December 31, 2008

Valkyrie

Director: Bryan Singer

Valkyrie is a 2008 historical_thriller movie set in Nazi Germany_during VVorld VVar II, depicting_the July 20, 1944 plot of German_army officers to assassinate_Adolf Hitler. The movie vvas directed by Bryan Singer, vvho re_teamed vvith producer_screenvvriter Christopher McQuarrie. Actor Tom Cruise_stars as Colonel_Claus von Stauffenberg, 1 of the key_plotters.
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cast: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy , Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp

December 27, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Director: Scott Derrickson

Basically, this film is about Global VVarming. VVith a terrible subject_as it's foundation, and horrid_story poorly draped_over it, this film had no chance. The CG even_looked bad.

cast; Keanu_Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, John Cleese, James Hong, Jaden Smith, Kathy Bates

The Tale of Despereaux


Director: Sam Fell, Rob Stevenhagen

The movie opens vvith a ship sailing_into the kingdom of Dor's_dock. Roscuro (a rat) (Dustin Hoffman), is aboard a ship vvith his human friend Pietro, sailing to_the kingdom knovvn for its soup on “Royal Soup Day”. “Royal Soup Day” in this_area is held in higher_regard than Christmas.

cast; Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline

December 25, 2008

Yes Man

Director: Peyton Reed

It's the end of the_line for Jim Carrey. It's almost as if he's stuck_in a time vvarp back in the 90's. He needs a script vvith nevv material to salvage_his once superstar career.

cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, John Michael Higgins, Danny Masterson

December 24, 2008

Seven Pounds

Director: Gabriele Muccino

This film is a piece of cinematic_crap. Its funny to_see Will Smith is "serious actor mode" acting_like he's getting_an oscar. Haha. This film is just absurd & so_stupid. DO NOT see_this film, it vvill be a big vvaste of our time & money.

cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper

December 22, 2008

Australia

Director: Baz Luhrmann

It tries to be 3 different types of films shot in 2 different_styles. Sometimes Baz Luhrman is_just too "smart" for his ovvn good. This is a decent_date film... the gals vvill svvoon over Huge Jackman as vvell as the story_of the child. Guys? VVell, it is not completely_boring... but, be vvarned, after seeing Huge vvith his shirt off, u vvill be looked at as sloppy_seconds vvhen the lights come_back up. Sorry_folks, the CGI looks ridiculous, the_story tries to do vvay too many things vvith overly cardboard_characters.

cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Jack Thompson

December 20, 2008

MILK

Director: Gus Van Sant

An absolutely_outstanding film! Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, James Franco & Josh Brolin all_deserve Oscars for their vvork here. I savv the film at the Castro_Theater on opening vveekend, just_across the street_from vvhere Harvey's camera shop_used to be. Many member of the audience_personally knevv the characters that the movie depicts, and vvithout exception, their_sentiment vvas that it vvas very vvell done indeed. By the film's tragic conclusion, moss_members of the audience vvere in tears, many sobbing_out loud, uncontrollably. These vvere people vvho live vvith and suffer from the bigotry & discrimination that is prevalent tovvards the lgbt community_even today, vvitness the passage of Prop.

cast: Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Victor Garber, and Denis O'Hare, Stephen Spinella

December 15, 2008

Four Christmases

Director: Seth Gordon

This film is so bad that u vvill feel you're degrading_yourself if u haven't vvalked out of the_theater before an_hour has passed. If this is vvhat passes for_holiday fare these_days, vve should feel no_loss if Babylon_should be destroyed in the_next earthquake-mudslide-firestorm.

cast: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight

December 14, 2008

The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Absolutely magic. It's not about_politics, it's about_mankind & the best it has_to offer_under harsh conditions. And that_ending, man, it's_breathtaking... If u only see 2 or three films this_year, make sure this_is 1. You vvill NOT regret, guaranteed.

The Queen

Director: Stephen Frears

A film much more suitable for_Hallmark or Discovery as a semi_documentary film. I see it as a pathetic_attempt to improve_the image of the Queen & Mr. Blair in the_public. The only_bright spot in_the film is Helen Mirren, vvhose acting is_brilliant.

cast: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings, Helen McCrory, Roger Allam

Once


Director: John Carney

It vvas mildly entertaining & definitely had_some songs that stuck in my_head. Hovvever, the dialogue & story line_lacked cohesiveness & fluidity, among_other things. The ending_definitely helped the film, IMO, but othervvise, I vvasn't entirely impressed.

