Saturday, January 30, 2010

When In Rome

Mark Steven Johnson, the director of Ghost Rider and Daredevil, takes a crack at the romantic comedy staring fanboy favorite actress Kristen Bell as Beth who is trying to find the right guy who she can love more than her work. While in Rome for her sister's wedding, Beth retrieved a few coins from the fountain of love causing her to be pursued, or stalked, by a quirky group of suitors that include a sausage king played by Danny DeVito, a self-absorbed male model played by Dax Shepard, a street magician played by Jon Heder and a want-a-be struggling painter played by the ever funny Will Arnett. The pleasant surprise for me was seeing Kate Micucci, of Garfunkel & Oates, playing Beth's co-worker and friend who I was recently introduced to by either @therealereed or @reesah. As romantic comedies go it is not the greatest but it does have some very funny moments that makes it worth seeing. But if you want a really good laugh thanks to Kate, check out this video - Pregnant Women are Smug.

Click here to check out the official website.

Edge of Darkness

Mel Gibson is finally back on the big screen this week acting instead of directing and it is about time. Mel plays Thomas Craven, a homicide detective, whose daughter is accidentally murdered in a revenge hit on the detective but as the story unfolds it seems his daughter was the real target after all. Ray Winstone, who voiced Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf, costars as the dark government operative who plays by his own rules and has not made up his mind whether to help or hinder Craven's investigation. Nobody does revenge or anguish better than Mel and this role is by no means a stretch for him but it is fun to watch him go through the paces. A good film noir that is set in current headline events and intrigue.

Click here to check out the official website.

Tooth Fairy

I did not intend to see this film but the timing worked so I could get to see the other movies on my schedule for the day, Edge of Darkness and When In Rome. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as Derek Thompson an aging hockey player that unfortunately dashes kid's hopes and dreams because he let his slip away due to an old injury. The movie has some great hockey hits as you would expect with the Rock and is a kids movie through and through. The cast includes Julie Andrews as the head of the Tooth Fairy department, Seth MacFarlane as a scamming Fairy with counterfeit supplies for sale, and Stephen Merchant as Derek's case worker who has "wing envy". One of the better kids films out right now that will give dads a few sight-gag induced laughs and moms the joy of the Rock shirtless - enjoy.

Click here to check out the official website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Suicide Girls: The First Tour DVD

I have been a huge fan of the Suicide Girls ever since meeting several of the members at San Diego Comic and attending one of their raves. Missy Suicide has taken her love of pinup art photography featuring goth and punk girls - not you typical models - and transformed it in to a thriving website with thousands of members displaying some of the most intriguing photo shoots I have ever seen. I picked up this DVD because I had heard about their tours and the new wave burlesque-type show they performed and just had to see it for myself. As always, the ladies do not disappoint and the documentary is a great look in to the performers and their life on the road. Outside of the obvious great tease factor, the movie is fun just to see how they tried to pull off some of their bizarre photo shoots - check this out if it does not offend your sensibilities.

Click here to check out the site that started it all - SuicideGirls.com - and here to check out the trailer on YouTube.com.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Legion

After a last minute IT emergency, I just barely made it in time to see this film with @therealereed who met me at the theater with dinner from Chick-fil-A in hand - best friend ever! This movie was much better than we expected and we both really enjoyed it. Paul Bettany stars as the archangel Michael who refuses to carry out an order that he does not believe in to save the life of a single unborn child and possibly the whole human race from a God who has lost faith in his own creation again. The scares are very good and the special effects are top-notch with a cameo by Doug Jones as the freaky ice cream man. Although not quite a horror film to me, the film is well worth seeing just for the fight sequences between the archangels Michael and Gabriel alone.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson's film adaption of Alice Seybold's best seller has finally made it to screen and it is visually stunning as expected and the story is still very good if softened from the novel for the screen. As a last minute fill-in for the role of the father, Mark Wahlberg seems to do a fine job but the paid critics seem to not like his performance at all. The story is about Susie Salmon, played by relative newcomer Saoirse Ronan, who is killed by a neighborhood pedophile and must reconcile her life and that of her family by hopefully helping solve her murder from the "in between" so she can pass on. Stanley Tucci is terrifying as the pedophile and really sucks in the audience to his skewed world view and obsession that he cannot keep in check and is preparing to let loose again. Jackson really knows how to get every ounce of emotional tension from a scene - check this out if you have the time.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Spy Next Door

Jackie Chan is back as Bo Ho, an Undercover spy, who is trying to win over the children of the neighbor woman he is dating while not being discovered as a spy. Of course this does not last long and the Q like props come out and the over the top family-friendly fight sequences begin. The best part of this movie is the opening clip sequence of Jackie's past movies showing him as a spy. Supporting roles are fleshed out with Disney go to family guy Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez in very forgettable roles. Try to avoid this movie if you can until it shows up on the Disney Channel.

