Friday, October 31, 2008

The Midnight Meat Train

After a generally crappy day at work on my favorite holiday of the year, I got home and checked my email to find that the movie I have been waiting to see since the 2007 San Diego Comicon was playing for free on This film is based on a short story from Clive Barker's first anthology, The Books of Blood, which also includes my other favorite short story that I would love to see as a movie, In The Hills, The Cities. The movie is pretty much dead-on with the original story with just the addition of a love interest and the main character is now a photographer. The movie lives up to its name and does delivery the bloody, meaty goods with Bradley Cooper, from such films as Wedding Crashers and Wet Hot American Summer, taking the lead without crumbling under the imposing performance of genre favorite Vinnie Jones as the serial butcher. Clive Barker fans rejoice and let's hope the next Blood movie adaptations are just as good.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Body of Lies

Ridley Scott is back on the screen with his latest thriller starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. I really enjoyed this movie and its revelation of the vast differences between American and Arab espionage techniques. Russell Crowe is always good but I was finally taken in by a performance delivered by DiCaprio. This was the first movie where I could actually see the boy...err man now...really act and delivery an outstanding performance. Great director, great cast, great plot - go see it already.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saw V

I saw this film after re-watching the previous four films as part of Sawfest at my local AMC theater - Saw III is still my favorite one. I'm not sure if it was the previous eight hours of blood and violence that desensitized me or the change in director for this current installment but I was not overly impressed with the latest effort. The story did not seem as tight and well constructed as in previous films. Also, the actors did not seem to be delivering the "oh shit how did I get here" performances I had enjoyed in the previous four films. Regardless, I love Jigsaw and the Saw premise and cannot wait to see how he is still around in Saw VI which was filmed at the same time as V.

Click here to check out the official movie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Shadow of the Glen & The Playboy of the Western World @ Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater

The DRUID theater company has made it to the Kennedy Center to put on two of John Millington Synge's best know plays. The Shadow was a one act play dealing with an Irish wake where the husband is playing dead to test his wife's fidelity. The Playboy is a full three act play about a man who has supposedly killed his father and becomes the local town hero. Both plays are down-right hilarious and easy to follow despite the Irish slang used. Definately worth checking out while it is still in town.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Max Payne

Mark Wahlberg stars in this latest video game turned big screen flick that falls flat on its face. Even with the sexy Olga Kurylenko from last year's Hitman can not save this mish mash of a film. If you are going to have CGI snow falling through 90% of your film at least have the shit fall to the ground and accumulate to make it even slightly believable - snow globes look more real then this film. Also, if your plot deals with the sister of your dead girl and an indestructable madman at least do something with them that adds up to more than 5 minutes of meaningful screen time. Lastly, a film dealing with an obsessive cop seeking revenge and blowing people away to solve her three year old murder deserves more than a PG-13 rating and a movie plot that cannot find a single through-line to get it to just an adequate resolution.

Click here to check out the official website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Janet Jackson @ Verizon Center

Janet Jackson was able to make her Washington, D.C. performance and the crowd was frenzied. The opening act was a local DJ who was pretty good and got the crowd ready with some great generation jumping songs. The forty five minute wait after the DJ end was a bit ridiculous since the stage was ready and no changes needed to be made as seen from the seats. Either way way, when the show started the crowd was on its feet and treated to a great stage show filled with dancers, bizarre video montages, anime like costumes and fireworks. The highlight for me was the on-stage over-the-top lap dance given by Janet to a lucky man from the audience - it was crazy hot!

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Michael Cera and Kat Dennings of Superbad and The House Bunny respectively star as Nick and Nora in this John Huges-esque coming of age film. The director, Peter Sollett, tries hard to pull off the Huges' feel but just misses the mark that made those early 80's films such classics for my generation. He does include the required gay character of teen films these days but transforms it in to the form of a band where Nick is the only straight guy in the group. The film takes place over the course of one night with the hunt for a secret band show, the lost drunk friend who needs to be found, and the jealous return of an ex-girlfriend. So basically your normal teen film that is just average.

Click here to check out the official website.


Jennifer Carpenter returns to the horror film genre in this next installment of the zombie-like film that does not have zombies. Jennifer's break-through performance was as Emily in 1995's sleeper hit The Exorcism of Emily Rose which lead to her current casting as Debra Morgan on the series Dexter. This film continues the en vogue film style of first person video that was made popular by The Blair Witch Project. There are some good fright moments but they don't hold up to the unbelievable responses of the authorities that strains the film's attempts at realism. Lastly, Jennifer's hysterics at the end of the film are a little over the top and a little to late.

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Way of the World @ The Lansburgh

Veanne Cox and Christopher Innvar from last season's The Beaux Stratagem return for this William Congreve masterpiece. The highlight of the show is Nancy Robinette as Lady Wishfort. Nancy's acting is effortless and her comedic timing impeccable. Floyd King as Anthony Witwood continues to amaze me with his prowess to become completely different characters in every production with different mannerisms and quirks included. Definitely get over to the Landsburgh for an evening of stellar performances before this production completes its run.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beverly Hill Chihuahua

I had no desire what-so-ever to see this film based solely on the dreadful trailers with singing and dancing chihuahuas. The trailers made me physically ill. But to appease my best friend's daughter for missing out on going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, I went along. The movie was not bad and not as horrible as the trailers portrayed with dancing and singing chihuahuas as far as the eye could see. Also, Drew Barrymore did the voice-over for Chloe and Piper Perabo is just so cute - so my afternoon was not so bad.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eagle Eye

Shia LaBeouf follows up Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with this popcorn muncher of a thriller. My favorite scenes were with Billy Bob Thorton and Michael Chiklis as Agent Thomas Morgan and Defense Secretary Callister. The movies is action-packed from the start but the premise is just not sustainable if it was suppose to be based in the current events. I have seen my share of all-knowing super-computer movies and they were great - this one is not so good. Save our money and rent it some night when you are bored and nothing else is on the tube.

Click here to check out the official website.


Ed Harris helped write the screenplay and directs this latest homage to the way things where when men lived and died by the gun in the old West. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen seem at home in the genre they both love but Jeremy Irons seems wasted as a murderous ranch owner. The pace is slow and the cowboy code of right and wrong is a line that never gets crossed. Unfortunately, if they crossed this line it may have been more of an enjoyable and engaging film. Wait for the edited for TBS or TNT version to hit the small screen - it may actually make for a better film.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Broadway: Three Generations @ Kennedy's Eisenhower Theater

The Kennedy Center has finished the renovations of the Eisenhower Theater and it looks glorious. What better way to celebrate the grand re-opening of the theater then staging musical reviews from three great Broadway shows: Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie and Side Show. I was amazed at the number of songs I knew and remembered but never knew what musicals they came from. My favorite musical performance was from Jenn Colella and Lisa Bresica as the conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton. I knew there was a musical based on Tod Browning's cult classic Freaks but never knew the name - what a discovery!

Click here for the official website.