Friday, February 27, 2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

I saw the first Street Fighter film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue, and the late Raul Julia and it was cheesy as hell. I lamented over the fact that Raul Julia's film legacy had virtually ended as General Bison until seeing Chris Klein's atrocious acting in this new film. Raul Julia's acting in the previous film can be considered Shakespearean now that this travesty is on the screen with its just-ok fight sequences. Lets not forget this is Smallville's Kristin Kruek's first leading film role and she does look good, acts well, and pulls off her fight sequences but why does she always have to be crying in everything all the time? Unless you are a huge fan of the video game franchise or Kruek you can definitely wait until this is presented on the SciFi channel as the latest Saturday night movie too see it.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fired Up

The cheerleader movies keep a coming out but they don't seem to get any better. The best moment of this film was when all of the cheerleaders at cheer camp were watching Bring It On and quoting all of the lines in unison. What got me to see this movie was the lovely AnnaLynne McCord who I discovered in last season's Nip/Tuck as the sexy temptress. The devil outfit was smokin' hot! Skip this and only watch this on TV if you are extremely bored.

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This movie was awesome and it is a total pisser it took this long to finally get to see it on the screen. The cameos are great and the geeked-out antics funny but nothing beats Kristin Bell in the classic fanboy boner-inducing outfit - Princess Leia's golden bikini from Return of the Jedi while on Jabba the Hutt's sail barge as it hovers of the Sarlacc Pit on Tatooine that ultimately would be devouring Boba Fett for a thousand years. Geeky enough for you? The other stand out is Seth Rogan in his dual roles that culminates in him trying to kick his own ass. Trekkies be damned and all hail GEORGE LUCAS in glorious THX .

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Dog in the Manger @ The Landsburgh Theater

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's latest production of the Lope de Vega comedy is inspired and, as my fellow attendee Svetlana would say, "hi-lar-i-ous". Michael Hayden and Michelle Hurd are wonderful as Teodoro and Countess Diana but they do not hold a candle to the scene-stealing Tristan played by David Turner. Turner has a comedic delivery that is spot on and underscores the brilliance of David Johnston's translation and adaptation of de Vega's work. When Tristan calls Teodoro a dick I nearly fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. I have enjoyed many comedic plays staged by the Shakespeare Theater Company as a season ticket holder but none of them actually made me guffaw like this one - kudos!

Click here to check out the official website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Happy Madison Productions churns out another slap stick comedy written by and starring Kevin James who was last seen co-starring with Adam Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. Unlike most recent Happy Madison films, the films starring James really have an everyman core and sensibility that sucks you in and puts you in the underdog's corner. This film is funny and family friendly unlike most current comedies being released. Sandler regular Allen Covert shows up here as Blart's jerk of a boss and delivers the one-off character gems he does so well. I regret not getting the chance to see this movie before now - check it out if you can.

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Edward Zwick, the director of Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai, is back on the big screen with this latest Nazi-themed film starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber as Jewish brothers who save over one thousand Russian Jews from death by hiding and living in the Belarussian forest. Unlike Craig's James Bond in Quantum of Solace, the role of Tuvia Bielski allows Craig to let his emotions loose while still delivering the strong character performance we expect. The remaining Bielski brothers played by Schrieber and Jamie Bell are just as tough and stubborn as Tuvia and make you feel you are seeing a real set of brothers dealing with an unimaginable set of odds. The cinematography is great and the actions sequences riveting. A really good movie to see even if it got no Oscar nominations.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The International

No one does cool, brooding and intense like Clive Owen who seems to be the go to guy for shoot-em up action thrillers with a twist. This time out he is joined by Naomi Watts as they try to bring down one of the world's corrupt financial institutions that is branching out in to worldwide arms brokering. A good thriller with the requisite amount of paranoia, murder, intrigue but no token love story to bog the plot down. It was good to see one of my favorite actors, Armin Muller-Stahl, back on the screen playing the bad guy with a conscience which he does so well. If you don't make it out to see this one, be sure to add it to your Netflix's queue when it hits the street.

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Henry Selick, the director of the stop-motion animation classic of our generation The Nightmare Before Christmas, brings to the screen Neil Gaiman's much loved book about a girl's discovery of a doorway to a parallel world that appears to be better than her own. My only regret is not getting the chance to see this in 3D at my local theater. The animation is beautiful and brings the story and the pictures from the book to life in the most charming way. Dakota Fanning gives voice to Coraline while Terri Hatcher does double duty as her Mother and her Other Mother. Throw in Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as the hilarious Miss Forcible and and Miss Spink and you have as perfect of a movie as you could ever hope for to take your child to.

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Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning star as the children of unwilling agents with special abilities that are being held, or killed, by a secret government agency trying to create their own quasi army of "super soldiers" started back during World War II by the Nazis. Can anyone say Firestarter without the fire? The movie is OK at best and tries its best to embed itself with the live-action manga and anime trends of recent movies. The comic book this is based on is suppose to be pretty good but is not on my reading list. Best to wait to see this one on cable as part of the Saturday night action pack.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Sean Cunningham's classic 80's slasher flick is back and updated with a vengeance. The opening sequence before the film's title even hits the screen is fantastic and a Friday fan's wet dream come true. Death by suspended sleeping bag over the campfire was truly inspired. The almost no-name cast with the required T & A was fun to watch and the comedy just light enough to not take away from the on-screen carnage. Jared Padalecki's remake definitely trumps his fellow Supernatural co-star's remake, My Bloody Valentine, like a Royal Flush.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Man on Wire

This documentary on Philippe Petit's infamous high-wire walk between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974 is amazing. I actually remember seeing footage of this when I was five year's old and the film brought back fond memories for me. The story of how Philippe and his friends planned and prepared for the walk and the good fortunes of fate make for an inspired revelation on what a man with a dream can do. I understand this is up for an Oscar this year and I hope it wins. Definitely rent this now that it is on DVD but don't watch it in a crowded bar basement in Adams Morgan like I did.

Click here to check out the official website.