Monday, May 31, 2010

Deadwood: The Complete Series

Since I purged my home of cable TV, I have been discovering and revisiting TV series that I never got a chance to see or that were highly recommenced by my friends that I should check out with HBO's Deadwood being at the top of the list. Once you get use to the ever flowing use of the words fuck and cunt, this was a great western series with all the trappings of The Godfather, Shakespeare, and Unforgiven sprinkled in to make it savory. The show featured Ian McShane from Kings as the wonderfully contemptible Al Swearengen, Timothy Olyphant currently starring as another lawman in Justified, Paula Malcomson who is no longer a whore but a distraught mother in Caprica, and Powers Boothe as Al's competitor and nemesis. It was a shame the show did not get a fourth season to deal with the fallout from George Hearst's strong arm take-over of the town, played by Gerald McRainey, and the departure of Alma Garrett, played by Molly Parker. I recommend checking out this show on Netflix or Amazon but you will not want your children to watch it due to the really strong language, nudity and violence: the old west at it's darkest and finest hour on television.

Click here to check out the teaser trailer for the first season.

Click here to check out the teaser trailer for the second season.

Click here to check out the gag reel from the third and final season.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shrek Forever After 3D

The Shrek gang is back and this time in 3D - Disney's latest effort to squeeze a few more bucks out of a dying franchise. This time out Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers, makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, to give up a day in his life which ends up re-writing history and could lead to him being erased from existence. Not sure how this film was made better by being in 3D but it has a fairly good plot and is much better then the last two films. The high point of the film is what has become of Puss in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas, and how he has let himself go - very funny stuff. Unless your kids really want to see the 3D, save yourself the $3 surcharge and check it out at a weekend matinee.

Click here to check out the official website.

Just Wright

Queen Latifah and Common star in this romantic dramedy about a NBA pro who becomes injured and will lose his career unless his physical therapist get him back on to the court. Latifah is wonderful as the down-to-earth sister who takes a back seat to her gold digger sister, played by Paula Patton last seen in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, who leaves the player when his career appears over and then tries to worm her way back in after he makes his amazing recovery. All in all a good move with plenty of fun characters with a stand out performance by James Pickens Jr. as the father who can not complete the simplest home repair. No musical outing for Latifah this time but Common shows his chops at the piano . One of the better date night movies and it has basketball - what guy is not going to like this?

Click here to check out the official website.

Sex and the City 2

The girls are back and headed for Abu Dhabi as part of an all-expenses-paid boondoggle. This time out it is a year later in their lives and they are dealing with the issues of parenthood, falling in to a comfortable routine, being successful on your own terms, and menopause. The highlight of the movie was the gay wedding at the being that was completely over-the-top and hilarious to watch with a cameo by Liza Minnelli. A decent follow up to the first movie and actually more interesting. Sarah Jessica Parker has found the role of her life and seems to be milking it for all it is worth and this is a good thing as long as we do not have to sit through another outing like Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Click here to check out the office website.

Letters to Juliet

I did have free screening passes to see this movie but I let them go when the date I planned to see it with could not make it but since I had time to kill today and the times worked out between other movies I wanted to see I went ahead and checked it out. The movie stars the lovely and popular Amanda Seyfried and the wonderful Vanessa Redgrave as Sophie, who is about to get married, and Claire, a woman who missed a rendezvous with the young love of her life, who come together when Sophie finds Claire's letter to Juliet and responds to it as one of the "secretaries of Juliet" telling her she should try to find her missed love. A consummate chick flick but worth watching to see how Regrave makes acting seem effortless. The love affair that sprouts up between Sophie and Charlie, played by Christopher Eagan, seems a bit forced at times but does not derail the movie. If you have to see this film with your girl, make sure you get double brownie points to cash in later.

Click here to check out the official website.


It was about time for another Saturday Night Live skit to get converted to a movie to see if a repeat of the success of Wayne's World was possible. Unfortunately, even with Powers Booth, Ryan Phillippe, Kristin Wiig and Val Kilmer along for the ride, this should have just stayed as a two minute sketch because the laughs are forced and far between. When your go to sight gag is running around bare-assed with a celery stick hanging out of your ass, you maybe need to go back to the writer's table. Also, when did Kilmer actually decide the bloated image of the late Marlon Brando was a good performance look for film? Skip this and suffer through it on Comedy Central on a rainy Sunday afternoon if you cannot find anything else to watch.

Click here to check out the official website.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Until the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie can make it our way, Disney has tried to repeat the formula again but instead of high seas, pirates, and Johnny Depp we trade up for desert sand, hassansins and Jake Gyllenhaal. Although no one can hold a candle to Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, this movie does pack in the action, huge effects, a hot Arabian princess played by Gemma Arterton, and the great Alfred Molina as the bandit leader turned friend. I did not have high expectations for this film based on the fact that it starred Gyllenhaal but the movie works and works well on all levels to score a win as the big popcorn muncher, summer event movie just behind Iron Man 2. Kudos to Mike Newell on his best film effort since Four Weddings and a Funeral - still a favorite of mine. So should we look forward to the Prince of Persia: 1001 Arabian Nights?

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get Him to the Greek

Our favorite rocker from Forgetting Sarah Marshall is back and gets his own movie thanks to director Nicholas Stoller. Aldous Snow, played by Russell Brand, gets to make a comeback due to a brainstorming session in the offices of record producer Sergio Roma, played hilariously by Sean Combs, featuring a return to the venue where Snow was at the top and a rock god, The Greek Theater, and it is up to Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) to make sure he gets there and performs. The movie is very funny and the best scenes involve furry walls, the career ending swan song video African Child, where Roma explains mind fucking artists to perform, and the Sarah Marshall commercial. If you are in the mood for a good comedy then you will want to check this one out. Only question I have is how did Russell land Katy Perry in right life?

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2

For the first Iron Man film, I took my staff out to see the film as part of an "off-site IT meeting" so there was no chance this was not going to happen again with the sequel. With our popcorn, hot dogs and sodas in hand we were treated to a superb sequel from Jon Favreau that brought us War Machine (Don Cheadle), more chemistry between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cool villain in Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) and we finally get more of old one eye himself, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) . This time out the government is trying to force ownership of the Mark 4 suit while Stark's competitors are trying to steal his arc reactor tech to make their own battle suits with the son of a fellow scientist seeking revenge for the discrediting and deportation of his favor by Tony's father who helped him develop the original arc reactor technology all the while Tony is being slowly killed by the element that fuels his suit. The film makes a good sequel and does set up Marvel to launch their other tie-in films that will hopefully get us to The Avengers movie in 2012. Be sure to stick through the credits to see what other hero will be coming our way and swinging.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Now it's Freddy's turn to get the franchise update with Robert Englund's shoes being filled by a very capable Jackie Earle Haley who brings us a darker monster with less gallows humor. First off the movie is well done and delivers most of the key visual sequences from the original film if not where you expect them and does flesh out Krueger's back story more than in the initial film. Being an avid fan of the series, I enjoyed the film but was overcome with a sense of "been there, seen that" that kept me from being as engrossed in the film as I wanted to be. One thing that never ceases to amaze me though is how manly parents bring their little kids to see these R-rated films in the theater - not teenagers but children under the age of ten. Even I have to draw the line somewhere never minding how much I look forward to taking my best friend's child to her first horror movie when she is old enough and ready to handle it.

Click here to check out the official website.