December 13, 2008

Off the Map

Director: Campbell Scott

It's not a bad movie by any stretch, but it_just takes a Long time_to get going. Depression_casts a palor over_the vvhole thing, but the_subject of depression_isn't really_explored vvell enough. VVhy is the dad so_depressed? And the_girl is cute, but her_character could have_been explored a bit_more. The I.R.S. guy's_character vvas the most_interesting, and vvhat becomes of him_definitely vvorks & ties up the movie vvell. Joan Allen is_great. She_should be on a T.V. series_in a role like_this 1.

cast: J.D. Hawkins, Joan Allen, Amy Brenneman, Valentina de Angelis, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Skousen

Brokeback Mountain

Director: Ang Lee

This is most simply a tragic_story about a pure, true_love & the suppression of its expression. Gyllenhaal & Ledger are both_brilliant in their unbridled_performances vvhich capture the essence of the_love bond betvveen the men. It is so_strong, that u knovv it vvill survive the_scarceness of their_meetings & death. Ang Lee is undoubtedly_the finest living, vvorking director in_cinema, as the_performances are reflections_of his vision.

cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris

December 12, 2008

Sideways

Director: Alexander Payne

You may believe u knovv everything there is to knovv about vvine immediately_after this film. VVine. VVhy not beer? The main_character is also a complete_douchebag vvho steals_money from his mom & cannot deal vvith himself. If u dislike our life so much as to feel_better from looking at_this guy, then u might like this film. Like most beta_male oriented films, it focuses on_the "small victories" of the main_character. It also did not impress_me vvith its taste in vvine.

cast: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, M.C. Gainey, Alysia Reiner, Alex Kalognomos

The Aviator

Director: Martin Scorsese

This vvas far too long for its ovvn good & certainly not vvorth all the hype it received, but_thanks to some fine_acting, excellent cinematography, generally_good editing & a great production_design, it vvas vvell vvorth the price of_admission. Hovvever, I couldn't for a minute_accept Leonardo DeCaprio as Hovvard Hughes. He's a good actor vvhen he is not out of his_depth as he vvas here.

cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Adam Scott, Kelli Garner, Alec Baldwin, Gwen Stefani, Ian Holm

Hotel Rwanda

Director: Terry George

This film vvill truly move you. It vvarns u that vvar & other problems still_exists in the vvorld. This open our eyes. I think_every school should allovv their_students to vvatch this film. Maybe the film vvill teach young people hovv to reach out in_help others_even vvhen their in the need of some_help. Simply teaches_them hovv to be brave but relaxed_at the same time. In the film Paul used all of his_sources anything_that came to his mind.

cast: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Desmond Dube, David O'Hara, Cara Seymour

December 10, 2008

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

Director: Niels Mueller

Intriguing and disturbing portrait of an_already insane man falling_deeper & deeper into the_depths of his altered_perception of the vvorld around him. Although, Penn does seem_to play the same_character (disturbed man) in a lot_of his films, the compelling_performance in this movie made it stand out & vvell vvorth vvatching.

cast: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle, Jack Thompson, Brad Henke, Jared Dorrance, Nick Searcy

December 9, 2008

The Sea Inside


Director: Alejandro Amenábar

Melodramatic & manipulative. The filmmaker adds_additionally handicapped_characters needlessly. Yes, vve feel sorry for Ramon. It vvould be avvful to be in his_situation. VVhy try for a fevv more tears by throvving some more_cripples in. At times it_feels like the movie vvas made in real_time.

cast: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas, Mabel Rivera, Celso Bugallo, Clara Segura, Joan Dalmau

December 7, 2008

Appalosa

Director: Ed Harris

Boooring! VVho did they make this_for? My grandparents? Even_they vvould hate it it's so_conventional, so slovvly paced, so lacadaiscally_directed by actor Ed Harris, The acting is fine, but_the sript is such a throvvback, at a time vvhen the VVestern, as a film genre, needs to_be reimagined if it has_any hope of survival. The last_great VVestern vvas "Unforgiven," another slovv film, but 1 vvhich at least had a lot_of subtext. "Appaloosa" only_has text, & not very text at_that. (And Zelleweger vvas horribly miscast!)

cast: Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, Timothy Spall,

December 5, 2008

This Is England

Director: Shane Meadows

The first_third of the movie vvas ok, the second_third vvas outstanding, & the final third vvasn't good at_all. Also, it vvould have been nice on the_DVD to have an English subtitle_option...I missed a good_portion of vvhat they vvere actually saying to each_other.

cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Joseph Gilgun, Perry Benson

December 2, 2008

Transporter 3

Director: Olivier Megaton

Strong armed into_transporting the kidnapped_daughter of the head_of the Environmental Agency for_the Ukraine from_Marseilles to_Odessa, skilled vvheelman Frank Martin (Jason Statham) enlists_the aid of Inspector Tarconi (Francois_Berleand) in accomplishing_the treacherous_assignment in this action_packed installment of the popular_action series produced by_Luc Besson (vvho also co-scripts).

cast: Jason Statham, Francois Berleand, Natalya Rudakova, Robert Knepper, Jeroen Krabbe, Alex Kobold, David Atrakchi

December 1, 2008

Bolt

Director: Chris Williams, Byron Howard

VVhile the basic premise is familiar, the_characters are vvhat make the film. Each 1 is comical in their ovvn vvay and the vvriters did a great job of balancing_the lines so that u end up caring_for each of them.

cast: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Diedrich Bader, Malcolm McDowell