Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trick 'R Treat

To be completely honest, I'm not sure I "got" this movie. I'm all for creating a new horror idea, instead of just freshing up the existing fracnhises, but I felt like this would almost have been better handled in a anthology film style with different directors at the helm for each story.

Director: Michael Dougherty

Monday, November 29, 2010

Whip It

One of my favorite recent directorial debuts. This movie makes me happy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dangerous Crossing

This was a noir I chanced upon, and I am glad I did. A young bride, a missing husband, a trans-Atlantic journey and an entire ship that thinks the bride is slipping into insanity.

Director: Joseph M. Newman

Saturday, November 27, 2010


As always, I give this movie two thumbs up, and I'd probably give it more if I had more than two hands.

Kara: You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Date Night

Unfortunately, Date Night is yet another film that's funnier in the trailer than the actual finished film.

Director: Shawn Levy

Phil Foster: He turned the gun sideways! That's a kill shot!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Behind...by a lot

Howdy Dear Readers,
I'm WAY behind in my reviews...yet I keep watching movies and I know I'm not going to stop. In an effort to cut my losses I'm going to do some unconventional posts, that will more show you what I've been watching than go into detail about them.

I hope to return to my somewhat-traditional format soon!


a.k.a. The Director

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1

Harry Potter Part 7.1
Originally uploaded by mynx-chan
David Yates has beent he unifing balm the Harry Potter franchise needed. The story of Harry, Ron & Hermionie is vastly unique in the realm of franchise films, as the films were being adapted before the series of books was finished, and though the films have always been entertaining, they suffered from a lack of continuity early in the series. With Order of the Phoenix Yates stepped up to the plate and hit the hardest book in the series out of the park, securing his place for what would turn out to be the remaining 4 films in the series.

As an avid fan of the books, when watching The Deathly Hallows Part 1 feels like the best adaptation of the books so far; Yates, Kloves and the cast are obviously benefiting from the added screen time that breaking Deathly Hallows into 2 parts allows them. I am thankful for that. This is a complex series, and the last chapter in the tale truly shows how proflic our villain is and how much our heroes have changed since they met as 11 year olds.

I will freely admit that this is the tale in the series that made me cry – many times – and the filmed version is no exception. What makes JK Rowling a great writer is that she did not put the “safety” of her characters above the end goal of the story she was telling. No one in Harry’s world is safe, and a good many beloved characters die in Deathly Hallows - every death is hard, as it should be.

What stands out the most about The Deathly Hallows is how good these child actors have become. When they were cast as 10 & 11 year olds it was a great gamble for many reasons. It was quite possible that through the years their talents wouldn’t progress, or perhaps it would turn out that they were just cute kids. Luckily, that is the one thing Chris Columbus got right. Rupert Grint, Emma Watson & Daniel Radcliffe have grown into phenomenal actors each in their own right, and I desperately hope that they can all find success after Harry Potter is gone and hopefully gain the needed distance from their characters.

I loved this movie. When it ended I wanted to stay in my seat and watch it again. I am both excited and sad as I wait for the summer to come. Because I truly believe that the series will be beautifully handled in it’s final episode, yet I will be sad to see it go.

Director: David Yates

Bellatrix: How dare you defy your master!
Dobby: Dobby has no master.

Friday, November 19, 2010

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer. I am slightly obsessed with this movie. Not because I’m some girlie girl who wants to marry a Tom or Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not because I think it’s funny.

I am obsessed with this movie because it’s so artistically original that I want to pick the brains of the filmmakers and see how this entire project sprang to being frame by frame.

It’s beautiful. It’s original. It’s the best “romantic comedy” since When Harry Met Sally.

Rachel Hansen: Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Iron Man 2

Those of you that thought I was going to plaster this blog with Iron Man 2 posts when it came out on DVD can breathe easy. I’ve been far too busy to watch the movie as much as I want, and I’m so far behind on blogging this is a micro post.

I love this movie. I love Robert Downey Jr. I love Jon Favreau. I think this film is an amazing follow-up to the original, and I am excited to see where Marvel goes from here.

Soon I will be getting my Joss Whedon fix in the form of The Avengers. Can’t wait.

