Nov 20 2008

Movies for this week

Bella (Kristen Stewart), a High school junior from Phoenix AZ is forced to leave the big city and live with her mostly absent father in the tiny town of Forks WA. Shortly after the move Bella befriends the Cullen family kids, in particular the dreamy Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). But there’s more to the Cullen family than meets the eye, they’re friendly vampires. But being friends with the Cullen family could prove to be deadly as a darker brood of vampires moves on the scene threatening all. Adapted for screen from the wildly popular book series there’s a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the film falls far short from what could be great. Half baked dialogue, poor special FX, and downright horrible action sequences lend to the low budget look and feel. The score also does little to help the film in it’s overall presentation. Perhaps worth a rental at a later date to see what all the fuss is about. Twilight is rated PG-13.

In Disney’s latest animated feature Bolt, a delusional Hollywood stunt dog who thinks he actually has super powers escapes from his trailer and sound stage in an effort to save his owner Penny. But oops, through a series of unfortunate events Bolt ends up getting shipped across the country instead. Determined to help Penny, Bolt forms an unlikely posse to travel the country and get back to the girl he cares about, but will he get back to Hollywood in time? John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Mark Walton and a host of others lend their voices to bring the characters in this film to life. Sadly, the lead, Bolt, just isn’t that interesting and the overall film doesn’t really seem to pack a huge comedic punch. A decent enough story keeps things mildly entertaining that kids will enjoy more than parents. Maybe a matinee for the kids. Also note some screens are in 3D. Bolt is rated PG.

Slumdog Millionaire
Jamal Malik, an 18 year old boy from the slums of Mumbai India has found his way onto India’s version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He’s made it to the last question of the game and is suspected of cheating. When the show taping breaks for the night Jamal is abducted by the local police, beaten, and interrogated as to how he knew all the answers. Truth be told, Jamal is innocent and learned the answers to each of the questions through pivotal experiences in his upbringing. The film then focuses on the telling of these tales which also sheds light on some of the darkest points of Mumbai’s seediest slums all the while a love story for the ages unfolds. Brilliant in its ability to pull the viewer in, director Danny Boyle has struck gold with this modern day fairy tale that will not disappoint. Creativity abounds as well in the cinematography as Boyle and his team manage to catch the energy, the spirit, and the magnitude of the silent unspoken character– the culture in Mumbai. This is one film not to be missed, Heartwarming as much as it is eye opening. Slumdog Millionaire is rated R.

Nov 13 2008

Movies for this week

Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig is back as James Bond in the latest installment of the recently re-booted Bond Franchise. Continuing the story line of the previous film “Casino Royal,” Bond is out for revenge on the death of his love; but, to do so will mean taking out an environmental group with evil ulterior motives, and blowing open a secret syndicate of powerful investors with even darker plans. Great action, and intense chase scenes grab you from the get go in this non-stop and action packed blockbuster. Meanwhile, continuing to defy the old standards of Bond, gone are the old catch phrases, and implausible gadgets; and, in their place is grit, blood, and an attempt at emotion. Unfortunately, that attempt at emotion comes across flat and leaves something to be desired. All in stride, Bond fans will still find plenty to sink their teeth into. Worth seeing on the big screen. Quantum of Solace is Rated PG-13.

Let The Right One In
From Sweden comes the tale of Oskar, a 12 year old boy bullied by his classmates and lacking a friend, until he meets Eli. Eli is an odd girl, but seems nice enough. The two develop a friendship, which turns into love, which then exposes Eli for what she truly is, a vampire– and that’s just the beginning. Fantastic in it’s story, shot composition, special effects, and acting. And, told from a new unique perspective this film is oddly plausible, and memorable. Being that the film is foreign and that subtitles are involved the overall feel is sometimes slow; but, the payoff is huge and totally worth it. Vampire fans, this is a must see! Let The Right One In is Rated R.

Nov 6 2008

Movies for this week

Role Models
Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd) are coworkers at Minotaur Energy Drink. While out promoting their product the two run into trouble and face prison time or community service; opting for community service they are paired with two tough cases at a big brother program. But will the two do the job right, will they learn their lesson, will they make good role models or will they end up serving prison time? Semi cliche in plot and construction, still the script co- written by Rudd and several other comedic minds manages to provide a number of quirky moments and off color bits that coax laugh out loud reactions. Maybe a matinee or rental later. Role Models is rated R.

Soul Men
30 years after the breakup of the soul trio The Real Deal, Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) and Floyd Henderson (Bernie Mac) are brought back together to honor their former lead singer Marcus Hooks’ (John Legend) Death. But after 30 years can the two settle their differences and perform for one last time or will the possibility push the two over the edge? Not exactly a solid script; however, the ad lib flavor to a number of the scenes makes the film a little more enjoyable. And, seeing both Bernie Mac and Issac Hayes in their last performance for the silver screen leaves a certain bitter sweet taste to the film overall. If you do see this film, stick through the credits to watch an informative and warming interview with Mac. Most likely best as a rental. Soul Men is rated R.

Madagascar 2
After the escape from the New York City Zoo, the animals of the animated feature Madagascar are back, this time with a plan to make the journey to Africa. But once in Africa is life any better than their Central Park experience? Featuring all the voices of the first film, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith and more are back for more craziness and fun. A fun option for the family looking to make an outing this weekend. Note some screens are showing this film in 3D. Madagascar 2 is rated PG.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is an 8 year old son of a commandant for the Nazi party in a WWII concentration camp. Bruno befriends a Jewish boy (Jack Scanlon) on the other side of the fence resulting in the unexpected from a forbidden friendship. Based on the novel by Irish writer John Boyne, this dark film tells a story from the unique and honest perspective only an 8 year old child can see– which makes things even more poignant and painful. Fairly strong with content, perhaps a matinee. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is rated PG-13.