconventional looks, subtle sex appeal, seal of approval from comedy greats such as Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray and a lot of screenplays that people want her to read.

My hope is that Stone, just like Olive, will always find the high road, and something tells me she will.

The Caller


The Caller (2011)

Director:

Matthew Parkhill
 
Stars:


This movie was evil trippy. Lazy. It was just  alot of stupid things happening to some girl who was lonely. She even fantasized a dude who looked like Stephen Moyer to come over and see if she was alright.

It's based on a girl who keeps getting a call from a lady who lived in the past. Not so sure about it. Probably had to turn it on from the beginning but it just looked like a thesis theme where this girl kept taking all these trippy turns in her life.

The highlight was definitely seeing Bill Moyer though, and him not playing that weak character of Bill Compton. Of course there were pieces of Bill Compton in there, but sort of a new character. His body language was different.

I did, however, keep waiting for him to say "Sookie!"



Fright Night

Fright Night (2011)


Director:

Craig Gillespie
 
Stars:

This movie started interestingly enough with high school nerd turned stud Charlie Brewster showing off his untamed beauty of a girlfriend Imogen Poots, who, by the way, no one can really figure out how he got.

We meet his mother, played by Toni Colette, who is supposed to seem like a vulnerable bereaved widow left to raise her perfect child all by herself.

Enter Colin Farrel, who works hard at playing a construction hunk living in Las Vegas. Right away, we, the audience can tell there's something different about Farrel, but of course Colette and Poots are blinded by his tight t-shirt.

Superbad McLovin plays Farrel's vampire character's first victim. And it doesn't take long for Brewster to make daring and heroic uninvited investigative visits into Farrel's house, which seems to amuse Farrel.

There's a lot of kids who go up missing at the local school, a lot of pining after Poots, and a lot of Brewster being a hero.

Brewster eventually resorts to visiting the next David Copperfield wanna be in a stage show to ask him advice about killing a vampire and then . . .. fair audience .. . I shut it off and went to bed.

If I can't stop obsessing about work or money while I'm watching a movie, then direct craig gilespie isn't doing his job. Nice try though.

C+

Midnight In Paris

Midnight in Paris (2011)


Director:

Woody Allen
 
Stars:

This movie was great. My Dad says Woody Allen is finally becoming to be a good director. Sheesh! I thought he was a good director for a long time now, always doing big things. Anyway, this movie is where it's at!

And it's official that it has now recieved a Golden Globe nod for Best Motion Picture comedy or musical! Wow. Imagine the luck!

Owen Wilson being his goofy self and a DP who is obsessed with Rachel Mcadam's ass. This movie had all the necessary Woody Allenisms with some real authentic charm of its own.

Owen Wilson is Woody Allen dumbed down. He is a charming characater and plays a Hollywood screenwriter who is in fact a hopeless romantic and completely in love with Paris.

"If I have to walk down another romantic boulevard I'm going to puke!" McAdams says at one point. She does not share his feelings about this place and for all we know, she wishes Paris would disappear.

Paris, for Wilson's character, plays a sort of time travel machine that allows him to travel to other epics so that he might compare them to his won.

Something about this movie was so still!

Apparently Owen Wilson was nominated for Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture



Bad Lieutenant

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009)


Director:

Werner Herzog
Stars:

I think this is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Not only is Nicolas Cage back, but Wolfgang Herzon is proving himself to be an animal as a director. Truly phenomenal.

Love Ranch


Love Ranch (2010)  

Director:

Taylor Hackford
Stars:


Dame Helen Mirren, Hollywood's golden golden girl, is actually really good in this one. Joe Pesci, to borrow a line from Borat, "not so much!"

This is a great story though and apparently it's based in reality. As someone who used to live only about 40 miles from the love ranch, when I lived in Reno, I certainly appreciated the photography. I think they captured how eccentric and eery it can get up there.

Mirren's character, Grace Bontempo, and Armonda Bruza, an Argentian boxer who has been bought out by Charlie Bontempo, Pesci's character, are both kind of lost souls up there in northern Nevada in the cold.

The sparseness of their location and their situation is lost on Joe Pesci, who is too busy trying to expand his trashy empire of connected trailers and a watchmen's tower where he can oversee it all. "I got this idea in prison!" he says about the tower at some point.

This is directed by Taylor Hackford, who did Ray, and some other interesting things, such as the Devil's Advocate, Dolores Clairborne and Proof of Life.

I felt that this movie was well placed and well paced. I am not sure why it go so slammed in the general press.

"Despite its saucy setup and the always marvelous Helen Mirren, Love Ranch is disappointingly flaccid." says rotten tomatoes.

I didn't think it was flacid, I thought it was interesting. I just wish someone had told Joe Pesci that this isn't Goodfellas no more Dorothy!

B-

Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation (2009)

R  
Director:
Stars:

I call this one, "Don't mess with Christian Bale!" Bale, who is now a proven actor according to all reports, really shone through in this. He plays the mythical John Connor, leader of the resistance. In this, he is a highly trained assassin and military operative who is able to fight the evil robots with great poise.

From the beginning of the movie he is diving and rappelling down caves, flying helicopters and beating down terminators with his bare hands.

"I am John Connor, leader of the resistance", he annonces to the people listening to his frequent radio broadcasts that keep the resistance against the machines going.

This takes place in a post-appocalyptic setting wherein most major cities have been destroyed and the machines patrol day and night. Humans are forced into hiding.

What I liked:
- The robots made a great sound. They had a tremendous sound as they were attacking that earlier terminator movies lacked.
-Bryce Dallas Howard as the pregnant resistance wife.
-The fact that the resistance floated around in submarines. I thought that was very interesting.

