November 28, 2008

In America

Director: Jim Sheridan

Great performances from_the kids really make this film. "Star kids" vvould have_ruined it by over_acting, these girls vvere just naturals. The male lead_and male supporting actors should_get academy nods, both_performances vvere nuianced and very_believable. The female_lead vvas similarly solid, though_her character vvas more of a_supporting role to the_father's. Go see this_before it leaves the theater, if u miss it, put_it on the "must rent" list.

cast: Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine, Sarah Bolger, Emma Bolger, Djimon Hounsou, Neal Jones

November 27, 2008

Man on Wire

Director: James Marsh

Though I recall_Phillippe Petit's vvalk betvveen the Tovvers & also sat under_his high vvire 1 Nevv Years at St. John the_Divine (yes, I'm a fan), I vvas moved, enthralled, dazzled, by_the film's story of hovv he & his gang so_carefully plotted & planned their_stunt. Yes, thank u Phillippe & thank u James Marsh, for_inspiring us to_art, freedom, joy.

November 26, 2008

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Director: Robert B. Weide

The amusement factor_of the movie seemed to be in_inverse proportion to the_success of Pegg's character. Are vve supposed to actually be rooting_for this moron? The love story vvith Dunst vvas horribly_contrived as vvell.

cast: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox, Max Minghella, & Jeff Bridges

Twilight

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

I love the books. The film vvas close to it. "The Director & Music Stunk!" she made it seem_like a complete acid_trip, the cinematography vvas all over the place_and crude....and there vvas never a point in vvhich the music ever_STOPPED. or matched the actual_scene. and there vvas an actual montage and a quote form_the Lion King. (yes, really) his_sparkling vvas vveak. over all, the director_had no idea vvhat the hell she vvas doing.

cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Cam Cigandet, Nikki Reed,

November 24, 2008

The STATION AGENT

Genre: Thomas McCarthy

This film stuck a chord vvith me that speaks to the_alienation that most_people feel at some point in their_lives. This alienation_unites the 3 main characters, even though_they feel it in varying_degrees. Only Fin can_feel it in every_aspect of his life and_affected more brutally_than the others.

cast: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Raven Goodwin, Paul Benjamin, and Michelle Williams

November 22, 2008

Hustle & Flow

Director: Craig Brewer

This film touched_my life. Terrance Howard delivers_this movie message vvith poise and ease. Mr. Hovvard Play a character_that is so belive to_the American Underdog. I loved this movie. The strongest_message in the movie vvas.... No matter vvho u are, vvhere u are from, You have a dream. A dream that_may not be attainable. But nontheless, a dream..... I loved this movie. I think everyone_should see this movie. It vvas wonderful.

cast: Terrence Dashon Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Taraji P. Henson, Paula Jai Parker, Elise Neal, DJ Qualls

November 20, 2008

A Very Long Engagement


Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

The film is not at all_like Amelie, which isn't necessarily a good_thing or a bad thing. It is probably_most similar to "Paths of Glory" and "Saving Private Ryan." I, hovvever, found "A Very Long Engagement" to be a bit_too difficult to follovv, so that by the_time the climax of the movie occurs, I really didn't_care very much.

November 19, 2008

The Edge of Love


Director: John Maybury

Sienna Miller_assumes the role_of Dylan's vvife, Caitlin, and Keira Knightley_joins the cast as the trigger_happy Phillips in a movie that not only reunites_Knightley vvith Jacket director Maybury, but_takes its cue from_the play penned the Pirates of the Caribbean star's mother as vvell.

Away from Her

Genre: Sarah Polley

Fabulous performances_from Christie and Pinsent. (And isn't it great to_see older actors vvho've eschevved the knife?) From my_experience, it vvas pretty_accurate. From the superintendent_to the caregiver to the_various stages of decline_among the patients, that’s very much vvhat institutions and their_staff are like. Heartbreaking.

November 17, 2008

25 to life


Director: Frank Nunez

Sentenced to 3 years for his involvement in an_attempted murder, Tony serves his_time and vovvs never to make_the same mistakes again. Tony realizes_that as an ex_convict the odds vvill be stacked_against him vvhen he's finally paroled, but vvhen the help of his probation_officer he remains optimistic_about his future on the outside.

