Jul 31 2008

Movies for this week

Swing Vote
In the tiny town of Texico New Mexico, burnout Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is faced with making the deciding vote for the U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, presidential candidates played by Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper try and woo Bud to their respective parties; but who’s true and honest in this political game? Comedy ensues in this satirical outlook on the US political system. Ultimately a fairly politically balanced film, and Costner’s acting as the common man continues to be a strong suit. Unfortunately, the milk toast approach to story telling with humor falls short and leaves the viewer a little empty and winded. Perhaps a matinee or rental. Swing Vote is rated PG-13.

The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor
Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and son Alex (Luke Ford) are back to the same old bag of tricks slaying mummies and the undead in the third installment of The Mummy. This time the evil ancient Chinese Emperor Han (Jet Li) is awakened and plans to reclaim his rule of China, but can he be stopped? Heavily reliant on CGI, bad acting, and an unimaginative script, few thrills are in store for viewers. While the visual aspects of this film might be best enjoyed on the big screen, a rental at a later date if at all is probably more in order. The Mummy is rated PG-13.

Jul 17 2008

Movies for this week

The Dark Knight
The second installment of the Batman franchise re-boot continues this weekend. Batman (Christian Bale) takes a backseat role as The Joker (Heath Ledger) wreaks havoc attempting to uncover Batman’s identity and take leadership of organized crime in Gotham City. Meanwhile Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) serves as Gotham’s criminal prosecutor with several battles of his own. Beautifully shot with several scenes in IMAX, and the performance of a lifetime from Ledger make this film incredibly strong. Well acted by the rest of the ensemble this film is a must see for all fans of the comic film genre. The Dark Knight is rated PG-13.

Mamma Mia
ABBA comes to life in this story of a mother (Meryl Streep), her daughter a bride to be (Amanda Seyfried), and three possible fathers, all coming home to celebrate. Comedy and romance ensues. Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, a colorful splash of romantic comedy and 70’s pop music. Not fantastic but perhaps a good alternate for those who aren’t up for the chaos of Batman but still want to see a film this weekend. Mamma Mia is rated PG-13.

Space Chimps
Two NASA chimps are launched into space, Laurel and Hardy style, one smart, the other goofy. Whilst in space, character is tested and the story of the underdog lives on as the chimps effort to save a distant planet from the ruthless evil dictator Zartog. The voices of Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, and Jeff Daniels start to fill out this animated cast. Truly a film for the younger audiences, not exactly the best of the summer; and, perhaps best seen on DVD later. Space chimps is rated G.

Jul 11 2008

Movies for this week

The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt take to the silver screen this weekend as the Incredible Hulk smashes into theatres. Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Norton) is a fugitive on the run from the government attempting to find a way to control his hulk persona, chaos ensues.  A decent script for a graphic novel turned movie and cinematography that attempts just about every trick in the book makes for a good foundation for this film. Well done graphics also lend to a pretty sharp experience. Probably best enjoyed on the big screen. The Incredible Hulk is rated PG-13.

The Happening
Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, and John Leguizamo star in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest offering. An unknown force is causing mass suicide in the North East and school teacher Elliot Moore (Wahlberg) and his wife (Deschanel) try to escape what seems to be an impossible foe. Conceptually interesting but poorly scripted dialogue and weak performances all round leave the viewer starved for the quality one has come to expect from Shyamalan. Maybe worth a rental at a later date. The Happening is rated R.

Hellboy 2
The creative mind of writer/director Guillermo del Toro strikes gold again this weekend with the second installment of this graphic novel to screen adaptation. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and company are forced to intervene in a world war between humans and elves, but who will survive the onslaught? Impressive visuals, quirky humor, well choreographed action, and interesting cinematography make this film a must see for fans of the genre. Rated PG-13.

Garden Party
The fast paced seedy lifestyle of Hollywood is under examination in this ensemble film from writer/director Jason Freeland. Shot on an incredibly small budget of five hundred thousand dollars, this indie film has a certain rough edge to tell a tale of multiple short stories all woven together. Semi interesting characters keep this film moving, and reasonable acting from most players makes this film tolerable. Perhaps best as a rental in a few months. Rated R.

Journey to the Center of The Earth
Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) plays a college professor in search of his lost brother. While searching a series of unfortunate events lands Trevor, his guide Hanna, and nephew Sean plummeting to the center of the earth only to discover the tales of Jules Verne were true. Shot to be viewed in 3D, this film makes up for what it lacks in finesse and quality with kitch and makes for a fun adventure for families looking for a visual roller coaster. rated PG.

Meet Dave
Eddie Murphy stars in this sci-fi comedy as a spaceship that looks like a human being, controlled by tiny aliens on a mission to save the earth. Co-written by Mystery Science Theatre 3000 writer Bill Corbett, this film aims for moderate laughs but falls short. Maybe a rental at a later date. rated PG