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Showing posts from August, 2010

City Island (2010) PG-13

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Everyone has secrets in this silly, family drama set in City Island, NY. Unknown Writer/Director Raymond De Felitta finally has a feature film to be proud of. He was nominated for an Oscar way back in 1991 for a short film, and basically disappeared after that. This film stars the delightful Andy Garcia (Ocean's Eleven, Smokin' Aces) as Vince Rizzo, the father of two. His wife Joyce is played by television actress Julianna Margulies (ER, The Good Wife). Their kids, Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) and Vince Jr. (Ezra Miller) are rebellious beyond belief. Dominik is Andy's daughter in real life, as well. Their family seems to have hit a bit of a snag.

Vince is a correctional officer at a local prison. A new inmate (Steven Strait) arrives, and he turns out to be Vince's son from a former girlfriend. He gets released and has nowhere to go, so Vince takes Tony (Strait) home to stay with the Rizzo's. Even Tony doesn't realize the truth yet. Joyce is extremely upset wit…

Inside Look: George Clooney

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The American arrives tomorrow at midnight. It hasn't got a whole lot of press, but most of Clooney's films don't. It's directed by the unknown Anton Corbin. Most of Corbin's work has been in the music industry with Metallica, U2, Bryan Adams, and Depeche Mode. The screenplay was written by Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later), which is a plus. In celebration of this joyous occasion, I'm counting down George Clooney's ten best performances. Enjoy.

#10. The Good German (Steven Soderbergh, 2006) - A gripping black-and-white WWII film where he stars opposite Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, Babel). Clooney + Soderbergh = must see.

#9. Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh, 1998) - Another great Clooney/Soderbergh film. This was a big coming out party for Clooney. Jennifer Lopez (The Cell) is at her very best here.

#8. Solaris (Steven Soderbergh, 2002) - Well, well, well, another Soderbergh film. This is a fantastic Sci-Fi thriller that plays with your mind.

#7. The Men Who Stare At …

Jennifer's Body (2009) R

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You should not, and can not take this film seriously. It's in the horror genre, but this film is a comedy. Diablo Cody (Juno) wrote the screenplay, believe it or not. I had a good laugh when I saw that. She's obviously been fighting off some demons over the years. 'AEon Flux' director Karyn Kusama was at the helm for this odd horror flick. It has a decent little cast starring Megan Fox (Transformers, Jonah Hex), as Jennifer of course. Amanda Seyfried (Chloe, Mean Girls) as her best friend Needy, and Johnny Simmons (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Needy's boyfriend. This is Fox's best film by a long-shot and Seyfried is charming as usual. The film takes place in a fictional town called Devil's Kettle. The town is named after it's waterfall. But these falls actually exist in northeast Minnesota. Screenwriter Diablo Cody based the story around Devil's Kettle Falls. Which is a very unusual, and mysterious waterfall. The falls vanish into a pothole known…

Top 50 Films of 2009 (10-1)

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#10. The Informant! (Directed by Steven Soderbergh) - One of best performances of the year comes from Matt Damon (The Departed, The Bourne Identity). He's hysterical as a regular joe-schmo, who's an informant for the FBI. This is an incredible true story based on a best-selling book. The writing is tremendous and I love Soderbergh's (Out of Sight, Solaris) film making style.

#9. Funny People (Judd Apatow) - This film wasn't funny enough for some people, but not me. Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) is one the best in the business and he shows us a different side of him here. Sandler (Punch-Drunk Love, 50 First Dates) is at his very best and Rogen (Observe and Report) shows us a different side as well. Apatow's script is so witty and observational. The last hour of the film is maybe a little too serious, but it doesn't ruin the film. If you like Apatow, than you'll love 'Funny People'.