Overall I would give this movie a B+ with another notch in Christian Bale's belt of things he can do.


Blue Valentine -Oh How I love you Ryan Gosling

Blue Valentine (2010)

 Director:
 
Stars:

This was actually a really good movie. And this is coming from a guy who is just stark, raving sick of hearing about his highness Ryan Gosling. But, all said and done, there was a lot of great acting going on here!

How could there not be when you have Michelle Williams doing here thing. She played a fragile, vulnerable character who grows up into a woman who is torn between what seemed like true love and her current, stale circumstances.

Gosling, the fast loving free spirit starts out as a kid from Brooklyn who gets a job at a moving company and falls in love with a girl, to a devoted father who is confused by mixed messages and coldness from his wife.

The movie splits the two times in the couple's life - when they were courting, and then as they were married and they had years under them as a couple. How things changed, how things stayed the same.

More importantly, though, and what must be noted is the score is well placed, well-timed and magical. And the editing creates a very interesting view into a relationship. Camera work and lighting should also get a nod in this piece.

Also, the directing was spot on.


Observe and Report

Observe and Report (2009)

R  86 min  -  Comedy | Crime | Drama   -  10 April 2009 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 31,035 users   Metascore: 54/100 
Reviews: 222 user | 174 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.

Director:

Jody Hill

Writer:

Jody Hill

This movie is proof that the often times misunderstood Seth Rogen is indeed a fine actor. In my humble opinion, if someone starts off a bad actor but they keep getting roles in big budget pictures, such as Affleck and Clooney, they have no choice but to actually mature into a good actor.

This seems to have happened with the mighty Seth Rogen and yes, he does now deserve "the mighty" in front of his name.

The plot centers around Ronnie Barnhardt, who I think most of us can agree is bipolar, who is a brave and dedicated mall security guard. In fact, he is the top mall security guard at a mall located in a city that remains unnamed.

When a flasher arrives on the scene and flashed Ronnie's secret crush, a cosmetics girl played by Anna Faris (the ditsy blonde character we've seen her play in many movies now) things are set into motion. Things, that Ronnie begins to believe, will help Ronnie better his life.

There is an all around great supporting cast, including Ray Liotta who channels his goodfellas character, if his character in goodfellas had gone the other way and become a detective.

The beauty for me in this is Rogen's stubbornness, earnestness and general good will as he makes the mistake of going off his meds to become a better man.

The results . . . well . . . you'll have to watch the movie, but this darkly funny and sweet at the same time.



The Crazies

The Crazies

Director:

Stars:


For me, this movie was all about the cinematography. It was supposed to take place in Iowa and the director of photography somehow captures the beauty and solitude of such a place before a pandemic broke out and most of the people had to be slaughtered.

A remake of Zombie King George Romero, the Crazies rests its laurels on the beautiful acting of Radha Mitchell and rising star Timothy Oliphant. It also seems to start the movie with a unique Midwestern charm which is always a surprising accomplishment for a group of people who come from Hollywood.

The setting is sort of ideal - a small farming community where everything seems to be going right until a water contamination starts causing some of the men in the community to act strangely.

Oliphant does a knockout job as the town Sheriff who is forced to start using his gun as things get, well, crazy. Another knockout performance comes from Joe Anderson, who plays Oliphant's deputy. He adds a sort of wiry energy that helps the whole experience keep moving.

Cinematographer Maxime Alexandre, to me though, is the star of the movie as he manages to create simple, beautiful images in the beginning  that make me want to take a vacation in Iowa, and then as the film progresses the image become more and more disturbing and ultimately terrifying. Watch this movie and you will understand again what good photography and lighting really are.


The Howling Reborn

The Howling: Reborn (Video 2011)

4.2
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 810 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 34 critic

On the eve of his high school graduation, unremarkable Will Kidman finally bonds with the girl he has long yearned for... See full summary »

Director:

Joe Nimziki

Writers:

Joe Nimziki (screenplay), James Robert Johnston



I found this movie to be interesting. It was shot a little differently, and some of the special effects, such as a building blowing up in the end, seemed a little uninteresting to me. The acting was good, and the special effects for the werewolves was good.

The story had a brooding undertone as a werewolf mother decides to attend her son's graduation and . . . instead of a car or a check to help with college, she is going to inform him that he is lychan.

I enjoyed how it all took place on graduation day. This gave it an even more somber and creepier effect. Most of the action takes place in the  high school, which if anyone can remember their high school days, definitely adds to the terror aspect.

Standout performances by Landon Liboiron, Lindsay Shaw and Ivana Milicevic.

In my nerdy interpretation, I saw more than one parallel to the horrors of high school days and the horrors of recognizing your true lychan self. Teen Wolf anyone? But this is its own movie and it works for me.


Animal House

This movie was oddly appealing. James, from King of Queens, is always a blast. His physical comedy is second to none. I was able to believe that he had a real rapport with the animals, some of whom were real.

An interesting stand out to me as well was Joe Rogan, whom I had never ever seen in a fictional role. He was funny as James' competition who stood between him and the woman he wanted.

Goddess-like yet again was Rosario Dawson, who played a colleague of James' in the zoo. The choices of celebrities to do the voices were counter-intuitive too, which I liked. My favorite, I think, was Nick Nolte, as the main Gorilla's voice. He added personality to the character, and his gravelly voice added a sort of world weariness.

Overall, I would give this movie a B+. The only thing I didn't like about it was the weird soundtrack, and the sound seemed to have some issues. Also, the ending was weird. It had some continuity issues for sure, but definitely worth checking out.