Thursday, May 11, 2006

Inside Man

Inside Man, featuring Denzel Washington in his usual detective role as Keith Frazier, and Jodie Foster as Madeleine White is rated R for violence and language. This movie takes you deep into the plot of a bank heist on one of the main banks in, where else, New York city. It starts off with a chilling scene of Clive Owen as Dalton Russell, telling you that he has the perfect plan. He's only going to tell you once, however, so pay very close attention.

The many many twists and turns in this plot will have you glued to your seat, and with any good Drama/Thriller you'll think you have it all figured out. Or do you? Tantalizing flashes of strange plans will have you wondering if you know the master plot at all. Then you meet Miss Madeleine White and, of course, the plot thickens. All of a sudden a "simple" bank heist turns into something rather different. You start to wonder if the money is what they're really after.

But of course, you can't forget the hostages, and at the moment? Every single one of them is a suspect. Detective Frazier can't be sure who to trust and he's got a rather large puzzle on his hands.

Think you can figure it out? Good luck! I thought I had until the very end. Unfortunately in some ways this plot seems to come up short. It has all the right twists, and will keep you glued to your seat, but in the end it's not that original. Compare it to any other bank heist/mystery movie and it just follows the formula. Still, it's worth going to see, and it'll definitely keep you watching. I give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Village - Guest Reviewed by Emily

  This weekend, Darryl and I went to see The Village. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Lucius Hunt, Bryce Dallas Howard as Ivy Walker, William Hurt as Edward Walker, Adrien Brody as Noah Percy, and Sigourney Weaver as Alice Hunt. The movie is set in a village (duh) in the woods. The woods are surrounded by horrible creatures, but the villagers have a truce with “those we do not speak of.” Now, the truce has been broken. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, and there’s not much I can say in this review! But I can tell you this.

  We saw Aunt Jan the day we were going to see the movie. She said she was afraid she would get nightmares after seeing a movie like that. Well. No. You won’t have nightmares, I guarantee. But I can’t tell you why. You’ll just have to trust me.

  Now, when I go to see a movie, I wiggle around for 2 solid hours. One leg goes numb, my other foot is crooked, a butt-cheek or two falls asleep. I just cannot sit still.

  At the end of this movie, I had only moved once, when a piece of popcorn fell into my shirt. Also, I said to Darryl, “How disappointing! It was only about an hour long!” But, no, it was 2 full hours.
I think whether or not you like the movie depends on if you buy into it or not. When it comes to movies, I buy in. In bulk. I believe in the “suspended disbelief” method of seeing movies. So.
Spend your $8, and see The Village. Rated PG-13, I give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Stepford Wives

The Stepford Wives
is a movie about a suburban Conneticut city. Included in this movies cast are Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, and Glenn Close. This film is actually yet another remake of an older movie from the 70's. The Stepford Wives is a comedy/thriller about a quiet town where everything seems perfect, but the theme of this movie is definitely that not all the glitters is gold.

  Joanna Eberhard (Nicole Kidman) has just lost her job as one of the best and the brightest at a tv station. After having an emotional breakdown, she pleades with her husband, Walter Kresby (Matthew Broderick), to take her away from it all. The family, with their two children, moves out of fast-paced New York city to the quiet village of Stepford. Moving into their new gigantic house, they meet the first of the Stepford wives, Claire Wellington (Glenn Close). All of the wives in Stepford have the same personality, always happy and smiling wearing bright clothes and a large trend of blonde hair.

  Joanna also meets two of the more normal people in the town Bobbie Markowitz and Roger Bannister. Both, along with Joanna, were famous and had left New York, or another city like it, to move to the quiet suburbs. All three of them wish they were elsewhere and soon become fast friends. When Roger disappears one night after spending an evening at the mysterious club where all the men of Stepford go, the two women are horrified to see him acting completely different from his usual bubbly gay self. When the same thing happens to Bobbie, Joanna starts becoming worried for her own safety and begs her husband to take her back to New York.

  The rest of the plot continues on as you learn the real secrets behind everything thats happening in Stepford. Be forewarned, its not all as it seems, all the secrets seem to be hidden in the trailer, but even then there's a lot more going on. I liked this movie, although it was a little strange and cheesy and cliched at times. Still fairly entertaining, its not really a must see for the summer. Rated PG-13 I give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Starsky and Hutch

Starsky & Hutch
is another movie based off an old television show from the 70's. In this new movie the two detectives, played by Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, are on yet another adventure.

  Forced by their captain to be partners, Starsky and Hutch start off their patrol and find a floater in the river. A floater is a dead body that has been dumped into a body of water. Considering this a practically impossible case Hutch is ready to just push the body back out into the water and forget they ever found it. Starsky, of course, plays by the rules and takes on the case. While investigating the body, they later find out that the body was part of a ring of drug smugglers who hide their activities in a charity supporting ex-cons. Of course, this movie couldn't be considered a comedy if our two heros didnt happen into a lot quite a few screw-ups mishaps along the way.

