Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem

To start off, I am a huge fan of both the Alien and Predator franchaises and have all the films in my DVD collection. That said, I hated this latest film and was even forced to set through it a second time as part of a planned "off-site team meeting" with my department. The issue I have is not with the CGI or creatures themselves but with the complete abscense of a plot and just the stringing together of scenes with explosions that supposedly delivered something watchable. On top of that, the story devolves to a single predator versus alien/predator hybrid that was the ending of the last film. No war, no clash of many predators and many aliens = not worth watching!

Click here to check out the official website.

Water Horse: The Legend of the Deep

Ever since I was a child, I was enchanted by the true life mysteries of such things as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Jay Russell brings to the screen Dick King-Smith's children's book, The Water Horse, who was also the writer of another favorite movie of mine, Babe. The story deals with the coming of age of a young boy who discovers this fantasical creature that must be saved while dealing with the lost of his father to the country's war effort. King-Smith has an incredible way of dealing with very adult themes and breaking them down to being accesible to children while not diluting their impact or resonance. This is a must see family movie that is enjoyable for everyone in the family and not just the children.

Click here to check out the official website.


Juno is this year's Oscar darling and winner of the Best Original Screenplay. Juno is a down-to-earth teenage girl who must deal with an unplanned pregnancy from her one-time sexual encounter to the chagrin of her friends and parents. Ellen Page, who was Oscar nominated as well for her role, does indeed deliver one of the best acting performances of the year and makes the dramaedy a must-see film. The cast is rounded out with stand-out performances by J.K. Simmons, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman. For those of you that need to score points by seeing the next chick flick with you girl, go see this and you will be glad you did even if you don't get the points to bank for later.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War

Aaron Sorkin return's to the big screen with this new film featuring the talents of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman - you gotta love the actors with the three part names. The film revolves around the covert dealings of a Texas congressman who is trying to do some good with his political power by bring attention and dollars to the orginial Afghanistan conflict with Russia. The film is funny and the the political wrangling down right ridiculous at points. I believe Hoffman could play a turd floating in a toilet bowl and I would still watch because he is that good in any role. If you need proof, check out his villianous role in MI:3 and tell how that film would ever have had legs if he was not in it.

Click here to check out the official website.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin, Simon and Theodore are back on the big screen in all their CGI glory - well maybe not glory. I admit as a child I liked the Chipmunks and that is why I went to see this film. Unfortunately, the joy I got from Alvin and his antics to Dave's chagrin and misfortune seemed to be lacking in this film. I think the film is fine to take the little ones to who will think talking Chipmunks are cool but it will leave us older kids empty and longer for the older days when it was still funny to us. Hopefully you can hold out to see this on DVD or cable and not have to waste your money seeing it on the big screen.

Click here to check out the official website.

I Am Legend

Richard Matheson's cult classic novel has finally made it to the big screen featuring the star power of Will Smith. After seeing Smith's performance that captures the fear, isolation and loneliness of the main character as he tries to survive and find a cure for the plague that has destroyed humanity, I cannot imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger pulling it off when he was orginally cast as the lead. Smith appears to be back on the top of his game and has recovered from previous box office misses like Wild Wild West and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Even though the movie is more a sci-fi thriller then a horror film, it still delivers on the scares even if they are not as edgy as they could have been. Definately rent this movie if you did not get a chance to see it on the big screen and keep the lights turned off.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, December 21, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub bring back the orginal cast with a few new names for the next chapter in the National Treasure saga. This time around, Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) must reconcile with his immediate family to clear the Gates family name as being principals in the assassination of President Lincoln. Hellen Mirren, a favorite actress of mine, joins the cast as mother Gates with other notable actors like Ed Harris and Bruce Greenwood. The plot and action are great and do not suffer much from the been there, done that effect from the first movie. Bruckheimer stills holds on to the title as the producer who can consistantly deliver the big box office hits - keep it up.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are back together again to bring the blood-letting musical, Sweeny Todd, to the big screen in all of its gothic and crimson glory. Johnny Depp goes on a limb and sings in this production unlike the lip syncing he did in John Water's cult classic, Cry Baby. One of the best moment's in the film is when Johnny Deep and Helena Bonham Carter are together on the screen and the scene looks like it was lifted directly from the Corpse Bride, Burton's stop-motion animated film that starred Depp and Carter as well. Don't let the fact that this is a musical starring Depp fool you in to bringing the little ones to the show - Pirates of the Caribbean this is not. This is another great collaboration that seems to prove that Burton and Depp together can do no wrong.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Golden Compass

In liue of the next Chronicles of Narnia installment this year, New Line Cinema brings the next fantasy franchaise to the screen based on Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy. Even though this is based on a children's fantasy novel, the themes in this movie are pretty dark and "controversial" depending on what religious groups you may be affliated with. In the end it is a good movie but more violent then you might want to expose your small child to - in particular the fight between the two warrior polar bears for leadership of their clan. The movie ends with the required setup for the next installment of the franchaise which I am sorta looking forward to. Parents will want to screen this first and then decide if it is suitable for their kids to watch.

Click her to check out the official website.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tamburlaine @ Sidney Harman Hall

Avery Brooks return's to Washington's Shakespeare Theater this season at the New Sidney Harman Hall to portray Tamburlaine as part of the Marlowe series. Tamburlaine is the rise and fall of a ferocious and ruthless warrior to emperor. This is my second time seeing Avery Brooks on the stage and man does he own the stage when he is on it. After seeing him on the stage, it is clear that his talents were never even tapped while he was on TV and the screen is such favorites as Deep Space Nine, The Big Hit or even Spencer for Hire. I look forward to seeing what he will be in during the next season should he return again.

Click here to check out the official website.