November 2010 Mini Reviews

It’sKind of a Funny Story 2/5
This film was about a teenager who tried killing himself but failed. After this he goes to a psychiatric ward where he meets many different characters. The film was just OK. The story was a bit of a miss, mainly because the protagonist didn’t seem to require being at the psychic ward, rather, he just chose to admit himself in there for a week. While there, he just seemed to wander, rather than get sufficient treatment. So instead of being a movie about studying a depressed teen, it came off as more of a standard coming of age story in a different setting.

Some of the characters were at least interesting. Zach Galifnakis actually delivered a strong, emotional performance and the rest of the supporting cast do provide for some interesting sequences. Ultimately, this is just one to rent.

Life as We Know It 1/5
I have to say the plot of this film sounds like a nightmare. Basically after an accident that kills them, a couple leaves their baby in the hands of their friends who already hate each other.

The dilemma in the picture is certainly one of the more original attempts at a story, but this flick quickly devolves into a standard romcom pretty quickly. It’s the typical tale of two characters disliking each before realizing they were meant for each other. There are some nice family moments in this movie, but as a whole, it’s cliche ridden and forgettable.

REVIEW: ‘Tangled’

Director:
Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Cast:
Mandy Moore
Zachary Levi
Donna Murphy
Ron Perlman
M.C. Gainey
Rated: PG

Despite the name, Tangled is actually based on the Brothers Grimm tale “Rapunzel.” The film has the original idea, but massively expands on it. In this version, Rapunzel is born as the princess to a kingdom, but during birth, her mother comes down with an illness.

People of the kingdom find a magic flower that immediately heals anything and the mother takes it and the power transfers to Rapunzel’s hair after she is born.

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REVIEW: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1’

Director:
David Yates
Cast:
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson
Alan Rickman
Ralph Fiennes
Rated: PG-13

Well folks, we are almost to the finish line.

The first part of the seventh installment begins not too long after the ending of the sixth film. Our three heroes are all preparing for a long journey of being on the run and in battles. At first, the three have some help from the Order of the Phoenix, but after some dangerous battles the three are forced to go out on their own and fend for themselves.

The three begin to travel around the magical world searching for Horcruxes, seven objects where Voldemort (Fiennes) put pieces of his soul in. Meanwhile, the villain himself is busy taking over the magical world, infiltrating the Ministry of Magic and searching for Harry to put an end to him. They are also looking to eliminate muggle born witches and wizards and the way this happens is similar to Nazi Germany.

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REVIEW: ‘Morning Glory’

Director:
Roger Michell
Cast:
Rachel McAdams
Harrison Ford
Diane Keaton
Jeff Goldblum
Rated: PG-13

Morning Glory follows the character Becky (McAdams), a 28 year old television news producer who, after a rehiring, has to find a new job. After some searching she lands a spot as the executive producer of the television news show Day Break. However, she soon learns the reason why she got the job is because it is nearly impossible to be successful.

The show Day Break is behind the other morning shows on the networks and the staff just can’t seem to get it together. Becky sets out to change that, first by taking complete charge of her staff to get in line, and then hiring a new anchor, Mike Pomeroy (Ford). The problem, though, is that Pomeroy is an old school news man and doesn’t care about any of the fluff pieces that overwhelm the morning news shows these days, plus he can’t get a long with the co-host Colleen Peck (Keaton).

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REVIEW: ‘Unstoppable’

Director:
Tony Scott
Cast:
Denzel Washington
Chris Pine
Rosario Dawson
Ethan Suplee
Kevin Dunn
Rated: PG-13

Ever hear the saying “A lot of people would have to screw up for something like that to happen,” this is one of those situations.

Unstoppable follows the incident of a train in Pennsylvania that, after a few mistakes by an engineer, starts going down the tracks at speeds that (very slowly) reach 70 mph. Because of this, the corporation that owns the trains start doing everything in its power to stop the train, but none of it works as they would have hoped. Meanwhile, the manager of the shipyard where the incident happened, Connie (Dawson), is in contact with two others on another train that’s on the same track.

The two are Frank (Washington) and Will (Pine). Frank, is nearly a 30 year veteran and Will is a brand new rookie on his first day on the job with Frank. So you could say it’s like his training day (I’ve been waiting so long to use that joke). Anyways, the other part of the story follows these two as they race to try and stop the train by latching on and pulling it in the opposite direction, to do so they must put aside some of their differences to work together.