#8. (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb) - One of the best ro…

The Last Exorcism (2010) PG-13

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Not what I, or anyone else, was expecting. This is a slow (very slow) exorcism tale unlike anything I've ever seen. This isn't director Daniel Stamm's first film, but it's the first I've ever heard of. He does a great job building tension throughout the film. Unfortunately it's all forgotten after an odd, head scratching ending that will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Which is a shame because the build-up was, for the most part, enjoyable. This film doesn't quite have enough scares or thrills for my taste, which is what makes it different from other exorcism films. The majority of the film is shot in a colored 'Blair Witch' style, which I had no problem with. It focuses on a Baton Rouge, LA Pastor named Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian). He does exorcisms for a living, but doesn't believe in demons. Everything he does is fake; it's a show. Cotton and his two colleagues are making a documentary to disprove exorcisms.

The first 30 minutes are of…

Repo Men (2010) R

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I'm not quite sure what to make of this film. This is director Miguel Sapochnik's first film and that makes perfect sense. The ending is stolen from an incredible film, 'Vanilla Sky'. If that ruins it for you, than I'm sorry (not really). 'Repo Men' has three main themes: 1) The Brotherhood of a Serial Killer, 2) Robot Love, and 3) The Quest.

1) The Brotherhood of the Serial Killer: Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Forrest Whitaker (Phone Booth, Street Kings) are repo men who have no conscience or soul. Remy (Law) and Jake (Whitaker) murder numerous people for their organs. Because in the future, people buy organs that they can't make payments on. Hearts, livers, kidneys, kneecaps, anything you can imagine and more. They enjoy it thoroughly. They are best friends who like to Tase each other and take out kidneys at family barbeque's. Remy's wife kicks him out because he murders people. Which didn't bother her for ten yea…

Top 50 Films of 2009 (20-11)

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#20. Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer) - A much better alternative to 'Shaun of the Dead'. Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, The Squid and the Whale) has quickly become one of my favorite young actors. He's never boring, not even for a second. Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson (Kingpin, Defendor) make a great comical team. The wonderful Emma Stone (Superbad, The House Bunny) adds a little spice to the mix. Look for a hilarious cameo from Bill Murray (Caddyshack, Stripes).

#19. Public Enemies (Michael Mann) - Another fantastic Mann (Heat, Collateral) film, starring Johhny Depp (Donnie Brasco, Edward Scissorhands) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Machinist). This is a great, atmospheric bank-robber film with some phenomenal action sequences. The acting is topnotch throughout. Absolutely worth your time.

#18. The Messenger (Oren Moverman) - This is an emotional and deep film starring Harrelson and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Hostage). Their job is to tell the families of dead soldie…

The Last House on the Left (2009) R

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I actually enjoyed this Wes Craven remake. It's a story about a tight, little suburb family. They visit their vacation spot on the lake, just outside a small town. It would seem the Collingwood's still haven't recovered from the death of there son; one year ago. John (Tony Goldwyn), Emma (Monica Potter), and their daughter Mari (Sarah Paxton) are going to get a wake up call.

Recently escaped convict Krug (Garret Dillahunt), his brother Francis (Aaron Paul), his son Justin (Spencer Treat Clark), and his girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome) are nothing but trouble. Mari meets up with her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) at a convenience store. They meet Justin and he lures them to his motel room. They smoke some illegal drugs, but are interrupted by the gang, led by Krug. The fugitives are not happy with the situation, so they capture the young girls. While in transit, they have a brawl and crash the car near her house. The girls escape is unsuccessful. They then viciously rape, an…

Clash of the Titans (2010) PG-13

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The Bash Begins 8.26.10. Word on the street is that there's a second 'Clash' on it's way in 2011 or 2012. Hooray! This remake was directed by Louis Leterrier. It's pretty sad when his best work, including this gem, is 'The Incredible Hulk'. Oh, and don't forget about the 'Transporter' films. I don't think I've ever seen an 85 minute epic before, or ten minute long credits, for that matter. This film stars Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation) as Perseus, a fisherman turned gladiator with skills that would make an Arnold Schwarzenegger character blush. Worthington is best not seen on screen (like in Avatar), because of his acting skills (or lack there of). This film is supposed to be riddled with dazzling special effects, but most of the time they fall flat. Perseus teams up with Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man, The Weather Man), and the gorgeous Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time). …

