REVIEW: ‘Knight and Day’

James Mangold
Tom Cruise
Cameron Diaz
Peter Sarsgaard
Jordi Mollà
Rated: PG-13

The film follows the character June (Diaz), who’s on her way to her sister’s wedding. As she is about to board her flight, she has a run in with a man by the name of Roy (Cruise), who appears to be a regular guy, but as the flight takes off we find out that he’s actually a secret agent.

After a series of events, Roy becomes a target of government agencies and subsequently, June becomes one, too, leading the pair on an adventure to discover the real villain of the movie.

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REVIEW: ‘Salt’

Phillip Noyce
Angelina Jolie
Liev Schreiber
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Daniel Olbrychski
Rated: PG-13

Well Angelina Jolie is back with a film just a bit less stupid then Wanted.

In the film, Jolie plays the character Evelyn Salt. A CIA officer whose life seems to be working out just fine. That is until the agency captures a Russian who says he has important information. Evelyn is sent to interrogate the man and after a short while she concludes that he is no threat. However, he soon informs Salt that she is actually a Russian spy who will killed the Russian president.

After finding this out the CIA and the rest of the government agencies are now after Salt, who is in turn trying to clear her name. But as the film goes on we find the story go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

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REVIEW: ‘Inception’

Christopher Nolan
Leonardo DiCaprio
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ellen Page
Tom Hardy
Ken Watanabe
Dileep Rao
Cillian Murphy
Rated: PG-13

In the film DiCaprio is a character named Cobb, a man who has unique technology to enter into the dreams of other people. Along for these missions in other people’s minds is Arthur (Gordon-Levitt), Cobb’s right-hand man. Because of his extreme job, though, Cobb is unable to return to his family.

He gets a chance to go back home, though, when a job opportunity opens up. The only issue is that this mission is the hardest one he’s ever had to pull off. To make it happen, Cobb pulls together resources and assembles the best team he can.

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REVIEW: ‘Predators’

Nimrod Antal
Adrien Brody
Topher Grace
Alice Braga
Laurence Fishburne
Danny Trejo
Rated: R

No Schwarzenegger, no problem.

“Predators,” starring Adrien Brody, starts off by dropping its lead characters right into the think of things. Brody’s character Royce, and a number of other criminals and mercenaries from across Earth, have landed in an unknown forest and quickly realize they’re being hunted for sport.

The group quickly realizes that they’re on another planet all together and must fight to survive and escape the other worldly game reserve.

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REVIEW: ‘Despicable Me’

Piere Coffin
Steve Carell
Jason Segel
Russell Brand
Julie Andrews
Will Arnett
Rated: PG

How despicable can a guy who takes in three orphans possibly be?

This movie follows a super villain who goes by the name Gru (Carell). He’s fairly famous in the villain world but has never pulled off the super heist of his dreams. For this reason, he decides to steal the entire moon.

In order to do so, he needs  a device that a rival villain has. In response, Gru decides to adopt three girls so he can use them to sell cookies to his rival and infiltrate the security systems.

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REVIEW: ‘The Last Airbender

M. Night Shyamalan
Noah Ringer
Dev Patel
Nicola Peltz
Jackson Rathbone
Shaun Toub
Rated: PG

So this year’s Dragon Ball Evolution has shown up.

The story does take the basic premise of the animated series’ first season, setting up four nations of the world represented by people who can bend certain elements. These include water, earth, fire and air. The film takes place in the midst of a massive war with the Fire Nation seeking domination over the three others.

To combat the threat, people are hopeful that an Avatar, who can control all four elements, can return to bring peace. The movie picks up with two siblings from the Water Tribe who discover the latest Avatar, Aang (Ringer), who also happens to be the only remaining airbender. From there, the siblings decide to help Aang realize his destiny. However, they are constantly chased by the Fire Nation’s prince.

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REVIEW: ‘Jonah Hex’

Jimmy Hayward
Josh Brolin
John Malkovich
Megan Fox
Rated: PG-13

Hey everybody! Do you want to see a “Western” even worse than Wild Wild West? Then do I have the movie for you.