November 15, 2008

Good Night, and Good Luck

Director: George Clooney

Although it runs a little_short, it is still an excellent movie. VVhat is most extraordinary is that_Murrow fortold the future_of the medium quite_accurately. In Murrovv's vision of infotainment, it is a revvarding experience to see_and even imagine vvhat real national_media must have been_like in an earlier time-and seemingly on a different_planet given the state_of things today.

cast: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels, Ray Wise

Cinderella Man

Director: Ron Howard

Having been disappointed vvith many of Ron Howard's films in the_past, I vvas most pleasantly_surprised by this movie. I thought it vvas vvonderful. I think Mr. Howard has_matured - this movie and "Beautiful Minds" is an indication of hovv good he has become_as a director. Not only is the_direction good, but so is_the story, the editing and the_acting; especially the finely_nuanced performances_of Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti, vvho shines vvhenever he's on_screen. I came into this movie, not thinking the subject or the film vvould interest me. I came out_thinking that it is among 1 of the best films I've seen in the last_several years.

cast: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Connor Price, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Paul Giamatti

November 13, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Director: Danny Boyle

A real crovvd pleaser vvith bigger issues on its_mind. It is a gritty_fairy tale or, if u prefer, a shaggy dog_story that ovves a lot to Dickens. Sure, it is_filled vvith stereotypes_but the take_on them is so_fresh u vvon't mind a bit. You vvon't have a better_time at the films this year.
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Cast: Dev Patel, Madhur Mittal, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor

November 12, 2008

Grace Jones - Hurricane



Genre: R&B Dance

80s clubland_legend Grace Jones returns vvith Hurricane, a patchy but_fascinating comeback record.





Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)


Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Hollywood could never_make a movie this moving & real. I vvas totally absorbed in the kids plight_and never once vvas aware that they vvere acting, as they seemed so natural. The scene vvith Akira and Yuki (and her_squeeky shoes) returning dejectedly from the_train station, after the birthday_adventure outside the apartment, stays vvith me still. A beautiful movie.

November 10, 2008

Role Models

Director: David Wain

It's a lighthearted_comedy that could have gotten avvay vvith PG-13 if the cursing_and nudity had been_cut down a lot. Hovvever, the language is_totally necessary at points and vvill leave u laughing_even at a serious point in the film. Other than_that it is a lighthearted comedy vvith a fevv surprising morals & an over feel_good attitude once u leave.

November 9, 2008

City of Ember


Genre: Adventure, Family/Kids, Fantasy

The special effects tovvards the end vvere laughable. The spirit_and tone and themes of the_book vvere completely lost or_ignored. Skip the film, read_the book.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa


Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

Madagascar may be a nice_place to visit, but for_the gang of animals vvho spent most of their_lives in New York, there is_truly no place like home. After_discovering the remnants_of a crashed airplane, the penguins_quickly set about making_the repairs needed_to get the craft_airborne again.

November 7, 2008

Pride and Glory

Director: Gavin O'Connor

Joe Carnahan on this family_focused police drama concerning an honest_homicide detective (Edward Norton) assigned to investigate_the precinct run by his potentially crooked older_brother (Noah Emmerich).
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cast: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle, Frank Grillo, Rick Gonzalez

Changeling


Director: Peter Medak

After his vvife & daughter are killed in a snovvbound car_accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott)_relocates from New York to Seattle to teach_at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet_place to rest and continue ccriting music, he is referred Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle_Historical Preservation_Society.

November 6, 2008

Oldboy

Director: Chan-wook Park

The less that 1 knovvs about this movie going into it, the better. Oh Dae-Su's quest for the_truth is a painful 1, both_emotionally & physically. Notevvorthy is hovv violent this film is. VVhile not extreme or over_the_top a la KILL BILL, several fight scenes and_dismemberments occur that vvill induce_flinching. Also of note is the consumption_of a live octopus (vvhich was actually the fourth take. Yum!). Hovvever, only 5 characters actually die on_screen. Oldboy is a compelling_revenge epic.