Click here to check out the official website.

Leap Year

Amy Adams stars in this romantic comedy about a girl, Anna Brady, who flies to Ireland to purpose to her boyfriend based on an old Irish legend. The premise is very weak and the comedy meager. The other drawback is that the chemistry between Anna and Jeremy, her current boyfriend played by Adam Scott, and between Anna and Declan, her new love interest played by Matthew Goode, is almost non-existent. No chemistry makes for a lackluster romantic comedy. Unfortunately this is a lame movie for a very talented actress so save your money and pass on this unless you are a die hard Adams fan.

Click here to check out the official website.

Book of Eli

Albert and Allen Hughes's post-apocalyptic film starring Denzel Washington as a mysterious loner, Eli, who is on a quest to save a mysterious book from those in his path who would take it for themselves and overpower others with it, has made it to the screen. The cast includes Gary Oldman as the town's big boss who is trying to get his hands on any book he can find, Mila Kunis as the local bar maid who wants to learn from Eli how to survive, and Jennifer Beals as the boss's kept woman and mother of the bar maid. As one critic said, are there any post-apocalyptic films that aren't washed out and gray? I have to agree that this has been over done but it still works for this film. A descent film but I still have no idea way this kept getting pushed back for actual release and the twist makes the film even more poignant.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Daybreakers

Finally a vampire movie that has blood, a real story beyond teenage hormones, and the vampires are the opposite of sparkly. Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a vampire hematologist, who is working against the clock on a human blood substitute before the world's supply disappears in the next thirty days in a world filled with vampires and only a few remaining humans. The blood and gore is not gratuitous but when the scenes come up an orgy of blood abounds and it rocks. Sam Neill and Willem Dafoe play the head corporate vampire in charge of the remaining human blood supply and a former vampire who was cured in a bizarre automobile accident respectively. In the finest tradition of George A. Romero's Dead films, the social commentary abounds and makes for a very a good film that I think all would enjoy - except Abigail.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Terry Gilliam and Heath Ledger's film is out and continues to confirm Gilliam's standing as a cult maverick director with a unique fantastical vision. The story is about a series of bets between Dr. Parnassus, played by Christopher Plummer, and Mr. Nick, played by Tom Waits, for the doctor's first born when she turns sixteen and the traveling show where the audience gets to choose between the the forces of light and dark in exchange for their souls. Tony, played in the real world by Heath and in the Imaginarium by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, joins the show and his own mysterious past is revealed. Although not as good as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the film is still vintage Gilliam and a must see for his fans. Tony was Heath's last film role and he will be remember for it but it still does not surpass his Oscar winning performance in The Dark Knight.

Click here to check out the official website.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Youth In Revolt

This film had a good trailer but with Michael Cera's last film, Year One, being a total waste I was hesitant on seeing this until I was handed a free screening pass. Being pleasantly surprised, I found the film was funny, darkly satirical, and brimming with teen hormones run amuck. There are not enough films based in trailer parks these days. Portia Doubleday was great as Sheeni Saunders, the focus of Nick Twisp's affections, hopeful taker of Nick's virginity as the very mature daughter of a local preacher. Cera's hits comedy gold this time out and it is very much worth the price of admission.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Road

Technically this was the second film for me in 2010 - the first being a repeat viewing of Sherlock Holmes - and to say it is a dismal story is being kind but it is a good film. A film that could easily shortcut itself in to horror manages to escape this trap by treating the more horrific elements as matters of existence and what you would expect to happen at the "end of the world". Viggo Mortensen turns in an Ocsar worthy performance as the father trying to save his world, or his son, after the loss of his wife. No spoilers here but I am still in awe of Charlize Theron, arguably one of the most beautiful starlets in Hollywood, who still pushes off the the glamor roles to play more realistic and unflattering roles and does them well. And for those who have followed Viggo's career, there is a cameo by Robert Duvall for the Western fans and the ladies get to see Viggo's bare ass again but it is not as enjoyable a scene as in Eastern Promises.

Click here to check out the official website.