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REVIEW: ‘Skyline’

Director:
Colin Strause, Greg Strause
Cast:
Eric Balfour
Scottie Thompson
Brittany Daniel
Donald Faison
Rated: PG-13

This film may win a record for ripping off alien movies.

Skyline follows the characters Jarrod (Balfour) and Elaine (Thomson), a couple that are on their way to Los Angeles to visit their friend  Terry (Faison) who is a successful actor in Hollywood. When they arrive they start partying right away, but during the night a bright light starts pulling people into the sky including one of the people from the party at Terry’s apartment.

After another hour or two, they see outside that there are actually massive space ships that are sucking up all the humans, and they send down smaller ships/aliens themselves to search for more to capture. So, the rest of the film the audience is left with these characters whose biggest dilemma is whether or not to leave the apartment.

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REVIEW: ‘Due Date’

Director:
Todd Phillips
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr.
Zach Galifianakis
Michelle Monaghan
Jamie Foxx
Rated: R

Be prepared, I may mention “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” a bit in this review.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a straight laced business man who is trying to get back to his home in California. He arrives at the airport and he meets the character Ethan Tremblay (Galifinakis), a person who is kind, but extremely clumsy, bringing a bit of destruction with him. Both Peter and Ethan end up on the same plane and after some wild antics they are thrown off the and Peter is put on the no fly list and is left without his money or passport.

After leaving the airport, Ethan comes by with a rental car and offers Peter a ride since he’s going to California too. Peter accepts since he has no other option. However, Highman’s nerves begin to be pushed to the limits as he finds Ethan to be completely stupid at every single level.

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REVIEW: ‘Megamind’

Director:
Tom McGrath
Cast:
Will Ferrell
Brad Pitt
Tina Fey
Jonah Hill
David Cross
Rated: PG

Megamind is the latest film from the Dreamworks Animation Studio which has had a busy year with How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek 4, and now this. Megamind (Ferrell) follows the title character who is an alien from a planet that was destroyed. Now living on Earth, he plans to conquer it after growing up in a prison. At the same time, another alien from a nearby planet that was destroyed also lives on Earth and has become its protector, his name is Metro Man (Pitt). Their battles continue on until finally Megamind does what even he thought was impossible, to eliminate Metroman.

After this, Megamind feels everything is going his way after getting rid of his enemy, but he soon learns that it’s no fun being a villain without an adversary. So, he decides to make a new hero, Titan, from the local news cameraman played by Jonah Hill. At the same time, Megamind takes the appearance as a Metroman researcher and starts a relationship in his disguise with the ‘Louis Lane’ character of the film Roxanne Ritchi (Fey). Things start to get out of hand though when Titan doesn’t make for the best hero.

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REVIEW: ‘Hereafter’

Director:
Clint Eastwood
Cast:
Matt Damon
Cécile De France
Bryce Dallas Howard
Frankie McLaren
George McLaren
Rated: R

Eastwood’s latest film starts off exciting, but becomes dull very fast.

The film follows the story of three different people, all of whom have dealt with death in one way or another. Damon’s character George is a man who used to be a big time psychic who is now just trying to live an ordinary life because of the grief he had to deal with in his job.

The next character is Marie Lelay played by Cecile De France, a French woman, who after having a near death experience in a tidal wave sets out to write a book about how seeing visions while entering death is scientifically backed up. And then we have the third story, it follows a young boy named Marcus who lost his brother Jason (Both the McLaren twins switched places with each other in these roles.)

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REVIEW: ‘RED’

Director:
Robert Schwentke
Cast:
Bruce Willis
Morgan Freeman
Helen Mirren
John Malkovich
Rated: R

If I have to hear the line “we’re getting the band back together” one more time I’ll go crazy.

In this film, Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses, a retired CIA agent who is living life day-to-day. The only thing that gives him something different in his life is calling a receptionist named Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) and starts getting friendly with her. It isn’t long though before a special ops team tries to kill Frank. This sets Frank off to first pick up Sarah since the CIA is tracking her, too.

After doing this Frank goes to his old friends, no pun intended, to warn them about being in danger also. The team he forms includes Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich), and Victoria (Mirren). As they work together to find out why they are being targeted, they are followed by Agent Cooper (Karl Urban).

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