  The stars in this cast definitely pull this comedy together and help it along quite a bit. Without Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, and even Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, the police's informant, I dont think this movie would have quite pulled together as well as it did. This is a good comedy to check out when you get the chance. Rated pg-13, I give this movie Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Passion of the Christ - Guest Reviewed by Jim

The Passion of the Christ is a riveting film. We all know the plot, it was written 2000 years ago so there is no suspense or surprise ending. The dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic and it is subtitled in English. Yeah, you're going to spend an hour and a half watching a movie with subtitles? Try it!

  What makes it fascinating is that the people come to life in an amazing way. Pontius Pilate is deeply troubled over the decision about Jesus. Simon complains bitterly about helping Jesus carry the cross. Judas experiences extreme anguish after turning Jesus over to be tried before committing suicide. I cannot describe how Mel Gibson brings the characters from Matthew's passion to life. The actors played their roles to perfection. I was glued to my chair through the entire film even though I knew what was going to happen. The time went quickly. It was over before I realized it!

  One caveat. This movie is rated R for violence. The depiction is no worse than what we imagine during reading the passion but the movie might be disturbing to very young children. I watched it twice and I highly recommend it. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Pearl Harbor - Guest Reviewed by Jim

Pearl Harbor is a long epic movie. It spans two discs. The story starts with two young men who become pilots during WW2. From there it diverges into boy meets girl, Pearl harbor is attacked, pilots become fighting friends, etc. This could have been a good movie if it had one plot line or had concentrated on making the Pearl Harbor attack seem real. The special effects were fair at best and the characters were not developed. If you decide to watch it, keep your remote handy for the 'fast forward' button. Val and I both fell asleep while watching it. I'll give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was probably one of the most looked-forward-to movies of the summer. I personally, with a couple friends, would often squeal over the fact that it was almost June 4th. In the end I was sadly disappointed with this movie.

This movie goes more for special effects than the true plot of the book. While none of the movies could really be exactly like the book, this one took the cake for being way off. Scenes were added, changed, and generally didn't flow together. Anyone who has read the book is aware that Harry gets pretty beat up in this third book. Several times he passes out, and each time it was followed with bad special effects and the echo-y "voices from beyond."

The one good thing that could be said for this movie is definitely the play-up on the dementors. One of the most terrifying creatures of the Harry Potter world, they lived up to J.K. Rowlings' standards. Each time they arrive, they are heralded by chilling ice that freezes anything nearby. While this can be cool, you can only take things so far. I think the flowers freezing scene took it a little too far, and in some other scenes, they just looked like ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings.

New casting in this movie is the newest Professor Dumbledore played by Michael Gambon. He had a lot to live up to when in comparison with the original Dumbledore played by Richard Harris, who unfortunately passed away. Richard Harris played Dumbledore perfectly, he had the right voice and acting style for the role. Michael Gambon tries very hard to live up to this image, but can't do it just because he isn't the original. Differences are very apparent throughout the movie. Also casted in this film was Remus Lupin the werewolf turned Defense teacher, played by David Thewlis. While he played the role admirably, I still feel, he just wasnt quite there with the part. He didn't have the look of Lupin that seemed to be portrayed through the books. Lastly, there is Sirius Black, Harry's godfather who has been framed as a conspirator in the murder of Harry's parents. Played by Gary Oldman, who is also a very good actor, but I still feel his overall look just didnt quite fit the character.

  I will admit, I might be a little bit harsh on this movie, just because it had been so hyped up, and the book was my favorite. An ok movie, rated pg, I give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mean Girls

  Mean Girls is Lindsay Lohan's latest chick-flick about a girl who lived in Africa for much of her life, and was homeschooled. Now she's come back to America, as her mother has gotten tenure with a college, and is going to public high school for the first time in her life.

  At age 16 she's a junior in a high school where cliques are the catch of the day. Fitting into any high school is hard enough, but one where everyone is classified as something doesn't make life any easier. It also doesn't help that she has no clue about any American culture. Among the many cliques are the "girls who eat their emotions," "girls who dont eat anything," and, of course, "the plastics."

  The "plastics" are the elite of the elite, three girls who dominate this small-time high school. Of course, the "plastics" aren't the smartest girls around, and as such, this movie quickly turns into a fight. You also can't forget the infamous "burn book" where the "plastics" write all their insults. Bet you can't guess what happens when this book gets into the hands of the entire school!

  All in all, this movie has some great comedy, and a lot of randomness as well. It's definitely a chick-flick, with a romantic subplot, like most comedies these days. A fairly good movie overall. Rated PG-13, I give it Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting