Monthly Archives: December 2009

Yours, Mine, & Ours (2005)

My Rating: 2.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Below Average, Low profile comedy and a lot of freakin’ children involved!”

Based on a film from 1968 (that starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda), this is a family comedy about two huge families that come together to create total chaos. Helen (Renee Russo) is the… Based on a film from 1968 (that starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda), this is a family comedy about two huge families that come together to create total chaos. Helen (Renee Russo) is the free-spirited mother of ten, including six adopted children of various races.

Yours, Mine, & OursMeanwhile, Admiral Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) has eight well-trained Anglo Saxon overachievers, including a class president shoo-in (Sean Faris), a cheerleader (Katija Pevec) and a pair of sugar-addict twins (Brecken and Bridger Palmer). Among those on Helen’s free-spirit side are a cute guitar-playing hipster chick (Danielle Panabaker), a sullen emo boy (Drake Bell), a rapper (Lil’ JJ), a hissy-fit throwing young Asian fashion designer (Lao North), twins from India (Jennifer and Jessica Habib), and a potbellied pig. When Helen and Frank impulsively wed after reuniting at a class reunion, their differing clans resent suddenly having to share bedrooms and bathroom time with such polar opposites. Devious plans are hatched, wars waged, and very few heads escape being doused with paint or other thick gooey matter, especially poor Frank’s, whose regimented military mind can hardly fathom the complexities of so many run-amok age groups.

Yours, Mine, & OursLuckily, Quaid is playing the role, and he’s great at mixing broad comedy with parental authority. Russo is also strong here–still sexy as ever–and the sophisticated romantic chemistry she manages to squeeze in with Quaid between pratfalls should keep the parents happy. Raja Gosnell’s (BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE) direction seems to be working overtime to provide something fun for every age, and he mostly succeeds. And any film with Linda Hunt as a martini-swilling housekeeper can’t be all bad.

Advertisements

Reincarnation (2006)

My Rating: 3.4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The plot is really terrifying, but the scares and performances are really mediocre!”

Nagisa Sugiura (Yuka) is a young Japanese actress who comes face to face with a slew of ghosts.

ReincarnationThese restless spirits begin to appear when she signs on to star in a horror film which tells the true story about a crazed, local professor whose murderous rampage at a hotel left 11 guests dead, including his young son and daughter. The movie is being filmed at the very site where the killings took place.

Strange Wilderness (2008)

My Rating: 2/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The movie goes far beyond the ‘funny‘ quotient, which makes it damn shitty!”

Steve Zahn leads a ragtag crew of wasted nature documentarians deep into the Ecuadorian forest on a quest for the legendary Bigfoot. Constantly being rousted for their drunken ineptitude and… Steve Zahn leads a ragtag crew of wasted nature documentarians deep into the Ecuadorian forest on a quest for the legendary Bigfoot. Constantly being rousted for their drunken ineptitude and ill-informed voiceover narrations, the boys need a break to boost their ratings and Bigfoot might be it; all they have to do is remember to load the camera and not get eaten (especially by a certain turkey).

Strange WildernessAllen Covert, SUPERBAD’s Jonah Hill, Justin Long, and Kevin Heffernan are the crew. Harry Hamlin is a rival bigfoot tracker. Ashley Scott (INTO THE BLUE) provides the ubiquitous foxy babe interest. Ernest Borgnine, Robert Patrick, and Joe Don Baker show up in bit parts. A sort of low-rent LIFE AQUATIC, WILDERNESS is such a fall-down farce that viewers might forget they’re not cracking jokes while watching ANIMAL PLANET with their cronies instead of seeing a real movie, but maybe that’s a good thing. Former SNL scribe Fred Wolf (JOE DIRT) directs, keeping it as ramshackle and rough around the edges as the law will allow. STRANGE WILDERNESS may not be pretty, but it earns a load of laughs through its sheer mullet-headed recklessness.

Dorian Gray (2010)

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “A superb thriller story told in a very stylish and romantic way!”

Fresh-faced and innocent, Dorian Gray arrives in London to move into the house he has inherited. Almost immediately he falls under the influence of amoral and calculating Lord Henry Wotton, leading to a life of increasing debauchery and even violence.

