Saturday, March 28, 2009

12 Rounds

The WWF production machine is back with another cookie cutter action flick with the same wrestler and the same plot but with a different occupation and in another southern location. This second version of The Marine has John Sena as a cop instead of a US Marine, his live-in girlfriend is Ashley Scott versus wife Kelly Carlson, bad guy Robert Patrick is replaced with Aidan Gillen, and director John Bonita is replaced by Renny Harlin. Even with Harlin in the director's chair, the effects are just marginally better and Sena's acting is reminiscent of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger but with better English. I went to this film for mind numbing action to clear my head and it worked. If you like these types of movies, then maybe it is worth paying to see it but I would rather wait to see it on cable which I am already pay for.

Click here to check out the official website.


Alex Proyas, the director of such visually stunning and darkly imaginative films like The Crow and Dark City, brings us the end of the world. The film melds secular science and religious belief in to a compelling story that, despite the great lost, there is always hope. Not sure if many of the "church going" crowd will embrace this like I did but I think that they would be hard press not to see this as a valid interpretation of the end of the world. The story is what matters here and Nicholas Cage's acting is ok but nothing that would be considered great. The best acting was by Rose Byrne, the star of TV's Damages, who delivers a motherly performance that is real and tragic for what she will never know.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Haunting In Connecticut

The haunting is a decent ghost story and is supposedly based on true events. Anything based on true events would be enough to get my friend, Geoff, in to the theater but my draw here is genre favorites Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas. Unlike recent ghost films, this one has a happy ending which is ok since it is based on true events. The highlight for me was seeing the words carved in to the skin all across the boy's body by the dead which seems to be lifted directly from Clive Barker's Books of Blood. The film is worth a look and has a few good jumps in it but is not overtly scary unless your empathy sensor is easily triggered.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Love You, Man

Jason Segel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall is back on screen but this time out buddy Paul Rudd takes the lead. Paul is newly engaged and has no one to be his best man because he has no male friends and is encouraged by his fiancee to go out on "man dates" to find one. Now this is the perfect date movie for guys. The movie is funny, the antics hilarious, and the dialogue real with lots of Rush music. Paul Rudd seems to finally be getting his chance to carry a film after last year's successful gig in Role Models.

Click here to check out the official website.

Monsters vs. Aliens (3D)

Dreamworks' latest animated film is a throw back to the classic B grade 50s horror and SciFi films I loved when I was a kid. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Fly, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Blob all get their due when their signature characters are voiced by Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnet, and Seth Rogan and in glorious digital 3D. Reese is cute in every role apparently and Seth as the gelatinous blob with no brain seems like ideal casting. The story is fun and the outsider themes are touching. As much fun as this film is, I question taking small children to the film due to the military violence and gun play.

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ion @ Sidney Harman Hall

The Shakespeare Theatre's latest production is a fun and fast paced romp from the classic playwright Euripides. Keith Eric Chappelle is a dead ringer for Obama and this thought does not leave me at any point during the production. Company regulars Aubrey Deeker as Hermes, Colleen Delany as Athena, and Floyd King as the Old Counsellor complete the cast and are superb as ever. The highlight for me is newcomer Patricia Santomasso who is sassy, fun, cute and wears the shortest skirt I have ever seen on stage. At just under one hour and thirty five minutes, this is the shortest production I have seen at the Harman but man is it good fun.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain

A revamping of a Disney classic from my childhood has made it to the big screen this week and it did not disappoint. The "re-imaging" of 1975's Escape to Witch Mountain and the 1978 sequel Return to Witch Mountain gets a major effects upgrade, better chase sequences, and wonderful cameos by Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards as a local sheriff and waitress. I like Dwayne Johnson in this role but his acting still does not hold a candle to Eddie Albert's performance from the first film. Carla Gugino is as beautiful as ever and this is a great follow up to her performance in the Watchmen as the sexy and tough as nails Sally Jupiter. A good family movie to see but may be a little to violent for very young kids.

Click here to check out the official website.

Last House on the Left

It was bound to happen sooner or later and Wes Craven seems to be a champion of having his films remade by the new crop of horror directors trying to cut their teeth on remaking horror classics whether they need it or not. This film was working for me until the very last scene in the film that went for a CGI gore gag that just looked like a cartoon. If they would have just done the exploding gag off camera the effect would have worked and the scene should have just faded to black. It was great seeing Garret Dillahunt breakout from his recurring role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and his rape of Sara Paxton is very disturbing as it should be. Despite the less than stellar ending gore gag, this is still a must see for classic horror and Craven fans.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Watchmen (2nd Viewing)

As evident in my previous post on this film, I loved this movie and the adaptation of the "unfilmable graphic novel" works on all levels. The plot point change at the end is actually better than Alan Moore's original ending and makes more sense. But at the end of the day and regardless of all of the other principal characters, this film would live or died based on one character only - Rorschach - the heart and soul of the story as any fan will tell you. Jackie Earle Haley's casting was perfect and how he was able to deliver the psychosis and fear-inducing mania of Rorschach just made me stand up and cheer. Zack Snyder is my hero and all fans should thank him for delivering the goods and realizing the essential spirit of the comic on the big screen.

Click here to check out the official website.


Blue penis. 80s soundtrack. Violence. Hot sex. Awesome!
-- sent via Michael's Blackberry Storm

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Echelon Conspiracy

After Dark Films, the production group behind the annual 8 Films to Die For Horrorfest, have released their first film directly to the theater. This film is an update of the classic 1983 flick War Games but instead of Global Thermonuclear War the threat is the NSA'a Echelon program unleashed on every computer in the world as the ultimate Big Brother. The cast includes heavy hitters Edward Burns, Ving Rhames, Martin Sheen, and Jonathan Pryce. All in all a good action thriller with a decent plot. Definitely worth a matinee visit to the local cinema.

Click here to check out the official website.