Top 50 Films of 2009 (30-21)

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#30. Extract (Directed by Mike Judge) - It doesn't quite compare to Office Space, but 'Extract' is still very funny. Jason Bateman (Juno, The Kingdom) and Ben Affleck (State of Play, Good Will Hunting) are both at their comedic best. Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Book of Eli) adds some eye candy to this dark comedy.

#29. An Education (Lone Scherfig) - Carey Mulligan (The Greatest, Brothers) is fantastic in an Oscar-nominated performance. She deserved the Oscar, in my opinion. Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead, The Skeleton Key) and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Boogie Nights) are also terrific. This is an awkward coming of age tale, worth seeing.

#28. Duplicity (Tony Gilroy) - Another good Gilroy (Michael Clayton) film. Clive Owen (Children of Men, Sin City) and Julia Roberts (The Mexican, Ocean's Eleven) feed off each other great. Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, Sideways) and Tom Wilkinson (The Ghost Writer, Michael Clayton) are both phenomenal as usual. This is a …

Top 50 Films of 2009 (40-31)

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#40. Taken (Directed by Pierre Morel) - This film is all Liam Neeson (Chloe, Darkman). Is it realistic? Definitely not, but it's damn entertaining. There are some great chase scenes and the action refuses to stop. A great popcorn movie.

#39. Sunshine Cleaning (Christine Jeffs) - Amy Adams (Doubt, Catch Me If You Can) and Emily Blunt (The Wolfman, Wind Chill) are at their comedic best. They run a crime scene cleanup service. Very interesting and funny stuff.

#38. Fired Up! (Will Gluck) - This film is rather stupid, and it's nothing new. But good Lord, it's funny. Eric Christian Olsen (Beerfest, Not Another Teen Movie) finally gets a chance to show his teeth. The laughs don't stop. Check it out.

#37. The Fourth Kind (Olatunde Osunsanmi) - The less you know about this film going in, the better. This film is downright creepy. The archival footage really adds to the fun. This is a top-notch alien abduction film.

#36. Invictus (Clint Eastwood) - I'm a huge Eastwood (Million …

Top 50 Films of 2009 (50-41)

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I'm counting down the best 50 films of 2009. Some pretty good films were left off this illustrious list, which is a shame. I'll comment on each film, giving my opinions and reasoning behind my picks. I will post ten a day, so without further ado, here's 50 through 41. Enjoy.

#50. The Road (Directed by John Hillcoat) - Having read the award-winning book by Cormac McCarthy, this film was a letdown. That being said, their are many reasons to see this film. The cinematography is sensational and Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) is phenomenal. I definitely recommend the book over the film.

#49. It's Complicated (Nancy Meyers) - Alec Baldwin (The Departed, Along Came Polly) is hilarious and the storyline is wonderful. Of course Meryl Streep (Adaptation., Doubt) is fantastic as usual. If you like Baldwin in '30 Rock', then you should enjoy this film.

#48. State Play (Kevin Macdonald) - Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster) and Ben Afflec…

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) PG-13

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This film is unlike anything I've ever seen. Edgar Wright's (Shaun of the Dead) new film is funny, exciting, innovative, and a real pleasure to watch. Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and his band are trying get a record deal in Toronto. His band mates are Mark Webber (Shrink) and Alison Pill (Dan in Real Life). They just can't seem to catch a break. Scott (22) is dating a 17-year-old school girl (Ellen Wong). He gets flack from everyone for it, but they haven't even held hands yet. Wong is surprisingly effective in her first feature film.

