Apr 30 2009

Movies for This Week

X Men Origins: Wolverine
Fans of the graphic novel X-men have something to look forward to this weekend as the back story of badboy and superhero Jim Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is told in brief and sometimes tacky detail. While not all bad, the film isn’t all good either. Forced dialogue and sometimes rough acting start things off on the wrong foot. Meanwhile a handful of the special effects seem half-baked and just not up to par. Additionally, the overall film feels a bit long despite its reasonable run-time. On the positive, fans of the genre will enjoy seeing some of the other favorite comic characters coming to life, Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) and John Wraith (Will i am) come to mind. Perhaps worthy of a matinee because of the spectical nature of the film. X Men Origins:Wolverine is rated PG-13.

Is Anybody There
When a washed up magician, Clarence (Michael Caine), moves in to an assisted living facility the last thing he expects to do is befriend a ten year old boy named Edward(Bill Milner). But as luck would have it, the supernaturally curious Edward makes his way into Clarence’s life. As their friendship grows, the two end up teaching each other about life from their unique and age specific experiences. Incredibly well acted, and thoughtfully written. This art house flick hits all the right chords to create a drama that rings loud and true. Great date movie. Is Anybody There is rated PG-13.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Conor Mead (Mathew McConaughey) is a world renowned photographer and womanizer, Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner) is Conor’s life long crush. Happiness could be his; but, Conor’s past and present behavior could mean the difference between winning the love of his life or a miserable life alone. A sappy send up of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” mildly passable for those looking for a love story with semi predictable humor and acting that isn’t a stretch for any of the actors. Maybe a date matinee but more likely a rental at a later date. Ghosts of Girlfriends past is rated PG-13.

Battle for Terra
Folks looking for entertainment for the whole family might appreciate the animated eco-friendly Battle for Terra (in 3D). The tale of the peaceful Terrians threatened by an invasion of Humans in search of a new planet to inhabit. But will humans learn that war is not the answer? Will the Terrians allow their world to be destroyed, or can the the two co-exist and how? While not fantastic, the film does wrestle with some interesting environmental issues and philosophical questions which helps the overall story. The voices of Rosanna Arquette, Justin Long, James Garner, and Danny Glover round out a fairly impressive cast. Maybe a matinee for the family, although the 3D is mostly unexploited and therefor unnecessary so a rental at a later date works just fine. Battle for Terra is rated PG.

Apr 26 2009

Up Up and Away!

On Friday, the fine folks at Disney’s Pixar Studios set up a promotion for the ages! The point was to advertise their upcoming release of the film “Up,” the tale of a guy who attaches a zillion balloons to his house and lifts off into the air, kind of fun eh? So, to celebrate the concept, members of the press were invited to recreate the event– sitting in a Barcalounger attached to helium balloons at Gas Works Park in Seattle. Seriously, just like the stunt of a guy in California who did the same thing (albeit less planned out) that was published all over the internet years ago. In our case we were tethered to the ground but still able to go quite a ways up. I can’t wait to see the video footage of this one. The film is due out on May 29th by the way.

High above Gas Works Park in a Bacalounger! Awesome!

High above Gas Works Park in a Bacalounger! Awesome!

Apr 23 2009

Movie for this week

The Soloist
While looking for a story to write, LA Times reporter Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles across Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a schizophrenic and homeless musical virtuoso. Nathaniel becomes the focus of several of Steve’s stories, marveling at how such a talented individual ended up on the streets. Before long the two are friends, Steve determined to help Nathaniel reach his potential in life, but is that potential actually attainable;  and, is that what Nathaniel wants? Based on a true compelling story, the characters really give you something to sink your teeth into. And, acting gold from Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx is brilliant, it’s almost as if these two can do no wrong. Perhaps a good date movie, and worth seeing. The Soloist is rated PG-13.