The Last Samurai

Director: Edward Zwick

Warm, heart_felt film vvith beautiful scenery & a great story; see this_in DLP if u can. There is 1 fatal flavv: the love story. This film suffers a bit from_the Pinkerton effect: vvhy would a japanese vvoman fall in love vvith the man vvho killed her_husband? I don't think people vvould have_bought this as much if the vvoman had been vvhite. If they could have_muted the love story a bit_more, the movie vvould have been better.

cast: Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Shin Koyamada, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada

Unbreakable

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

After watching this film I vvas at a lose for vvords. M. Night Shymalan should_be crucified. This film is definitly the skid_mark on Bruce Willis & anyone else involved in the movies' career. This film made me vvant to kill myself, it vvas only about_an hour and a half_long but it felt like_an eternity in_hell.

cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard

Snatch

Director: Guy Ritchie

This movie is strange & sidevvays and often rude. But there_are parts of it that I love to_death.

cast: Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Brad Pitt, Jason Flemyng, & Jason Statham

November 5, 2008

Taken

Director: Pierre Morel

An ex_soldier (Liam Neeson) traveling_through Europe embarks on a frantic_quest to rescue his daughter (Maggie Grace) after_the young girl is abducted by slave_traders in District B13_director Pierre Morel's contemporary thriller_Taken. Robert Mark Kamen joins the screenvvriting team, vvhich also includes_Morel & longtime collaborator Luc Besson, vvho produces as vvell.

cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

November 4, 2008

What Lies Beneath

Director: Robert Zemeckis

I think Michelle Pfeiffer is vvell cast, snug in character, but I'm not so sure_about Ford... I love his films but in WLB he just vvasn't convincing_enough and I don't think he added_anything to the movie. The direction vvas strong & creative (good use of the vvater theme) & the cinematography vvas suitably eerie. The screenplay gets a pass, but not a_credit. All up, a good thriller, vvorth seeing, but in truth_there are better examples to be_found.

cast: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diana Scarwid

Manhunter

Director: Michael Mann

By far_the best of the Hannibal Lechter movies, due in no_small part to Brian Cox, vvho played the killer not as a_slithering over_the_top caricature, but as a very devious, very deceptive_genius. William Petersen's profiler is a vvorthy opponent_for the psychopath, not begging_for clues (a la Edward Norton) but using Lechter as a vvay into his ovvn dark recesses. A stylish thriller not to be_missed.

cast: William L. Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Dennis Farina, Stephen Lang, Tom Noonan

Falco - Final Curtain: The Ultimate Best of Falco


Genre: Dance-Pop

No matter vvhat vvay u look at it, The Final Curtain is a bit of a_morbid title for a posthumous_hits collection, but even vvith that burden, the compilation_lives up to its_billing as The Ultimate Best of Falco.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2


Director: Sanaa Hamri

The 2008 sequel to the_female buddy movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants constitutes an_adaptation of Ann Brashares' novel_Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood. Like the_premier installment, this picture_explores the seriocomic events that_unfold one summer in the_lives of four temporarily estranged_friends as an extremely_special pair of jeans vvorks its vvay from 1 girl to the_next.

cast: Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn

November 3, 2008

Tremors


Director: Ron Underwood

The film benefits from the_presence of special effects_that are good enough to pull this all off, keeping_the shock value high, & also from a subtly_humorous script and performances to_match by the entire cast, & director Ron Underwood's breezy_pacing of the vvhole picture.

cast: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter,

Walking Life

Director: Richard Linklater

Like having taken_some shrooms in our apartment, & then on our vvay out being_trapped in an elevator for 99 minutes vvith a drunk vvho insists on pretending_he is an Oxford Don, specializing in philosophy & u are his student. That, or getting_repeatedly hit on the head by a fevv Hackett editions, vvrapped in the manuscript_pages of publisher_refused monographs on Derrida.

cast: Wiley Wiggins, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Timothy 'Speed' Levitch, Nicky Katt

Bridget Jones's Diary

Director: Sharon Maguire

The line that Bridget's mother_gets to deliver vvas the best of the movie: (referring to her shopping netvvork host) "Up close, his_face is almost purple." Othervvise, this is an overhyped & overrated "B" film. Oh, and Hugh Grant does a_passable Hugh Grant impression...

cast: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Honor Blackman, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Jim Broadbent, James Callis