Things seem to be going along just fine until Scott meets Ramona (the gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead). This is Winstead's (Bobby, Live Free or Die Hard) best performance to date. Scott becomes obsessed with Ramona and will do anything to be with her. They start dating (sort of), and Ramona's seven evil exes rage war on Scott. Among them are Chris Evans (Sunshine, Fantastic Four), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) and Jason Schwar…

Inside Look: Aniston and Bateman

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'The Switch' starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman opened on Friday and didn't fare well at the Box Office ($8.1M), or with the critics. All this despite having some decent supporting actors on board; including Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly), Juliette Lewis (Whip It, Old School), and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, Hard Candy). The Rom-Com isn't quite what it was in the 80's and 90's. Regardless, I've decided to take a look at the careers of Aniston and Bateman. They both started gaining interest on prime time television with 'Friends' and 'Arrested Development' respectively. Lets start with Ms. Aniston.

The best of Jennifer Aniston:
1. The Break-Up (2006): She plays the controlling, obsessive, but sexy girlfriend opposite Vince Vaughn. I don't know what's more ludicrous, the fact that these two were cast together, or the fact that they actually dated. Either way, this is her best performance to date.2. Along Came Polly (2004)…

The Runaways (2010) R

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Remember Cherie Currie and Joan Jett? I'm guessing most of you do not. I guarantee you've heard a few of their songs over the years, though. This true story takes place in the mid/late 70's. It's very short for a musical biopic, at only 106 minutes. Which for (most) people with short attention spans, will appreciate.

There are three pretty outstanding performances in this film. 2009 Oscar nominee Michael Shannon; nominated for his chilling performance in Revolutionary Road; plays Kim Fowley. A confident, devious, and well-known musician/producer who discovers Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Currie (Dakota Fanning). Shannon, as usual, steals every scene he's in. There's something mesmerizing about his awkward, yet demanding, manner of speech. He tries, but fails, to control these 16-year-old girls.

Stewart (Adventureland, Into the Wild), aside from the dreadful Twilight films, is once again delightful in her role as the infamous Joan Jett. She takes a back seat to Fann…

Unthinkable (2010) R

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What we got ourselves here, is a straight-to-DVD release. I'm not going to get into the reasons for that. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, A Time To Kill) is his usual mad self and he raises his voice for every single line. The things he does throughout this film are often quite hilarious, even though it's supposed to be shocking. He plays the balls-to-the-wall interrogator. He's interrogating Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, The Damned United) who's a Muslim/American terrorist threatening to unleash three nuclear bombs on the great U.S. of A. Sheen is the only saving grace in this film. It's a side of him we haven't quite seen before. He gets tortured in ways unimaginable and yet stays quite talkative and lively.

You know the saying good-cop, bad-cop. Well in 'Unthinkable' we get good-interrogator, bad-interrogator. The "good" one is Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix, Memento). She seemingly wants nothing to do with the whole ordeal and wants to help th…

My 2010 Oscar nominations

Best Picture:
(500) Days of Summer
Adventureland
Avatar
Brothers
Funny People
The Hurt Locker
The Informant!
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Directing:
Avatar - James Cameron
Brothers - Jim Sheridan
The Hurt Locker - Kathryn Bigelow
Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
Up in the Air - Jason Reitman

Actress in a Leading Role:
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Actor in a Leading Role:
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Matt Damon - The Informant!
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

Foreign Language Film:
A Prophet
Broken Embraces
Gomorrah
Sin Nombre
The White Ribbon

Actress in a Supporting Role:
Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
Natalie Portman - Brothers

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Peter Capaldi - In the Loop
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Tobey MacGuire - Br…

Jack. On. Movies.

Welcome to my brand-spanking-new blog on everything movies. If you don't like the American cinema then you're in the wrong place, buddy. Reviews are on the way, so you must be patient. I have many lists to share with the world. I also will have some brief summaries of films I recommend and even better, hate. Stay sweet.