In the last week of the year, there are no nationwide releases, but just a couple of limited releases. They both have to do with Nazi Germany though. Craziness!
Directed: Edward Zwick
Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos
Synopsis: During WWII in Russia, a group of Jews hide in a forest and fight off the Germans during the war.
My Take: I think it looks pretty good, but I guess it isn’t exciting enough to sustain interest.
RT Score: 39%
RT Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick’s story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus Forrest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history.
Continue reading “Movies Opening December 31″
The wide releases did not get very good reviews, but they seem harmless enough for anyone that picks them. The limited releases might not be harder to watch, but look a hell of a lot better.
Tale of Despereaux
Directed: Peyton Reed
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, John Michael
Synopsis: A man who is missing out on life takes a seminar that tells him that he must say yes to every opportunity that presents itself to him.
My Take: Too much of Jim Carrey can be overwhelming, but it does seem like a lightweight comedy that’s good for passing the time.
RT Score: 43%
RT Consensus: Jim Carrey’s comic convulsions are the only bright spots in this otherwise dim and predictable comedy.
Continue reading “Movies Opening December 19″
John Leguizamo is in two movies being released this week! He shows up in the wide release holiday movie about families and then he’s in the limited release about his family being on hard times around the holidays. Do you want him funny or serious? You get your pick this week.
Day the Earth Stood Still
Nothing Like the Holidays
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Directed: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Keanu Reeves Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese
Synopsis: A remake of a sci-fi classic where Keanu Reeves plays an alien who comes to Earth.
My Take: I didn’t think anyone was really clamoring for a remake of this movie.
RT Score: 20%
RT Consensus: Heavy on special effects, but without a coherent story at its base, The Day the Earth Stood Still is subpar re-imagining of the 1951 science-fiction classic.
Continue reading “Movies Opening December 12″
It is a very low key week for movies. I have heard more about Frost/Nixson than I have about either of the wide release movies. Frost/Nixon is also a Certified Fresh movie too.
Punisher: War Zone
Directed: Darnell Martin
Starring: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyonce Knowles, Gabrielle Union, Columbus Short, Cedric the Entertainer
Synopsis: Shares the story of the rise of Chess Records in the 1950s and 60s with artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry and Etta James.
My Take: The music sounds good, but it didn’t make the story sound all that interesting. I could listen to Beyonce sing “At Last” over and over again though.
RT Score: 65%
RT Consensus: What Cadillac Records may lack in originality, it more than makes up for in strong performances and soul-stirring music.
Continue reading “Movies Opening December 5″
Due to the holiday weekend, all the movies came out on Wednesday. Theonly Certified Fresh movie is the only limited release with Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk. None of the wide releases got very good reviews. There is the Baz Luhrmann epic love story about his home country, the dysfunctional family Christmas movie, and another sequel for Transporter.
Directed: Baz Lhurmann
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Jack Thompson
Synopsis: Just before WWII, an Englishwoman goes to Australia to see about the land she inherited with the help of Hugh Jackman.
My Take: It looks good, but I heard Lhurmann edited it a bunch to make the studio happy and the story is now muddled. Maybe they’ll be a better director’s cut one day.
RT Score: 52%
RT Consensus: Built on lavish vistas and impeccable production, Australia is unfortunately burdened with thinly drawn characters and a lack of originality.
Continue reading “Movies Released November 26″
You might have heard tween girls screaming this week. That’s because Twilight was finally released. If you aren’t into emo vampires falling in love, then you have the option to watch the animated disillusioned doggie film, Bolt, that does have a cute hamster in it.
Directed: Chris Williams
Starring: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Malcolm McDowell
Synopsis: A dog is the star of a hit TV show, but he thinks the superpowers he has in the show are real, which becomes a problem when he gets accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City.
My Take: The hamster makes me laugh every time I see him in the ball.
RT Score: 84%
RT Consensus: Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story’s familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters.
Continue reading “Movies Opening November 21″
It is pretty much James Bond and nothing else this week.
Quantum of Solace
Quantum of Solace
Directed: Marc Forster
Starring: Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amairic, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench
Synopsis: It picks up roughly where Casino Royale ended where James Bond has Mr. White in custody, trying to find out about the organization that blackmailed the only woman he ever loved. He’s also a tad pissed.
My Take: I loved the last movie. I hope this one has great action sequences like it did. I am concerned about how much clothing he has on in the trailer. There should be less of it.
RT Score: 67%
RT Consensus: Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action. Not as good as franchise reboot Casino Royale, but still an impressive entry to the Bond canon.
Continue reading “Movies Opening November 14″
In the wide releases, you have your choices of family-friendly comedies and two adult comedies. It’s all comedies, all the time!
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Directed: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith
Synopsis: The animals think they are going home, but the plane that the penguins were flying, crash lands so they haven’t moved very far.
My Take: The trailers actually made me laugh out loud.
RT Score: 60%
RT Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Continue reading “Movies Opening November 7″
In the wide releases, there is a heartwarming comedy about making a porno, a thriller about a lady’s sanity being called into question, and some crazy teen horror flick. In the limited releases there are two horror movies about weekend getaways that go horribly wrong. I guess you shouldn’t go out of town, ever.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Haunting of Molly Hartley
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Directed: Kevin Smith
Starring: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Traci Lords, Ason Mewes, Ricky Mare
Synopsis: Two best friends have been roommates for 10 years, but both of them have trouble paying the rent and bills. They decide making a porno is the best way to make money fast.
My Take: While I find Kevin Smith movies more miss than hits in recent years, this one seems to have more charm than the horrid Clerks 2.
RT Score: 66%
RT Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
Continue reading “Movies Opening October 31″