Saturday, July 25, 2009


A friend from work let me borrow CORALINE to watch over the weekend. This is the first stop motion animated films I have seen. Yes, I feel like a dork for never seeing A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS or CORPSE'S BRIDE. Too many movies and so little time. I actually plan to purchase A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS when I get a Blu-Ray player.

CORALINE is a really great film and that is just from watching the 2D version. From what I hear the 3D version is the way to really watch it! 2009 is really shaping up to be a very cool year for kid's movies! UP, CORALINE, and in October is WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE which the buzz is nothing but good things.

CORALINE is a nice little spooky story for children. A young girl finds a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. At first glance this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, only much better. But when her parallel life turns dangerous, and her "other" parents try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, bravery, and some new friends to get back home.

CORALINE really soaks the viewer in the aesthetic and intelligent storytelling. This is not ICE AGE 20 OR THE WILD; however, it is a tale that will resonate for a portion of the moviegoer hitting on their own feelings of selfishness and wanting the spoils without the work. This is a story and a movie for the ages. If I had seen this movie when I was say 8 or 10, by the time high school rolled around I would have been like "you remember that movie Coraline? Wasn't that movie cool?". Trust me, some of your kids will be saying this down the road.

Can't wait to see this in 3D, I give CORALINE a B+! Enjoy!!!!!!!!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half - Blood Prince

It is a sure bet that anybody or everybody that reads this blog has or will be seeing this movie. HARRY POTTER and the HALF - BLOOD PRINCE is the movie event of the summer or perhaps the year! I could have posted a review earlier in the week but after two screenings I wanted to let the dust settle before giving a true opinion. Do I think that this sixth movie is the best movie in the series yet? No. Do I like the movie? Yes, yes I do like it a lot. While I like the movie very much I can't help but scratch my head at some of the adaptation choices. The main one being at the end with the very anti climatic battle at Hogwarts. The only thing that I can come up with is that the filmmakers went this route so that not to make these last three films in the series redundant? The other thing that I thought was weird was how very matter of fact the whole revelation of who the Half - Blood Prince was? The book made a big deal about it and it is the title of the film, so whats up with that? Now on to what I did like.

Two factors will always bring me to watch HARRY POTTER and the HALF - BLOOD PRINCE with a smile on my face. The first thing is Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn is hands down some of the best acting I have seen all year and one of the best performances in the film series ever! The second thing is the three main characters of Harry Potter. Watching these movies you the viewer really feel invested as a part of these kids lives, we have grown up with them. This factor is what really does it for me. It is the comradery going on between Harry, Ron and Hermione that makes this installment special. Budding romances are not the only thing going on, the movie has plenty doom and gloom.

In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Volemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.

An excellent calm before the storm HARRY POTTER and the HALF - BLOOD PRINCE gets an A- Enjoy!!!!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Love You Beth Coopper

Several if not all genre movies are for the most part meant to be comfort food. When you watch a slasher flick, mafia film, teen comedy, and even the chick flick. All these types of movies have rules that the audience loves or knows by heart. The really great genre films always tend to bend, reinvent, or the very risky changing of the rules. The type of films I tend to enjoy the most are genre movies. I really enjoy the familiar. I don't buy into the 'It was bad because it wasn't original' way of thinking when watching movies. The thing that I have been saying for years is that 'it's not always about the story, but how you tell the story'. This brings me to I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER the new teen comedy that will get lost in the multiplex this weekend due to BRUNO, ICE AGE: 3D, and whatever else is playing at a theater near you.

I did enjoy the movie but my being entertained I will admit is somewhat bias because I just really like teen comedies. The problems with I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER is that it plays the teen sex comedy too safe, which in turn really makes the movie look like a bad overplayed cliche. Too many times the movie was trying to be an R rated comedy wrapped up in a PG-13 one. The PG-13 comedy teen sex comedy can be done and the proof is the very funny and underrated FIRED UP. I blame the studio 20th Century Fox for this tiny blemish. Before I mention the rest of the things that I did not like or hurt the movie, let me tell you what it is about.

A nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for the hottest and most popular girl in school, Beth Cooper during his graduation speech. Much to his surprise, Beth shows up at his door that very night and decides to show him the best night of his life.

Let me start with the nerd/geek factor, the movie nails it, but once these characters are established the script doesn't know where to take it. A character who constantly recount movie quotes the entire movie gets old very fast. You are a movie buff, we get it now move on! If that's all you got then you make yourself one dimensional and cliche. Now that I think about it the movie is just really cliche and weak. The things that I did like was that as cliched as the movie is the script does have good witty moments to it. The actors, especially the two leads play the characters very good. These people seem very real to me and not some fake MTV crap. The movie does have it's moments but they just come too little too late. I would hardly call the night Beth Cooper gave our hero the best night of his life.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Public Enemies

The more I think about this film the more I like it. I have been a fan of the filmmaker Micheal Mann since the 1995 classic Heat. Mann has a style all his own when it comes to making films about cops, robbers, crooks, and thieves. It is a style that I have grown to love. When you go in to see a movie that's directed by Mann say MIAMI VICE be prepared to get sucked into the characters and the world they live in. Mann's movies are very character driven and I think that's why most of them are great films. It's important to point out that Mr. Mann is not an action movie director, but the cherry on top of his crime dramas is his action. Before this review I should have done some research on the background of Micheal and see if he ever worked as a police officer or ever was a detective. I mention this because the way his action scenes unfold loud, fast, and sometimes brutal. He makes the realistic hyper realistic, I say this because as real as it all may feel, we are still watching a movie.

PUBLIC ENEMIES is a film about the most famous year in the life of the 1930's most popular bank robber, John Dillinger. This film wastes no time and gets right to what Dillinger was good at which was robbing banks. This is no “who is John Dillinger and why does he do the things he is good at?” film, this is the “ Dillinger was an iconic bank robber and this is how it all went down!” film. Watching the movie Dillinger seems like a very charming man and who better to play him then Johnny Depp. Depp is one of the coolest and most likable actors working today and Dillinger was well liked doing what he did in the Depression Era. The woman in the “red dress” Billie Frechette played by Marion Cotillard was very stunning in her performance. The love between these two was believable but dragged on at times. If this movie does good I hope to see more of Marion in the future.

Agent Purvis the man after Dillinger played by everybody's favorite Batman Christian Bale was another top notch performance for the actor. Purvis is a hunter in every sense of the word and will stop and nothing to get his man. Purvis and his squad are the good guys but Dillinger can't help but be the hero, because it is his story nonetheless. The rest of the cast is amazing and is a who's who of quick roles. When I was watching I kept going saying 'cool, he's in this movie!'.

What I did not particularity care for was the choice to film the movie in digital. Mann has used digital since I believe COLATRAL and on modern movies it looks great, but it just does not work for me when your movie is set in the '30's. My other gripe is that Micheal Mann likes to make long movies so a lot of sub plots get left on the cutting room floor thanks to Hollywood suits. So even though it may be 30 minutes longer I would like to see a director cut of PUBLIC ENEMIES when it comes out on DVD. Most of his films have director cuts and it really helps the flow like it or not.

It's a B- from me for PUBLIC ENEMIES. Enjoy!!!!