Dorian GrayThrough many years Gray stays as young-looking as ever, while a portrait painted when he arrived grows old, reflecting his increasing excesses. Eventually the picture, now secreted in his attic, becomes almost hideous to behold.

Dorian GrayWhen true love finally enters his life he realises he must guard his secret at all costs.


Rogue (2008)

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Bloody scary, Suspense-filled animal movie of 2008. It’s different and it’s mean!”

Pete is an American travel writer reporting on the booming tourist industry in the Northern Territory. While taking a river cruise he finds himself stuck with a collection of interesting characters, including Kate, the beautiful local tour guide.

Rogue There is an immediate attraction between the two, but when their boat is rammed by something from below, the tour is thrown into disarray and they become stranded on a tiny mud island.

Rogue As night falls and the tide starts to rise, the group slowly realise they are being stalked by a huge saltwater crocodile, beginning a terrifying struggle for survival in one of the most remote places in the world.

First Sunday (2008)

My Rating: 2.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Not so funny movie at all!”

David E. Talbert makes his directorial debut with this comedy about Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn (Tracy Morgan), childhood friends with a knack for getting into trouble. Despite his continual bad decisions, Durell gets one thing right: he’s a good father to his adolescent son. When he learns that the boy’s mother, his ex-girlfriend, Omunique (Regina Hall), needs $17,000 to buy her beauty shop or she’ll leave Baltimore and move to Atlanta, he’s determined to get her the money to keep his son in his life. Meanwhile, LeeJohn needs big money fast to pay off some bad guys. Durell and LeeJohn decide that the collection plate of their local church holds the answer to their money woes.

First SundayBut their attempt to rob the church is foiled in progress: the money is already missing, and the would-be burglars didn’t realize there would be people at the church. Finding themselves with a group of parishioners and choir members at their mercy, Durell and LeeJohn have to make some decisions about exactly what kind of men they want to be. FIRST SUNDAY also makes a statement about the role of the church in urban areas and its importance within the community. Keith David is Deacon Randy, who has grandiose plans for moving the church to a “less urban” neighborhood. Chi McBride stars as Pastor Mitchell, and Malinda Williams is his strong-willed daughter, Tianna, who wants First Hope Community Church to stay right where it is and expand its services. Loretta Devine is Sister Doris, the parish secretary and foster mother with a heart of gold. Ice Cube and Morgan have good rapport as the bickering buddies, with Morgan’s silliness providing loads of comic relief, but Katt Williams is the scene-stealer as Rickey, the flamboyant choir director with something to say about everything and everyone.

Battle in Seattle (2008)

My Rating: 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Historic, Engaging and Immersive. A brilliant work of chaos!”

Actor Stuart Townsend (HEAD IN THE CLOUDS) makes an accomplished writing and directing debut with BATTLE IN SEATTLE, a fictionalized account of the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings and protests in Seattle. After a lightning-quick lesson in WTO history and growing globalization concerns, we meet a cross-section of concerned individuals who will be affected by the events to come.

Battle in SeattleThese include hopeful activists (Martin Henderson and Michelle Rodriguez), a popular TV reporter (Connie Nielsen), a local police officer and his pregnant wife (Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron), and a doctor anxious to raise AIDS awareness (Rade Serbedzija) at the meetings. We also meet Mayor Tobin of Seattle (Ray Liotta), who initially works with protestors to ensure peaceful demonstrations and a successful WTO conference.

Battle in SeattleBut when the demonstrators shut down the conference, and anarchists begin vandalizing the city, the mayor and police are pressured to make their own show of force. In the ensuing chaos and violence the different characters are forced to confront their convictions and motivations. Some will take sides with the protestors, some will be irrevocably changed, and some will find the strength to ensure that all voices are heard by the WTO.

Battle in SeattleMixing actual footage and multiple fictional storylines, Townsend’s ambitious effort pays off in evenly addressing matters of both global importance and personal resonance. Filled with excellent performances and a message of cautious optimism, BATTLE IN SEATTLE is also quick to remind us that we need such upheavals to bring us together and get our world on a positive path.

