Archive for August, 2008
A former US Special Operations officer Samir Horn (Don Cheadle) becomes caught up in an international game of cat and mouse and terrorism as he attempts to follow the morals and principles of the Muslim religion. But everything is not as it seems as Samir helps to plot attacks against the U.S.. Who can be trusted, who is in the right, and conspiracies a plenty. This complex film features interesting action sequences, followed by fairly drab points of dialogue that ultimately lend to a slow moving film. And, an interesting social subtext makes for yet another semi-stilted examination of the middle east and the war on terrorism. Good performances from all actors are worth noting, maybe worthy of a matinee if you’re into spy thriller type films. Traitor is rated R.
The House Bunny:
When Playboy Bunny Shelley Darlingson (Anna Faris) is kicked out of the Playboy Mansion, she’s left to fend for herself in the real world; and, through a stroke of dumb luck she ends up as a house mother for a dying sorority. As house mother Shelley must teach the girls how to be popular and gain necessary pledges to save the sorority. Overall, a poorly written script, boring and predictable, and feels like a poor version of Legally Blonde crossed with every other generic college frat movie; however, bit parts from Colin Hanks, and former American Idol finalist Katharine McPhee add some dim sunshine. Maybe a rental someday. The House Bunny is rated PG-13.
Ex-con and former NASCAR driver Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) is forced by his prison warden to compete in a brutal pay per view “death race” where inmates are forced to maime and dismember each other as they race armed cars to a devastating finish. In what seems like an amalgam of Mad Max, Escape from NY, and the original Death Race 2000, this remake of sorts seems showy and flashy but ultimately just a hollow shell of a predictable action/thriller. Perhaps a rental if you’re into gore. Death Race is rated R.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
From the mind of George Lucas and a team of TV screen writers comes the latest instalment in the Star Wars Franchise, the animated feature The Clone Wars. Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan Learner Ahsoka Tano attempt to stop the dark side from advancing their plot to take over the galaxy. Unfortunately, few of the characters in this production are voiced by their original actors from previous Star Wars tales and the Saturday morning cartoon flavor of the film leaves little to be impressed with. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is rated PG.
A troop of actors filming a Viet Nam action film (Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.) are caught up in a real war with a group of surly drug lords in Asia. As comedy ensues our heros/actors are forced to actually become the characters they’re attempting to portray. Fantastic acting by Downey steals the show and fun performances from Stiller and Black round things out nicely, a bit part from Tom Cruise may also come as a pleasant surprise for many. And, despite the unorthodox comedy/spoof nature, the film is still somewhat respectable. Tropic Thunder is rated R.
Vicky Christina Barcelona
While vacationing in Spain Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and her friend Christina (Scarlett Johansson) both take interest in a spicy painter (Javier Bardem). Meanwhile his crazy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) is about to re-enter the picture and fireworks ensue. Directed by Woody Allen, this fun film continues the exploration of love and comedy that ultimately leaves the viewer pleasantly satisfied. A fun matinee or perhaps rental at a later date. Vicky Christina Barcelona is rated PG-13.