The film follows the titular character, and if there’s no chance you’ll forget that name since the movie reminds the audience again and again. The movie opens with a misplaced animated sequence and follows that with introducing the villain Turnbell (Malkovich), who kill’s Hex’s (Brolin) wife and daughter while burning his face. Near death, Hex ends up being saved by a Native American tribe who rescues him, bringing him back from death which gives him supernatural powers.

After this, Hex becomes a bounty hunter and in the process, he is brought back into conflict with Turnbell. Turnbell plans to destroy the United States with a canon that shoots what look like Dragon Balls, for some reason. For this reason, the president orders Hex to save the U.S. from Turnbell.

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REVIEW: ‘Toy Story 3’

Lee Unkrich
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Joan Cusack
Ned Beatty
Rated: PG

It’s not often the third film in a trilogy can be one of the best in the series. Pixar managed to pull it off.

The third and possibly final installment in the “Toy Story” saga begins with the main toys slowly watching as Andy begins losing interest. The film’s main plot begins with Andy being 17 and getting ready to leave home for college. At the same time, it’s now been years since Andy has actually seen the toys, let alone played with them.

The situation gets worse when, through a series of unfortunate events, the toys end up getting shipped away from their home to a daycare. At first, their new home seems like a paradise, but the more the protagonists stay at the daycare, the more like a prison it seems.

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REVIEW: ‘Karate Kid

Harald Zwart
Jaden Smith
Jackie Chan
Taraji P. Henson
Wenwen Han
Rated: PG

Every so often, a critic has to eat crow when they see a movie they thought was going to be bad and it turns out to be good. This is one of those cases.

In this remake, the audience follows the character Dre Parker (Smith) who is moving to China since his mother was hired at a new job. His first few days there are a little rocky until he meets a girl named Mei Ying (Han) and the two become friends. However, this leads to trouble, mainly from a bully named Cheng.

The conflict eventually leads to Dre to fighting Cheng, who studies martial arts. As a result, Dre also wants to learn martial arts and begins training under a maintenance worker, Mr. Han (Chan).

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REVIEW: ‘Killers’

Robert Luketic
Ashton Kutcher
Katherine Heigl
Tom Selleck
Catherine O’Hara
Rated: PG-13

After seeing this I felt like I had been punked out of my money when leaving the theater by Mr. Kutcher.

The film follows Jen (Heigl, who while on vacation with her parents meets another single named Spencer (Kutcher). Although they have an awkward meeting, the two hit it off and eventually get married.

Their relationship starts off well enough, but after settling into their lives things begin to change. This is mainly due to Spencer being a spy and having people out to kill him. The result is Spencer going on the run with his wife.

The film is a complete mess in terms of its story telling. Not only does it feature cliches in the action and romcom department, the filmmakers couldn’t seem to decide on a good tone for the flick, either. Sometimes it seems to lean toward a more satirical look at marriage and other times it goes for over the top action comedy and it simply never meshes.

The script was lacking, too, with much of the dialogue trying to come off as witty, but feeling more mean spirited, making much of the picture unlikable. Additionally, the film features a twist toward the end that crashes the whole thing even more.

The worst offenders in the film, though, lie with the performances. Heigl, for example, did nothing with her character but shriek, yell and whine. This became grating really fast and made her intolerable.

Kutcher, meanwhile, was basically just playing himself which isn’t saying too much. Kutcher isn’t awful in comedic roles, but he just doesn’t have a high level of screen presence and he also doesn’t have chemistry with Heigl.

The action in the film was likely the best part of the movie. Despite the acting being bland and annoying and the story and the script not holding much weight, the action sequences were actually somewhat competently made.

In the end, that’s not much of a saving grace. The action might have at least made this watchable, but all of the other issues along with that horrific plot twist at the end push this one far down. 1 out of 5.

This review was first produced for the KSDM-KGHS Radio Station in International Falls, Minn.