Halloween II (2009)

My Rating: 3/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Halloween is a lot better in plot and scares, but H2 lost me big time!”

Picking up right where the first film left off, Laurie is taken to the hospital after supposedly killing the man who was responsible for the deaths of several people in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois.

Halloween IIHowever, her stay at Haddonfield General becomes very brief when a very much alive Michael appears once more, brutally murdering everyone in the hospital to find his sister. Michael disappears, and Laurie survives the infamous Halloween massacre, but is still haunted by it years later. Laurie struggles to come to terms with her dark past, or at least forget it.

Halloween IIBut the supposedly dead Michael Myers has other plans, and as the anniversary of his massacre approaches, he returns to Haddonfield once more, with a family reunion planned that Laurie will never forget.

Captivity (2007)

My Rating: 2/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “This one is a big disaster. I fell for the posters. The Plot is Damn Stupid and Empty!”

Top cover girl and fashion model, Jennifer Tree (ELISHA CUTHBERT) has it all – beauty, fame, money and power. Her face appears on covers of hundreds of magazines. At the top of her game, Jennifer… Top cover girl and fashion model, Jennifer Tree (ELISHA CUTHBERT) has it all – beauty, fame, money and power. Her face appears on covers of hundreds of magazines. At the top of her game, Jennifer is America’s sweetheart.

Captivity She is loved and adored and sought after. Everyone wants her. But someone out there has been watching and waiting. Someone wants her in the worst way. Out alone at a charity event in Soho, Jennifer is drugged and taken. Held captive in a cell, Jennifer is subjected to a series of terrifying, life-threatening tortures that could only be conceived by a twisted, sadistic mind. Inspired by the fact that over 850,000 are reported missing every year in the United States, many of whom are never seen again, CAPTIVITY follows the story of one woman who is abducted and tortured, held against her will in a place where days turn into weeks.

Captivity Her will to escape and survive is challenged every moment by a maniac’s desire to demoralize innocent victims and play out his sick game that has been played many times before Jennifer was taken. A combination of SAW and HOSTEL meets SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, CAPTIVITY is a psychological thriller/horror film that shows us the true terror of the crimes of abduction and confinement that are committed every day by serial killers and psychopaths at large. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Roland Joffe (THE KILLING FIELDS, THE MISSION), CAPTIVITY delves deeply into the minds of both captor and victim with a fresh and terrifying view of this epidemic horror. Being released this summer in theatres nation-wide, CAPTIVITY has been called one of the most controversial films of the year. It’s a disturbing and raw, yet classy and thought provoking film which will leave you terrified, and looking over your shoulder as you leave the theatre wondering if you could be next.

How She Move (2008)

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “One of the best dance flicks so far, Inspiring and perfectly choreographed!

Much like STOMP THE YARD and STEP UP, HOW SHE MOVE showcases the hypnotic choreography and mind-blowing talent that make step dancing such a popular part of youth culture. In her film debut, Rutina… Much like STOMP THE YARD and STEP UP, HOW SHE MOVE showcases the hypnotic choreography and mind-blowing talent that make step dancing such a popular part of youth culture. In her film debut, Rutina Wesley portrays Raya Green, a high school student hailing from the projects.

How She MoveHer intelligence and drive bring her to a prestigious private school, but she is forced back home after her sister’s death from a drug addiction soaks up the last of Raya’s tuition fund. With her parents working round the clock to make ends meet, Raya finds herself gravitating to her former friends from the neighborhood. She rekindles her passion for dancing, and gets involved with the local step dancing teams as they compete their way toward big money prizes.

How She MoveRealizing this is a second shot out of the projects, she gives dancing everything: all the intensity, fear, and pride she has welled up inside her. HOW SHE MOVE effectively deals with some sensitive issues–drugs, poverty, and death–through the perspective of urban kids on the brink of adulthood. Though it’s easy to get caught up in the dancing and fierce competition, other heartfelt messages trickle through as well, including the importance of family, community and culture. With an impressive soundtrack and fantastic acting performances, HOW SHE MOVE will truly entertain as well as inspire.