Tony Stark: My bond is with the people, and I will serve this great nation at the pleasure of myself. If there's one thing I've proven it's that you can count on me to pleasure myself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black Widow

I’m going to be honest. I’d never even heard of this movie before I bought the Fox Studio Classics Noir set. But I enjoyed it. Black Widow is about a murder. The murder of an upstart writer who seems to go after men, and no one knows who killed her, or why, or even clearly who she really is.

In my personal opinion, I think this film isn’t the most thrilling film noir I’ve ever seen, mainly because it was towards the end of the period, it was in Technicolor and it was a tad disjointed. While Black Widow had a definite point and edge to it, it lacked the willingness to truly go gritty – something the best noirs do. It’s something I can definitely learn from as I work on my own noir.

Director: Nunnally Johnson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Due Date

Peter Highman just wants to get back to LA in time to be there for the birth of this child, but meeting Ethan Tremblay throws that plan out the window. Through a series of unfortunate events Ethan and Peter end up on a no fly list and decide to road trip together to LA. What ensues is a road picture that would make Bob Hope & Bing Crosby die laughing; Todd Phillips does not disappoint with his follow-up to The Hangover as Due Date does not disappoint.

The best thing about Due Date is the interaction between Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. Comedy chemistry can’t be faked and these two actors have it in spades. While I am partial to the talents of Downey, I have to say that this film would be nothing if Galifianakis couldn’t match him turn for turn. My single favorite scene in the film would have to be the acting exercises Downey’s Highman puts Galifianakis’s Tremblay through to prove his chops; it’s the kind of scene that you know the actors had to loose it in more than once during filming.

The one thing that Due Date suffers from is that it is Phillips follow-up to The Hangover. Too many critic’s and audience members have gone in expecting The Hangover 2 instead of this film, and that’s affected how they viewed it. Due Date presents a whole new sets of scenario’s and jokes than The Hangover and is proof that Phillips can turn out comedy, and not just one comedic film.

Director: Todd Phillips

Sunday, November 14, 2010

127 Hours

Originally uploaded by myETVmedia
If you’ve ever had the urge to become a canyoneer or mountain climber and just haven’t acted on it, 127 Hours will stop that urge cold. It is a PSA for safe extreme sports and avoidance of the desert.

Based on a true tale, 127 Hours is very nearly a one man play held together by the talents of James Franco and Danny Boyle. It’s the story of Aron Ralston, an adrenaline junkie who goes out for his usual weekend of canyoneering and rock climbing when suddenly the weekend takes a tragic turn as during a climb down into a deserted crevice Aron falls, followed by a boulder that pins Aron’s had to the canyon wall. What follows is a grueling, tense, and occasionally gory tale of one man’s survival instinct that ends with the headline that made the news – desperate and out of options Ralston cuts off his own arm using a Leatherman in order to escape.

This is a film that is truly helmed by one actor. Sure, there’s a beginning and an end with the people in Ralston’s life but the majority of this film is Franco, alone with nothing but a boulder and a camcorder to keep him company. It’s a tribute to Franco and Boyle that this film sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end.

While I don’t expect 127 Hours to light up the awards this season, I do think that Franco could come out with more than one acting nomination. Boyle chose and directed his leading man right, helping him to navigate the waters from cocky adrenaline junkie, to desperate being and all the while the audience is never pulled out of his peril.

Director: Danny Boyle

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I learned awhile ago that a good panel at Comic-Con does not always mean a good movie; so when I sat through the panel I tried not to get my hopes up, because when Helen Mirren & Bruce Willis make their first Comic-Con a panel will be fun no matter what. I am stoked to say that RED is by far one of the funnest action comedies I’ve ever seen, driven in part by a superb cast – most of which you would never have thought you’d see in an action comedy.

For me Helen Mirren stole this movie. Perhaps, it’s because at Comic-Con she actually said she was having fun using bullets instead of words, but her hardened ex-MI 6 assassin was the standout. Frankly, if Mirren did a few more of these, I might be afraid to run into her in a dark alley.

I know there are a number of people out there that will be turned off when I say that the best part of this movie is that it’s fun, but that isn’t a slam to it’s craftsmanship. This film is filled with Oscar caliber (and a few Oscar winning) performers who made an action movie and are having fun doing it. From Karl Urban to Bruce Willis this film bristles with charisma, action and talent. I spent the majority of this film laughing – and that’s a good thing.

Director: Robert Schwentke

Marvin Boggs: I remember the Secret Service being tougher.
Victoria: Me too.