Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drag Me To Hell

Fan favorite director Sam Raimi has finally made it back to the genre that has been missing him so much since taking up the reins of the Spider-Man franchise. As a long time horror movie fan, it is great to see a classic horror film that has some great scares and shows that Raimi has truly mastered his craft since the days of Within the Woods and Evil Dead. The goat shadow demon that haunts Christine Brown in the film is terrifying and some of the best visual effects I have seen on film. Justin Long, from Jeepers Creepers, takes a break from being the Apple guy and plays the protective boyfriend who tries to help save his cursed love. As in all great horror films, the ending is satisfying and painful as it should be for us long time fans.

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Pixar is back in the theaters with their latest tour de force that has the best opening sequence I have ever seen on film. I actually teared up over the opening sequence and lost myself in the film until the end credits. This film is a must see for everyone. All of my friends and colleagues who have seen it agree. This is the second must see film of the summer and a definite must-have addition to my ever growing Pixar film library.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Angels & Demons

Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are back with another film based on a Dan Brown novel featuring Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon. This time out the Vatican is being attacked my the Illuminati and Langdon is brought in to solve the clues before more priests die and the Vatican destroyed. Unlike when I watched The Da Vinci Code, I was more engaged with this movie since I had not read the novel and enjoyed the ride even though I figure out the plot twist well before the end of the film. Who thought the Catholic Church's convoluted history and secrets would still be so interesting the second time out? A good film and worth seeing especially since Tom Hanks is no longer sporting the atrocious hairdo from the first film.

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

The sequel to the 2006 family sleeper hit, Night at the Museum, is here and it takes place in my own back yard at Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian Museum. The premise is that the museum's historical artifacts are being relocated due to waning interest in the New York museum and former nightwatchman, Larry Daley played by Ben Stiller, must get them back and save the museum. The regular cast of characters are back in this non-stop action film and joined by Amy Adams and Hank Azaria as Amelia Earhart and the Pharaoh Kahmunrah respectively. Amy Adams can do no wrong and as my friend Steven said "her button looks great in those aviator pants". The plot is weaker in this outing but it is still fun and the seeing it in IMAX was a real treat.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Terminator Salvation

The much hyped fourth installment, or new launching point for the Terminator franchise, is on the screen with the smoke of war and the washed out grays that are our future due to the machines. I don't get the back and forth between directors McG and Michael Bay over their "giant robots" but I didn't see anything on the screen that would over shadow the new Transformers sequel coming out later this year. Also, the film is more about the Marcus Wright character than John Connor. I am hard pressed to see how they plan to do another two films if this was the best the could do to relaunch the franchise. Fox should have renewed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which has a better plot and was more interesting then this film and its heart-based ending.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Design for Living @ Landsburgh Theater

The Shakespeare Theatre Company present's a Noel Coward classic that is hilarious and completely engaging. The play reminds me of the movie Threesome I saw back in 1994 and makes me wonder if it was not the inspiration for Andrew Fleming's screenplay. The acting is superb as expected from the STC and the comedy effortless with fantastic dialogue. A must see for theater fans before it leaves the stage. I love my season tickets and can not see what is in store for next season.

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Friday, May 8, 2009


Channing Tatum, from such films as Coach Carter and Step Up, is trying his hand at the fight movie. The film has some ok fight scenes but they do not hold a candle to a few of my favorites like Gladiator, Lionheart, or Fight Club. The reason he fights in the film is flimsy at best and of course his wrestling rival and him both land in New York City. The film has Terrence Howard in a role I would think that could have had more depth but seems a waste of his talent. Not sure there was enough here to warrant wide release to the big screen but ok for a network action flick on Saturday night.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Hugh Jackman officially kicks of the 2009 summer blockbuster with a film that leaves the rest of the X-Men back at the mansion and focuses on his origin. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other mutants and future X-Men around to take up the screen time instead of delving in to a rich and bloody R-rated Wolverine origin that long time Wolverine fans would have liked to have seen. That said, it is a fun film and the peripheral characters are fun with Ryan Reynold's deserving more screen time as Deadpool. Good thing there is a spin-off movie planned for his character. A good start to the summer and don't forget you popcorn.

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